Alignment and Restorative Exercise
When the wheels of your car are out of alignment, you can feel it through the shake in the steering wheel and the pull off of center as you drive. If you were very used to this car, it might feel odd at first to align the wheels, but you would quickly notice the difference in handling and road feel, and how long your tires last.
The first line of the Merriam Webster Dictionary online defines “alignment” as: the proper positioning or state of adjustment of parts (as of a mechanical or electronic device) in relation to each other. We are not machines, but our bodies are subject to the same physical forces as any material in the world. Good alignment does more than minimize musculoskeletal wear and tear. Good alignment improves health in the cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, respiratory, genitourinary and digestive systems. All of the structures of all of our systems work better when they are free of kinks, have good support, and have the room to move as they need to. Poor alignment contributes to conditions such as GERD, osteoporosis, prolapse, and diastasis recti, as well as overuse syndromes, headaches, pelvic floor dysfunction, and joint problems.
Posture is not alignment. I will not tell you to pull your shoulders back, stand up straight, or hold in your stomach throughout your day. When a body is in good alignment, the muscles that support your movement engage automatically and flexibly as activity demands. When your tissues have the length, strength, and yield to support your weight and your moving parts in functional relationship with each other and gravity, more positions and movements are marked by bouyancy and ease.
Coaxing your body into healthy, functional alignment is part education, part investigation, and part practice. Working with this body of knowledge, I can teach you:
How to assess your own alignment
- Specific corrective exercises
- Alignment in walking, standing, sitting, reaching, and other movements of daily life
- How to practice with attention to the alignment of the whole body.
Most of the instructions are simple and mechanical, but doing them correctly means changing your shape to counter – and encounter – the forces that created and maintain the shape you have. We tailor the work to your specific body, life situation, and learning style by investigating these encounters as they come.
Whatever your initial state of health, this work can help you to have a whole new sense of power and purpose healing, maintaining and “operating” your body.
Please feel free to call with any questions you might have.