I thought you might find it useful to read up a bit on how you and I can work together to kick your pain to the curb for good…
Alignment Is Everything:
When the body’s correct anatomical design of the eight major load bearing joints (two shoulders, two hips, two knees, two ankles all in vertical and horizontal alignment) is violated, and when the body deviates from it’s symmetrical alignment (balanced left to right, balanced front to back) we experience pain and physical limitation.
It is important to note that postural misalignments or deviations from the “Function Freddie” blue print of the human body are the result of:
- lack of movement (this is the greatest contributor)
- asymmetrical or repetitive movements (these are mostly problematic when coupled with lack of movement)
- and previous injuries and or surgeries.
Early on in life we develop dysfunctions in our bodies. These are parts of our bodies that do not move the way they are supposed to move. Over time the body learns to compensate for these dysfunctions. This dysfunction-compensation relationship leads to layers and layers of compensation that build over time as we go through life.
These compensations get us by for as long as they do until one day the “straw that broke the camel’s back” (stress, a fast movement, a long car ride, an illness) lead to an exacerbation of what the musculoskeletal system is capable of, and we end up in pain.
Improving posture goes far beyond eliminating pain. Did you know that your metabolism and your immune system, as well as every other system in your body, are intimately related to your posture? By improving your posture, you will access your body’s inherent ability to not only heal itself from chronic pain, but to also heal itself from disease and sickness.
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How It All Works:
Therapy appointments are conducted either in-person at my studio in San Diego, California or online via Skype. The initial appointment lasts for anywhere from one to two hours and begins with a review of your health history and goals.
A full posture assessment is conducted at the first visit using posture photos with a plumb line inserted into the front, left side, back, and right side views of the photos. If the appointment is conducted via Skype, posture photos are taken using screen shots. The posture assessment is a collaborative process where your own observations of your body matter just as much as mine.
Once the assessment is completed, you will be assigned a customized sequence of stretches and exercises called a daily menu. Most clients will need to do their menu once per day, and some will need to do their menu twice per day for best results. Your menu will take anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on what you need and what you are realistically able to do.
Follow up sessions last for 60 minutes and are scheduled one to two times per week to start. In your second appointment, you will be instructed in detail on the correct form of your exercises. Learning how to do the exercises correctly, and learning how to feel the changes in your body is a process that takes time, and multiple sessions for most people.
In subsequent sessions your exercise routine will be reviewed with you to ensure you are staying on track, posture will be re-assessed, and your exercises will be adjusted on an as needed basis in order to promote progress.
The paradigm shift:
In our society today, the predominant belief is that pain (the symptom) requires localized treatment and that there is something inherently wrong with the part of the body that is in pain. When it comes to chronic pain, in most cases, this is simply not true.
Realign’s programs are based in the belief that the body is whole and complete the way that it is, the human body has ZERO design flaws, and that we all have our own inherent ability to heal ourselves.
KEY PRINCIPLE OF HEALING #1:
Around here I have a saying that “the site of the pain is hardly ever the source of the pain…unless you were hit by a bus”. I have found this statement to be true for my own body, and for all individuals that I have worked with. This means that you may experience pain in your left shoulder, but the real culprit may be the right hip, or even farther down the chain to one of the feet! If you take this program on, you and I will take a total body, holistic approach to eliminating pain and restoring function.
KEY PRINCIPLE OF HEALING #2:
It is the position of the joint that matters, not the condition. An example of this is that I had chronic knee pain in my right knee for 10 years after undergoing an ACL reconstruction in college. I always attributed the knee pain to cartilage wear and tear and damage to the knee joint itself from running and doing high impact sports. I later learned that my hips and shoulders were off balance which led to a misalignment in my knee joint. By restoring balance to my body (a process which took years), I have since eliminated knee pain, and my knee has been pain and inflammation free for four years. You too can produce similar results in your body!
KEY PRINCIPLE OF HEALING #3:
The human body has the ability to heal itself, without expert intervention, if given the chance. This principle does not take into account major injuries, diseases, or anatomical abnormalities. When the noxious stimulus is removed, the body will take care of the rest. Medical intervention can be sought along the way, but in most cases is not necessary.
The plan of action towards healing:
Undoing compensation and building strength and stability within the body is a process that takes time, and a great deal of communication and partnership between you and me. The majority of this communication and collaboration happens mostly at the beginning of the therapy process, usually within the first four to six months. Over time each individual reaches a point of independence where they are able to continue with their exercise program and maintain their results on their own.
At some point, you (the client) will reach a state where your symptoms are either gone or have been greatly reduced. It is at this point that many people think they can take their foot off the gas pedal and stop doing their posture exercises from Realign, but this is always a big mistake. In order for one to maintain their progress over time they will need to continue to do their exercises from the rest of their life.
I hope you found the information on this page to be useful in painting a picture of what it looks like to take on this therapy process. I personally have made continuing to work on and improve my posture a lifestyle, and have found the amount of freedom and effectiveness that I have with my own health and body to be very empowering as a result. I hope to be able to guide you in achieving the same level of freedom and empowerment with your body that I have achieved with mine!