Adjusting posture

Our posture is pretty important when it comes to optimal health and to feeling comfortable in our own skin.

Many of us, as children, were ‘encouraged’ by our parents to straighten up and walk ‘properly’ and then by our teachers to ‘sit up straight and listen’. Maybe the last thing we want to hear from our therapist is recommendations to improve our posture and yet I hope that all my patients will hear my suggestions as a measure of care and concern for their health and wellbeing.

When someone walks into my treatment room the first thing I do, apart from greeting them, is to observe their gait and posture. As people share with me that they are experiencing back pain or a dull ache or two I am already observing their ‘hip tilt’ and a few other clues as to why they are experiencing pain or discomfort.

Did you know that to have a happy and healthy back, your hips need to be as level as possible ? Depending on how we are ‘made’ we might be tilted slightly forward or back or up one side and down the other. Then our posture, when sitting, standing and even laying down can tense up muscles and make the tilt more obvious.

When people come for a massage for their ‘bad back’ they might expect their therapist to simply start working on the back, and might be surprised when they go to the legs instead. The health of the hamstrings, quadriceps, adductors and IT band, as well as the muscles of the buttocks and hips all determine the health and comfort of the back. So, in a sports massage all of these will be checked and adjusted if necessary. The therapist will then offer advice on stretches and exercise for home in order that we can maximise the benefits of the treatment.

When this assessment and adjustment is complete it is often advisable to give an oil deep tissue massage to the back.

It gives a therapist, such as me, a great deal of satisfaction to send our patients out of the clinic feeling considerably easier that when they walked in, and to see their gait improved ! I hope this has encouraged my readers to look after their posture and to seek the treatment, exercises and stretches that can serve them best !

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