The words we all heard from parents and teachers, “Stand up straight. Pull your shoulders back. You don’t look good when you slump.” And that message lives on as we get older. Only the voices speaking to us about posture are our own which includes the kinesthetic voice of how our bodies feel.
The posture ideal of the shoulders back and a ramrod straight spine is an unachievable goal. We fight hard to get shoulders back and a naturally curved spine to become unnaturally straight. The muscular effort to hold these positions is fatiguing and limiting of movement and balance. In the end we give up the fight and allow our bodies to slump and curve until gravity works to establish a pattern in our body that serves us no better than the postural ideal.
So, then, what do we do to correct what seems like a problem with no resolution?
The issues of poor posture, compromised balance and limited function are about reeducating the body. It begins with a desire for change and correction, and moves to seeking help from skilled practitioners, who are specialists in working with the human structure to achieve long lasting changes that enhance alignment, balance and function. This may require hands on treatment to correct aberrations in soft tissue, joint mobilization to improve alignment, strengthening activities to correct muscular imbalances and flexibility exercise to insure optimal muscle and joint function. In addition, the development of awareness of behavioral patterns which reinforces the problem being corrected, and how to understand the roll choice has in maintaining improved posture and function.
Professionals who are Certified Rolfers or Certified Advanced Rolfers are trained to effect changes in soft tissue patterns with direct hands-on manipulation and to educate the client with instruction in movement , behavior awareness and pattern formations. It is this combination of correction and education that allows a person to improve posture in a natural and comfortable way as well as being able make the internal and structural changes needed to maintain better balance, joint mobility and appearance.
Certified Advanced Rolfer