Q: What is the difference between Posture Alignment Therapy and Physical Therapy?
A: Physical Therapy is a medical modality that treats a localized pain symptom. Typically, a Physical Therapist will treat near and around the pain site with either exercises, manual manipulation, ice, heat, electrical stimulation, and/or laser treatments. Posture Alignment Therapy on the other hand is a non-medical form of pain relief that treats the underlying root cause of the pain. A Posture Alignment Therapist treats the body as a unit and recognizes the fundamental importance of the function of the entire musculoskeletal system. In the Posture Alignment Therapy modality there are no hands-on manipulations, ice, heat, electrical stimulation, or lasers used. No braces, orthotics, or wrappings are used either. The belief of the Posture Alignment Therapy approach is that they body has everything it needs to heal itself. A person can expect to not only get out of pain, but to also regain the range of motion they had when they were younger, boost their metabolism, and look and feel better.
Q: I have pain in my (insert body part here). Can you help me?
A: The answer is most likely yes. Posture Alignment Therapy is especially effective for back pain (lower and upper), neck pain, SI joint pain, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, plantar fasciitis, shoulder pain, frozen shoulder, elbow pain, wrist pain, migraines, and TMJ (jaw pain).
Q: How long will it take me to see and feel results?
A: This may be hard to believe but the results from following Realign’s programs can be felt almost immediately. Most of my clients report that they feel a difference the very first time they do these simple exercises. Keep in mind that results can vary from one person to the next, and this can depend a lot on the frequency that a person does their exercises.
Q: How often do I need to do my menu?
A: In order to get the most benefit from this program, you will need to do your menu (or your customized sequence of exercises) every day. Think of this like brushing or flossing your teeth. If you want to keep those teeth, you practice this habit every single day. The same should go for your menu if you want to get better and if you want to save your bones, joints, and muscles from unnecessary pain and abuse!
Q: Can I do just one or two of the exercises from my menu and skip the rest?
A: The answer to this is both yes and no. Realign’s programs work very well when at the very least once per day you complete your entire menu while keeping the exercises in the order they were given to you. Once you have completed your daily menu, you can sprinkle in one or more of your exercises that feel good, or that you feel you are getting a lot of benefit from. This additional sprinkling of exercises can be done as often as you would like. May clients even speed up their results by repeating their entire menu two or even three times per day.
Q: Will I need to purchase equipment?
A: In order to get started, most of the exercises require little to no equipment, just a chair, some floor space, and a wall. At some point, you may need a few basic pieces of equipment and this will depend entirely on what you already have, and what is needed for your specific exercise program. If you have questions, ask Maryann once you begin your program.
Q: Can I expect to feel sore?
A: One of the biggest aspects to this program is the learning process that comes along with it. Many of us need to learn to distinguish between the good kind of pain and the bad kind of pain. In most cases, once a person starts doing (and completing) their menu on a daily basis, new muscles that haven’t worked in a long time are being worked, which may equate to some soreness. We call this “muscle awakening” and it should diminish the more times a person completes their menu.
Q: Will pain shift to another part of my body once I start doing the exercises?
A: Compensations are like layers of an onion. Oftentimes the pain a person is experiencing when they first start their program is just a symptom of a deeper issue. Once this initial “layer” of compensation is worked through, the initial pain symptom can sometimes abate, and pain can crop up in another part of the body. It is important to keep in mind the long-term process and to not react when this happens. The key is in sticking with the daily menu, and in following a progression of menus over time that cumulatively begin to address several layers of compensation. Communication with your therapist throughout this process is key. This is one of the main reasons why it is recommended that a person partake in 8 to 16 visits.
Q: How long will it take?
A: You didn’t get to this place overnight, and you are not going to get out of it right away either. Dysfunctions and pain take a lifetime to develop and unraveling these dysfunctions and getting out of pain can take time. How long it takes depends on the person and how frequently and accurately they do their menu. In most cases it takes 8 to 16 visits with a therapist to get a handle on a person’s dysfunctions and get to what I call a maintenance phase. These visits are done one to two times per week. Once these visits are complete the client continues to practice their menu daily and will typically check back in for a tune up every six months.
Q: How exactly do you help people to fix posture? Do you have people walk around with books on their heads?
A: The old-fashioned notion that we all need to walk around with our shoulders thrust back and our guts sucked in does not apply here! And no, walking around with a book on your head is not something you will do as a part of your therapy program at Realign. There are over 650 muscles in the human body, and there are 206 bones in the average adult body. This means there are lots of opportunities for the body to be misaligned, and with this approach we are taking the entire body into account! The key to improving posture which includes all of these muscles and bones is in doing a daily menu or an individually tailored sequence of gentle stretches and exercises. A person’s menu needs to be adjusted approximately every four to seven days at first in order to prevent a person from reaching a plateau. This is how you and I can work together to make lasting and permanent changes to your posture.
Q: I make a concerted effort to sit and stand up straight. Does this mean I have good posture and therefor I don’t need this program?
A: Posture goes way beyond just sitting or standing up straight. A person’s posture is a function of the position of that person’s body in space at any given time, this includes the position of all of their joints and bones. With this approach we simplify things by focusing on the position of the eight major load bearing joints, the shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles. By observing the position of these joints when a person is standing at rest we can observe misalignments throughout the entire body that correspond with pain or limitation. By addressing these misalignments, we are able to “straighten out” the entire body, not just the spine. So, the answer is yes, you most likely still need this program even if you are making an effort to sit and stand up straight.
Q: Do you work with athletes?
A: Yes, I work with athletes.
Q: Do you do therapy with people who live outside of your area?
A: Yes, I do work with people over webcam using Zoom web conferencing software. For a full description of digital therapy services click here.
Q: Is digital therapy as effective as seeing someone in person?
A: Yes, I have a high success rate with digital therapy. To view testimonials from clients who have had success with both digital and in-person therapy click here.
Q: What are the different ways you work with people?
A: I offer one-on-one therapy both in person in San Diego and digitally using Zoom web conferencing software. To learn more click here. I offer group coaching through my online program The Posture Workout. To learn more click here.
Q: Do you accept insurance?
A: No, I do not accept insurance.
Q: Is what you offer similar to The Egoscue Method®?
A: Yes, my practice is based in The Egoscue Method®. I am an Egoscue Certified Posture Alignment Specialist.
Q: Where are you located?
A: I am located in San Diego. Once you book your appointment the address will be provided to you. I also conduct programs online, so you can participate no matter where you live in the world.