Our bodies have a natural design that promotes optimum form and function.
We have four sets of what are called “load joints” or weight-bearing joints. These are our ankle joints, knee joints, hip joints, and shoulder joints.
As you can see by the diagram above, these joints should all line up horizontally, (the left side of the body should be even with the right side of the body), and vertically, (the ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, and ear should all stack on a plumb line).
When our body maintains this functional alignment it is in balance. The muscles are their proper lengths and function in their full ranges of motion, and the joints are loaded properly and are balanced so that they can move without strain or undue tension. Aligned posture also allows the organs to have the space and support they need to function properly.
For example, when the shoulders are rounded forward, the chest becomes collapsed and tight. The collar bones and ribcage are affected which limits the ability of the lungs to expand and contract properly. The rounded shoulders also affect the shape of the spine, compressing the torso and restricting the movements of the diaphragm. While we may not notice it, our breathing has now become more shallow so there is less oxygen circulating and nourishing our systems. As our diaphragm is restricted our bodies try to assist our lungs by raising our shoulders to inhale and now the muscles of the shoulders, upper back, and neck are doing work they were not intended to do and they become overloaded. As the muscles become, tight, weak, strained, overstretched and overworked, the balance between antagonistic muscles (muscles that work opposite of each other, for example the bicep pulls the forearm towards the upper arm and the tricep straightens the arm) is lost and the skeleton gets pulled and twisted.
The body, although it may seem to have its individual parts, is literally connected from head to toe and functions as a unit. So even though you may be experiencing pain in your heel, the kinetic chain could reveal that it is the position of your hips or shoulders that is actually the root cause of your pain.
With Postural Alignment Therapy, we look at the whole body and design a program tailored individually to you, with simple exercises that you will perform both in the studi with me, and in your home on your own.
Your body is designed to be vibrant, flexible and strong! Contact the studio today and discover how your posture is affecting your well-being.