Posture is often misunderstood, and it is a commonly oversimplified concept within the context of healthcare and movement today.
So many of us attribute moral value to our postures. We often talk about our posture and how bad it is, or how poorly we seem to hold ourselves. Historically, posture has always been viewed as a concept of pure vertical spinal alignment in which we are required to best position ourselves, for the purposes of most effectively counteracting the perpetual downward pull of gravity upon our bodies.
Unfortunately, this conception of posture has also lead many people (including some therapists!) to develop an erroneous belief that there is an idealised body position for our spines and backs which we should always remain within, and any slight deviation of our structure away from this idealised position will incur costly damage to our bodies (and our spines!).
Unfortunately, this understanding of posture is oversimplified and incorrect. In reality, posture is a dynamic process which changes in relation to the different environments that we find ourselves within, it responds to the varying emotional states that we possess and it continuously fluctuates in response to the different physical tasks that we undertake.
All of the structures within our bodies have evolved to both need and like movement, and this is no different when it comes to the various structures that constitute our backs. In fact, the way to keep and maintain a healthy back is to both safely and regularly inject a variety of different movements into our spines on a daily basis.
This is not to say that posture is not important! The strategies that we use to coordinate our postural control can determine the efficiency of our movement and how well we are able to move on a daily basis.
At Evolution Rehab, we don’t like to look at posture as good or bad, we prefer to look at posture with regards to whether it is both efficient and appropriate for the task that is being undertaken.
Effective posture should be relaxed, coordinated, appropriately aligned to reflect the task that we are doing, and provide a proper foundation in which our muscles are able to efficiently move our bodies.
As stated by noted Russian physiologist, Nicholai Bernstein, “Trying to move with inefficient posture is like trying to write with a floppy pen!”
Traditionally, posture has been taught in a very prescriptive and direct manner. “Stand up properly! Sit up straight! Pull your stomach in! Hold your shoulders back!” Whilst these commands may address some of the visual aspects of bringing your spine into a position of upright alignment, the result is a postural strategy which is stiff, rigid, restricts proper movement within the body (including breathing), tiring in terms of energy and therefore unsustainable in the short term, let alone the long term!
The purpose of postural training, is to help you to learn effective strategies of body alignment, balance and coordination, which all serve as an important platform from which you are able to learn efficient, pain free movement for life, sport and performance. It will provide a vital central axis around which you develop a better understanding of your balance, and a greater awareness of the sense of location within your own body.
In essence, the goal of postural training is a gentle and extremely accessible way to help you improve your confidence in the control of your own body, and serve as a foundation to enable you to learn light, effortless, fluid and dynamic movement. In terms of rehabilitation, this is vital for your recovery moving forwards!
Our hope is that through postural training, you will engage within positive movement strategies which will allow your brain to effortlessly find the most appropriate, efficient posture and body position, in relation to the task that you are doing.
Hence, once you have established a foundation of efficient, effortless and beautifully balanced upright posture, you will be able to use this as a positive reference for all your functional and dynamic movement learning thereafter.
At Evolution Rehab, postural training is an integral component within the process of injury rehabilitation, movement performance and sporting performance, for most of the patients and clients who attend our clinic.
If you want to get a head start on your journey of both improving your movement and your posture, download our Free Postural Reset Promo Handbook.
The password for the download is:
Alternatively, if you wish to find out more our Postural Reset Programme and how it may help you to reduce pain or improve your performance on the field, please feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and one of our team will be happy to get back to you.