Stand Up Straight!! Your Body Posture is Giving You Clues
Do you remember when your mom used to tell you to correct your posture? To sit up straight? To stand tall? Now, how is your posture? Your walk? When you walk, do you feel vibrant and energetic? Are you upright? Does your body move easily? Do your arms swing? Do your feet strike the ground evenly? Do your hips and pelvis move with freedom? Can you still bend and squat like you used to?
Or do you have pain, stiffness, or soreness? Is getting up from a chair difficult? Are you a little stiff until you stretch out? Do you have some foot pain in the morning or hip tightness after sitting? Do you feel like as long as you keep active things don’t hurt? What does your posture and ability to move say about you? Does it tell your story? You may feel you are functioning well, or well for your age, but your posture, added up over the course of your lifetime, tells your history.
We’ve all known of people that had car accidents and whiplash. The muscle spasm and pain goes away with time, but the person may be left with posture changes where they can’t sit up straight. Were you ever in a motor vehicle accident? Hit head-on or sideways? Whiplash? Cars are built and much research is done to minimize damage to the car and person, but the force that goes into the body is there and causes strain patterns that might not go away.
Although we can try to put ourselves into “military posture,” posture also comes from the inside out. You know where you feel comfortable. Your natural resting position comes from internal signals. This is your body telling you where it wants room and slack and doesn’t want to stretch tight things.
Walking also comes from inside. If you have old injuries, previous illnesses or even digestive issues, over time your walk will change. Your joints and body will protect you from stretching and going through range of motion by limping, or tightening your upper body so you can’t twist or swing your arms easily.
An IMT Wellness Center Program
An IMT Wellness Center complete program sees posture and mobility as an important part of health. Evaluation to find out why posture and mobility are affected is the key to finding answers and the correct treatment. Integrative Manual Therapy looks at the structure of the body and finds the underlying cause of problems. A posture and movement analysis gives many clues about why someone moves like they do.
Then treatment can address the cause. Sometimes you need structural bodywork, sometimes diet changes, sometimes mind/body work. Your unique history—your injuries, accidents, illnesses, digestion, pain—all come together to show where you need help.
Interpreting posture can answer questions about causes. Is your limp about your knee, your hip, or your low back? Do you bend to the side because of your sacroiliac joint or tightness of the diaphragm? A forward head and bent posture can make weight of your head feel heavier and strain your neck muscles. This can come from tight muscles or internal structures called viscerosomatic.
Is your low back pain related to a digestion problem or a bladder issue? Do pronated or flat feet irritate the kidney acupuncture meridian and can orthotics help? Does your stress level affect your adrenals and collapse your arches over time?
Working to get your posture and movement more optimal so you function even better is the goal. There may be body issues that you can’t exercise out, or Yoga away. You may need to change your diet or do exercises to improve bladder function. You may need bodywork to improve tight joints and other structures. You may need orthotics to support your arches.
Feel Great Again
Sit up straight. Stand up straight. Walk, move, bend, squat. Notice how you move and walk. Do you feel freedom of movement? Can you move as easily as you used to? It’s probably not your age, but the accumulation of the things that have happened to you. The good news is that no matter how long ago, your body has the potential to change and improve. With the right help, you can be better; walk better, do Yoga better, feel better and do what you want to do for a vital life.
Thomas Giammatteo, DC, PT, IMT,C, PhD is the Medical Director of IMT Wellneess Center, offering an Integrative Manual Therapy approach to total body health. He is the Dean of the Connecticut School of Integrative Manual Therapy. He continues to develop new courses in Integrative Manual Therapy on bodywork and nutrition for topics such as Concussion, Detoxification, Cardiac, and Grief.
Nancy Ortolani, PT, IMT,C is the Clinical Director at IMT Wellness Center. She has practiced and taught Integrative Manual Therapy for over 20 years. People at the Center are seen one on one for evaluation and treatment in a comprehensive approach. For more information, please visit our website: www.IMTWellnessCenter.com, email: info@IMTWellnessCenter.com or call 860-561-2286.