The Guiding Principles of Postural Therapy®
The human body is designed to move. In order to replenish and maintain themselves, bones, muscles, and connective tissues all require the stimulation that movement provides. Without proper movement and stimulation, our bodies deteriorate and cease to function as they should. We have become increasingly dependent on modern transportation, appliances, and technology.
Consequently, we are no longer using our bodies in a way that maintains the skeleton and muscles as they were designed to be maintained. Even athletes are subject to limited motion when they train for a specific athletic endeavor at the expense of performing a balanced variety of activities.
As a result of limited activity, the musculoskeletal system is unable to naturally sustain itself. Bodies can learn to compromise, but not without consequences—sometimes-painful ones. Most people are using their bodies in a far more limited way than their ancestors did. Artificially limited movement leads to anatomical dysfunction, which is defined as any anatomical condition that inhibits normal development and mobility.
Lack of proper motion interferes with the body’s ability to perform, both physically and mentally. When the integrity of structural or postural muscles is compromised, the whole skeletal system is affected. The hip girdle changes its tilt, the back changes its curve, and the whole body begins to compensate, creating misalignments. These misalignments lead to abnormal wear and tear in the joints. After a time, misalignments can cause musculoskeletal breakdowns, injury, and pain. Misalignments also affect the performance of other body systems, including the cardiovascular, digestive, and respiratory systems.
Our bodies are designed very specifically, each system complimenting another. The internal organs are held and positioned within the body by proper alignment and movement of the musculoskeletal system. Anatomical dysfunction can change the position of these essential systems in relation to one another and in relation to gravity, thus altering their ability to do their jobs properly. These systems are dependent on motion. They function and interact best when we are off the couch and moving.
Postural therapy uses muscles to reposition the skeleton to its original functional design. Bones do what muscles tell them to do.
Egoscue practitioners assemble a series of exercises designed to reposition, strengthen, and stretch specific muscles to correct dysfunctions specific to an individual. These exercises make certain demands on the body that enable normal muscle function and interaction. This, in turn, realigns the body so that it can function normally and without pain.