Common Mistakes with Posture Alignment Therapy: Did You Read?

A few days ago I posted a blog about what I believe are The 3 Biggest Mistakes you can make when doing Posture Alignment Therapy, which is that you worked out of one of Pete Egoscue books  (The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion, Pain Free, etc) without reading the first three chapters that explain the linkage between your posture and pain.

If this first mistake describes you, let me first start off with saying "it's alright".  No one is going to go to jail over this.  Today I'd like to talk about and expand upon my first point.  


Mistake #1 with Posture Alignment Therapy:  Did You Read? 

  • Missed the powerful book dedication and motivating introduction which discusses personal RESPONSIBILITY.  
  • Skipped the chapters that explain the link between posture and pain (who isn't distracted by photos of the exercises?)  
  • Gone straight to the chapter about where they feel the most pain (which is the symptom) not the condition 
  • Start doing the exercises, but not necessarily in the order given (if you didn't read the previous chapters you definitely missed this important piece of information)
  • Stopped doing the exercises as soon as you felt better (classic boo-boo and an easy error to make.  Why keep doing corrective exercise if your symptom disappears and you feel better?)
  • Tried the exercises, and perhaps experienced problems getting into the positions or had difficulty doing the movements.  (Guess what?  You missed the part about it's the body [the posture] going into the exercise that's the problem, not the exercise in of itself).
  1. HOW you got out of muscle and joint balance in the first place.  It's refreshing in my opinion to learn that it's not your fault.  Heaven knows that if no one has ever introduced the idea that your position is related to your pain, it is very easy to become entrapped in the chronic-pain cycle
  1. WHAT Posture Alignment Therapy is capable of helping you achieve.   And most importantly
  1. You CAN heal and recover, but it will take some time to re-train your body to learn better postural habits and positions.

You certainly aren't the first person or the last who will do this.  My goal here is to simply share the common errors I see people who are in chronic pain and looking to postural therapy for help make.

It's been my experience as a Corrective Exercise and Certified Posture Alignment Specialist that many people who try postural therapy on their own first start off with a copy of Pete Egoscue's best selling book Pain Free, or The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion.

It's interesting to me how often individuals will skip out on reading the instruction manual.  Heaven knows I'm guilty of this myself!  However, the introduction chapters which help the individual in pain better understand the connection between position of the body (your posture as it stands and currently performs) in relationship to your symptom (pain) are absolutely vital if you are going to successfully accomplish your goal of chronic muscle and joint pain relief.  

It's so powerful, that I personally review these chapters a couple of times/year, AND I also recommend that all my private clients read this information before they begin sessions with me!

But let's assume that you picked up the book and made mistake number one.  If you've skipped reading the introduction then you:

 

"This book is about responsibility.

It's about you, and about the answer to a question I hear almost every day in my clinic:  

"How did I get in this condition?"

~ Pete Egoscue [The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion p. xvii]


It is vital that when you begin posture alignment therapy programming that you understand 

 

That's GREAT!  Let's face it.  If you're in pain, you're on the internet searching for help.  This book really can help people get out of chronic muscle and joint pain BUT..... 


I can honestly tell you that I have new clients come into my studio here all the time who have skipped reading the first few chapters.  And what happens in as a result of any of these scenarios?  You blame the the book, the method, or the concept without a truly informed decision.


Posture Alignment Therapy gets a bad name.

   

Now hang on there cowboy!  That is completely unfair, because so much information was missed!  In the search for a quick fix, the big idea was missed.  It's going to take a bit of responsibility, time and effort.


"We’re living in a microwave society,

but living right ....... is a Crock-Pot concept."

~ Dave Ramsey


Resist the urge to have someone fix you.  Resist the urge to look for a quick fix.  The quick fix is in my opinion, the exact reason why chronic pain "is a significant public health problem that costs society at least $560-$635 billion annually, an amount equal to about $2,000.00 for everyone living in the U.S. This includes the total incremental cost of health care due to pain from ranging between $261 to $300 billion and $297-$336 billion due to lost productivity (based on days of work missed, hours of work lost, and lower wages)."[1]

You must be personally responsible for the results you get with postural therapy.  The greater your personal involvement, the greater your success.  


Do not be in a hurry.  It took weeks/month/years to get into the mess, it is not right to expect an instant result especially if you haven't made that initial investment to understand the bigger question.


Turn off the TV. Turn off the internet. Turn off your smart phone and iPod. Your Twitter feed can wait.  I'm serious.  


Stop. Read the first few chapters. Read slowly.  Read it out loud if you have to. Read it again. Understand it. 

 

It is crucial to fight the 'microwave' mentality. Knowing what Posture Alignment Therapy is - and what you're going into - will greatly increase your likelihood of success.     


To read the dedication, introduction and first 3 chapters is to understand

 

The best part about making mistakes is that we can learn from them and start-over!  Please reach out if you have questions or concerns.  

Resources:

1.   AAPM Facts and Figures on Pain


Stock Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Head Photo Credit:  Melissa Thome Photography

Author:  Deb Preachuk is the founder/owner of Pain Free Posture MN.  A CF-L1 Trainer, Certified Foundation Training & STOTT Pilates Instructor, Corrective Exercise & Posture Alignment Specialist, Deb has over 25 years experience in the health and wellness field.  

You can follow her on Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn, or subscribe to her YouTubePinterest or Instagram pages.