Good practitioners will always assess their clients before working with them. Why? Because if they’re not assessing — they’re guessing.
With the winter ahead of us, I am sure that you are thinking about what you will do to keep fit and healthy through the chillier months. If, like most people, you have some level of discomfort, pain or recurring injury within your body, why not make a physical health plan to correct your posture, muscle imbalance and body structure. In other words instead of just working out, you work intelligently towards a specific long-term goal of a fitter, stronger, and pain-free body.
Posture is one of the most unrevealed, best-kept secrets — poor posture leads to many dysfunctions within the body from back pain, and knee, calf, shoulder, hip and ankle problems to torn hamstrings, painful Archilles tendons and more. These issues can cause general aches and pains through to debilitating pain. If people corrected their posture, we would have many fewer orthopedic problems and, hence, surgeries. So many people require surgical procedures because of long-term postural issues.
In this assessment, I use a postural grid to look at the distortions within the body that could be causing pain and discomfort. Then a series of muscle length/tension tests will identify which muscles are too weak and need strengthening, which muscles are too tight and need stretching, which joints need mobilising, etc. Spinal curves and pelvic angles are measured to understand holding patterns in static posture. Movement patterns are assessed, also, in varying degrees, depending on your needs. This detailed assessment provides the information necessary to move forward and develop a highly skilled, individual programme to correct your postural imbalance.
GOOD POSTURE MAKES YOU LOOK TEN YEARS YOUNGER, CREATING OPTIMAL SHAPE, CURVES, FLATNESS AND JOINT POSITION IN ALL THE RIGHT PLACES. IT ALSO GIVES YOU THE LOOK OF CONFIDENCE.
This postural assessment takes two hours. We discuss your pain and discomfort and what you have done previously about it — most of my clients have tried a lot of other methods but have not had the long-term results that they desire.
First, I explore what you are doing currently for exercise, your sporting requirements, your goals, your time and commitment levels, your overall health and abilities, and anything else that is needed. Then there is a full measure-up of the body to find imbalances. It is this high-calibre, unique postural assessment that gives the ability to look at the ‘whole’ picture. This is what sets it apart from many other modalities.
These assessments are both proven and comprehensive — to identify the cause not treat the effect — for you to achieve your true potential.
Perfect posture is essential for everyone but even more so for athletes — the more athletic that you are, the more you need good alignment.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED A POSTURAL ASSESSMENT?
You might feel as though you have tried everything possible without relief. You have pain, discomfort, weakness or tight muscles, or feel twisted somehow. You have recurring injuries. You’re aware of your slouched position. You want to be functional, strong and pain free for life and sport. You’ve been told you need surgery or have had surgery. You’re an athlete wanting to improve your sport performance. You have pain and can’t play your sport. You’re a mum, dad or grandparent wanting to play with your kids as they get older. You’re a busy corporate and want to train intelligently. You want to be functional, pain free and improve with age.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE ASSESSMENT?
The training begins. Creating new neural pathways is key. Simple things like learning to hold body position in sitting and standing is essential. We don’t learn this anywhere. Then you learn highly skilled exercises that are unique to your imbalance. The correct exercises are determined from your assessment.
A varied mixture of myofascial stretching, spinal decompressions, spinal stability and functional movement patterns are taught and evolved over time to make you flexible, mobile, strong and connected to do the things you love without pain and dysfunction.
A postural assessment and correction deals with the underlying issues of structural imbalance and is a long-term approach to being great.
Words: Michelle Owen