The anatomy of every person is asymmetrical, which influences posture and movement. These anatomical asymmetries often cause imbalances in our muscular, neurological, skeletal, respiratory, circulatory, and visual systems. When these imbalances among systems persist over time without correction, simple functions like walking, sitting, reaching, turning, standing or even breathing can form strong patterns that negatively influence muscle function and structural alignment. Such patterns create musculoskeletal weaknesses, instabilities, inefficiencies, and pain.
Our Postural Restoration Trained (PRT) specialist recognizes the body’s natural asymmetry and provides revolutionary treatment approaches to correct the unnatural system imbalances that cause the body to get “stuck in a pattern.” Our PRT first assesses the underlying system disuse, misuse, or overuse. We then work with the client to achieve proper body function via postural exercises that reposition, restore and retrain the neuromuscular system that, over time, corrects the body’s faulty movement patterns. By directly addressing both – the manifested postural pattern(s) and the underlying system imbalance(s) – we can more effectively treat our clients, while teaching them how to alleviate pain, prevent injuries, and increase performance. Our ultimate goal is for our clients to better manage their own health.
WHY POSTURAL RESTORATION®?
Most people think their body is symmetrical. From the outside this seems true because the body’s midline looks symmetrical: two arms, legs, eyes, ears, nostrils (etc.) with one mouth, nose, navel (etc.) in the middle. Yet, closer inspection reveals various asymmetries: one shoulder is lower than the other, one side of the pelvis may be higher than the other, and/or feet with different arch shapes or sizes, etc. The inside reveals anatomical asymmetries with regards to the body’s left and right. For example, the heart is on the left side, the right lung has three lobes, the left two, the larger liver lies on the right side of the body, with the smaller stomach on the left, and the right diaphragm is larger than the left. Thus, the body contains a host of natural anatomical asymmetries. Neurology complicates things further. Most people have a dominant brain hemisphere which usually pairs with the preferred and stronger side of the body. Most people are left brain (smaller than the right hemisphere) and right side dominant. The same can be said of our eyes too, as well as many of the body’s other systems. Thus, it should be no surprise that postural asymmetry will occur since we all have varying degrees of external and internal asymmetries.
PRI defines posture as the relative “position” of the body at any one period of time. Posture is not static, but dynamic movement: sitting posture, standing posture, lying down posture, walking posture, running posture, etc. At a very basic level, posture concerns the functional relationship of the body’s two sides in three planes of movement (triplanar): forward/backward (sagittal), side to side (frontal) and rotation (transverse). These movements can either be balanced (good posture) or imbalanced (poor posture). On the one hand, good posture results from the correct alignment among body parts (biomechanical) in relation to the amount of muscle tension (musculoskeletal). On the other hand, poor posture uses inappropriate muscle activity to move, which results in mechanically inefficient movement of the joints. Even what may seem to be good posture may result from inappropriate muscular activity (compensation).
The challenge is to understand how movement patterns on one side of the body may directly influence movements on the opposite side. Such movements create patterns. Every person has postural patterns. A pattern develops as one habitually trains or repeats the same movement, which can, over time, exacerbate the body’s natural asymmetry, thereby creating an imbalanced pattern. Injury and poor habits lead to changes in posture through repetition of undesirable movement(s) that
causes muscle disuse, misuse, or overuse, which causes dysfunction.
Postural Restoration utilizes manual and non-manual techniques to restore the body’s optimal movement patterns. Consultation with a Postural Restoration Institute™ (PRI) trained specialist will address the coordinated association between the body’s relative postural position and the potential muscular imbalances that can lead to pain, decreased performance and injury. When properly positioned, aligned and balanced, the joints and muscles of your body can work in a more effective and efficient manner.
The human body is a complex interplay of many systems (e.g., skeletal, muscular, neurological, respiratory, circulatory, visual, etc.). Yet, system interdependence is often overlooked by patients and health care professionals alike. For example, vision, footwear and bite position can all affect how your body functions.
Thus, we strongly believe in communication with the referring physician and the integration of our services with other professionals including: optometrists, dentists, podiatrists, chiropractors, trainers, psychologists, massage therapists, nutritionists, etc. to help patients achieve maximum movement function. Such an integrated approach greatly increases the probability of eliminating pain, increasing performance, and preventing injury.
Our PRT specialist looks beyond the immediate reasons clients seek therapy. The goal is to restore the individual to a neutral position, which means the body “rests” in a position where muscles function optimally.
It is from this neutral posture that reeducation of the neuromuscular system can begin to rebuild (i.e., reposition, restore, retrain) more efficient patterns of movement. Simply stated, when the body’s interdependent systems efficiently “work-share” together the body functions better.