Body alignment therapy — also referred to as Egoscue or postural alignment therapy –consists of the proper management of your posture to avoid joint injuries, pains and unwanted shape. Imbibing the right body alignment therapy or posture would help you stay fit and will discourage muscle-tissues and bone breakages. Body alignment looks at the way you move, sit and stand. A majority of body alignment assessment show great dearth in body form.
It has been proved that adopting the proper body alignment therapy or postural alignment therapy can help you limit the amount of kyphosis (that is the forward curve of the upper back). Kyphosis is the curve of the upper back which is caused by broken bones in the spine. Studies has also shown that most chronic injuries and pains are as a result of the gradual drop of your posture therapy. Most of this imbalances only get corrected by surgeries, exercises, stretches, braces, and other treatment measures. If you don’t want to suffer muscle or joint tissue pain, or you are already having pains, this article will help you identify the best way to handle the cause of your pain.
Postures to Avoid for a Proper Body Alignment
There are certain postures you must strive to avoid if you want to maintain and keep a fit and healthy body. Most of these postures are injurious to your bone and will give you bad shape. You are therefore advised to adopt proper warm up sessions.
Some of the postures to avoid include:
- Twisting your spine until it get strained
- Do not bend forward from the waist
- Keeping a collapsed or slumped head forward posture
- Try as much as possible to avoid anything that will demand you reach far. Example, collecting an object placed way above your stretch limit.
- Also avoid twisting your trunk and bending forward when having cough, or while sneezing, lifting or vacuuming
Exercises Inconsistent with Proper Body Alignment Therapy
There are certain common warm up sessions and exercises which have been discovered to be very harmful for the body. To maintain a fit and well-shaped body, you should always adopt the right body alignment posture or Egoscue.
A list of these exercises include the following:
Exercises Requiring You to Bend Over from Your Waist
We’ve noted earlier that you should avoid activities that make you bend over from your waist. This is very important if you have osteoporosis or broken bones in the spine. These exercise activities include-
- Abdominal or stomach crunches; and
Exercises That Demands Bending or Twisting Often
We also advised you earlier that you need to avoid or modify activities which may cause to bend or twist often. To this end, to maintain a good body image and posture, we advise you to avoid or modify your posture when performing exercises such as Pilates, golf, yoga and tennis. These exercises high consist of much bending and twisting. These motions have great impact on the spine.
You must note that although the spine is attributed to be one of the toughest bones in the body, bending and twisting it regularly will cause severe damages, such as bone breakages and twisting. This may lead to kyphosis — that is the forward curve of the upper back.
Incessant bending and twisting when performing the above listed exercises places much pressure on the spinal cord and increases the possibility of breaking or twisting a bone in the spine. It is therefore advised that you endeavour to keep your back flat at all times.
Some Interesting Body Alignment Therapy
1. Sitting Postures
- Do you know the right sitting postures? When you are sitting in a chair, endeavour to maintain a relaxed posture. The right sitting posture is keeping your hips and knees at the same level as shown in the diagram above. Your feet should be placed flat on the floor.
- Having taken care of your lower body, you should also adopt the right posture for your upper body. The inward curve to your lower back should be a natural curve. Slating it mechanically just to get a bit more comfortable will only change your natural bone structure, therefore increasing the chances of a hunched frame – a hunched back sort of. Also make sure you maintain a tall and upright back.
- If you are sitting on a soft couch or chair or in bucket seats, we advise you to support your lower back with a pillow or a rolled up towel.
- Whenever you want to stand up from a chair, you are advised to drag forth your hips to the front of the chair, and stand up using your leg muscles as the main pulling force.
- Imbibe the culture of utilising the head rest while driving. The head rest, apart from providing comfort also has the benefit of giving some optimal conditioning and treatment to your neck region.
- It is a bad body alignment therapy to bend full-down, hunch or slump through your upper back when wearing or pulling off your shoes or when drying or watching your feet. The best body alignment therapy is placing one leg on a leveller, footstool, box or even on your other leg and leaning forward at the hips to attend to your feet. We advise that you learn the culture of maintaining the natural curve of the lower back and keeping a straight upper back.
