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Posture

“I want to experience the health benefits of good posture – reduced tension and back pain, improved digestion and breathing”

Good posture is about far more than looking poised and confident. It also affects the way our bodies function, from the health of our joints and muscles to how effectively we digest our food and even how efficiently we breath.

Good posture prevents or alleviates many types of neck, shoulder and back pain, by:
– preventing the spine from becoming fixed into an abnormal position
– decreasing stress and damage to the ligaments that hold the spine in place
– keeping bones and joints correctly aligned, reducing abnormal and painful wearing of joints
– allowing muscles to work efficiently, preventing build up of tension and chronic pain

Standing and sitting in good posture also allows our internal organs to maintain their correct position and to function without compression. So our intestines digest food more efficiently, our ribcage and airways can open up properly to allow effective and tension-free breathing and improve circulation.

Good posture requires:
– strong postural muscles
– flexible muscles
– balanced muscles on each side of the spine
– good range of motion in joints
– awareness of our own posture, and of what good posture looks like

Of course realistically most of us have all sorts of challenges to these requirements: our genetics, our age, illness, the positions we assume doing our jobs. But by getting our muscles and joints into the best condition and by learning and practising some simple rules, we can make huge improvements that for many people are life changing.

Applied Pilates – how can we help?

One size does not fit all. Every individual arrives with different postural issues and these cannot be corrected by giving everyone a generic “pilates routine”. This is why Applied Pilates is different.

During your initial assessment and your subsequent exercise sessions we are continually assessing your posture both at rest and during movement. This tells us which of your muscle groups need strengthening, which muscles need to be more flexible and how mobile your major joints are, and from this we develop your personal Applied Pilates routine. Applying the right exercises will strengthen your postural muscles, improve flexibility of tight muscles, return balance to muscles on each side of your spine and improve range of motion in your joints. As you become more familiar with the exercises you will learn what it feels like to be in “good posture” and how to consciously self-adjust. Continued practice leads to unconscious adjustment, when good posture becomes a habit. It’s no different to how you learn to drive a car, with regular practice you move from consciously changing the gears to doing it unconsciously while holding a conversation.

Osteolates – how can we help?

Osteolates soft tissue treatment techniques can prepare the muscles so they are able to respond to and maximise the benefits of doing the right Applied Pilates exercises. During a posture improvement programme it is essential for us to get the correct balance between flexibility and strengthening to achieve stability at each major joint. For example tight hamstrings or over-flexible hamstrings can both result in pelvic instability and back pain, and trying to stretch tight hamstrings inappropriately will also lead to back problems. Osteolates provides a controlled way to resolve muscle, tendon and ligament issues that become apparent as your exercise programme progresses. We have found over the years that clients who combine Applied Pilates exercises with occasional Osteolates treatments improve more quickly.

Other advice we provide for you

We can help you to understand your current posture and what good posture looks and feels like, the cause of your postural issues, your daily activities that are likely to make it worse, how to manage pain caused by poor posture and how to stop it getting worse.