- If you are going to be seated for a long time, get an object to rest your legs, Example a footrest or footstool.
- Leaning, hunching or slumping over when reading is improper body alignment. You are advised to place your study or reading material on a desk, slab, table or on your lap.
- After sitting for a long stretch of time, you should consider performing some Agile 8 exercises.
2. Body Alignment Therapy Tips for Standing Posture
- When stand, keep your head high, chin in and shoulder blades pinches together.
- Keep the natural arch of your lower back as you flatten your abdomen by slowly dragging it in.
- Do not look at your feet when walking. Face right ahead.
- If you will stand for a long, place one foot up on a footstool or on other elevated objects.
3. Proper Body Alignment when Climbing Stairs
- Stair climbing can be a very good exercise for building your bone density. Except where your doctor advice otherwise, this exercise routine can help you develop your leg and lower body structure and health.
- When going up or down the stairs, ensure you are faced forward, head high, chin in, with your abdomen softly pulled in and your shoulder blades slightly pinched together.
- Your feet should be pointed ahead not to a side. Likewise, your knees should be faced forward.
- It is wrong to put one foot directly in front of the other while climbing or descending the stairs. The right alignment is keeping your feet a few inches apart.
- You should also hold the rail for safety while going up or down the stairs. However, avoid pulling yourself up by the railing.
- You should be careful going downstairs as a fail could be severely damaging.
4. Body Alignment Therapy for Bending and Turning
- Whenever you want to bend or turn, ensure your feet is placed flat and the distance between feet is about shoulder-width apart from one another.
- Position your upper arms to touch your ribs on both angles, unless you are using the other hand for balance.
- When bending ensure your back is straight and your shoulder blades are pinched together.
- It is wrong to bend at the waist. Bending at the waist put your back into a curvy position which may cause spinal bone breakages. The best body alignment therapy here is to only bend at the knees and hips.
- In the same light, bending at your waist when brushing your teeth or washing the dishes is wrong. Always bend at the knees and hips with a straight back.
- You should move your feet with your body when changing direction. Endeavour not to twist your spine when bending or turning.
5. Egoscue For Lifting and Carrying
- Carry light weight weighing 10 pounds or less. Don’t lift heavy weight unless it is recommended by your fitness expert.
- Don’t bend fully at the waist to carry an object off the floor. If it is a heavy object, bending in such a way that makes your back parallel to the ground will put pressure on your back which may lead to spinal bone breakages. The proper posture is to kneel on one knee, and place one hand on a table stable or chair (for support if you need it) as you lift the object.
- Carry the piece/object close to your body at waist level. Gradually pull your abdomen in to support your back and breathe out when you are lifting an object or straightening up.
- As the you lift the object and your body begin to respond to the weight, keep breathing. Holding your breath at this point may be harmful.
6. Postural Alignment Therapy for Pushing and Pulling
- When you sweep, mop or rake, your feet should be set apart with one leg places in front of the other leg. To avoid twisting as you do this activities, try to focus on the work.
7. Egoscue for Getting into Bed, Lying Down and Getting Out of Bedlying down & getting to bed
Getting into Bed
- Sit on the side of the bed
- Lean onto the bed as you support your body with both hands.
- Your kneels should be bent and your arms should rested in front of you as shown in the diagram above. Then roll onto your back in one gentle motion.
- As you lay, pull your abdomen in while you roll so that you do not get to twist.
- Your toes, knees and nose must be faced in the same direction.
- Avoid lifting your head and upper back when you are completely laid. This may lead to spinal bone breakages.
Lying Down and Getting Out of Bed
- The ideal number of pillows to use while lying down is two. You use one between your knees and the other under your head. This will help maintain the alignment of the spine, and will give you extra comfort.
- Do the same when lying on your back.
- Avoid folding the pillow or using extra pillows to brace your head and upper back. Doing this will make your upper back rounded, which may lead to spinal bone breakages.
- You have to reverse the steps when getting out of bed.
Since the wrong body alignment therapy, postural alignment therapy or egoscue can cause kyphosis — that is the forward curve of the upper back, it is advised that you adopt the right posture today to avoid pain and strain in the joints. Also endeavour to have body alignment assessment periodically to ensure your body is in its right frame.
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