Continuing on in our series The Three Biggest Mistakes you Can Make with Postural Therapy, today we'll be discussing Mistake #2.
The intent of this series is to help people who have done postural therapy identify, address and correct what I believe are the 3 most common errors made in postural therapy, and help you grow from them.
If you've missed our previous posts on the subject, be sure to get completely caught up by visiting:
- The Three Biggest Mistakes you can Make with Postural Therapy
- Mistake #1 with Postural Therapy
- 4 Ways to Correct Mistake #1 with Postural Therapy
Mistake #2 with Posture Alignment Therapy
2. You did one or two menus with a Posture Alignment Specialist (Egoscue University Certified) and found symptom relief weeks, months (or most often) years ago then stuck with that menu without ever changing it or going back in to finish your postural therapy progression
Admit it. How many of you started the process of postural therapy and did one or two menus, got pain relief and effectively thought "I'm better, I don't need to go back?"
I see a lot of clients who have made this error. It happens all the time.
Because simply, postural therapy WORKS!
Postural Therapy is very successful corrective exercise program that helps people overcome physical pain and limitations. It's attractive because of its simple, yet profoundly common sense apporach to treating the human body as a unit.
When you successfully partner with a Certified PAS who can connect with your learning style, anlyze your postural compensations and joint dysfunctions, and write an effective postural therapy menu, you WILL experience pain relief right away.
You will see and feel positive immediate physical changes as a result of your personal effort in your menus. But, YOU the client have the responsibility of making that happen. And you get to decide at what point you want to follow through to.
And therin, lies the trap. Postural therapy is a PROCESS. It's the process that sometimes get's lost in translation.
At it's core, Postural Therapy is a Results Oriented Program Designed to:
- Identify anatomical dysfunction and limitations
- Restore and maintain the body's full range of motion
- Provide a method for overcoming physical limitations
- Develop optimum levels of physical and mental wellness
- Promote well-being through empowering clients
- Enhance performance of professional and recreational athletes (source Egoscue University)
Along your pain relief healing path one of two things happened. Either your Certified Posture Alignment Specialist:
- DID NOT adequately communicate and/or ensure that you fully understood the process of how postural therapy is applied/progressed (see above) OR,
- DID communicate this to you fully, but you felt better after a few menus and it was GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU at the time. As a result YOU CHOSE not to follow-through on the therapy process all the way to completion.
Either way, a mistake was made and you got caught in the chronic pain cycle once again. You effectively did enough menus to alleviate symptoms by partially restoring your posture, but made a classic error of not finishing it to completion.
I can't tell you the number of times I've had clients call and make an appointment a year or more after doing one or two menus. They are surprised, frustrated, disappointed, and sometimes bewildered that pain has returned.
You can imagine how challenging it is when I have to ask clients hard questions like:
- How many menus have you done?
- Why did you stop your therapy process?
- What was your understanding of where you were in your postural therapy process?
- What was your body telling you before the pain came back on?
- What do you believe about your ability to heal and be well? Did that change for the better since you did your menus?
- Are you emotionally reacting to your body versus stopping to listen and address the signals your body is giving you?
- Do you feel that you truly accompished a pain free life and living?
- Are you willing to accept responsibility and move forward without making the same error again?
In my opinion, the most beautiful thing about postural therapy is that ultimately it's all about PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.
If an error was made on the end of the Certified PAS, and the process wasn't communicated properly, unfortunately, I can't fix that for you. Because I can't eliminate it as one possibility for error the subject has to be brought up. It is a possibility.
All I can say to this point is that here at Pain Free Posture MN, I diligently work to communicate the Guiding Principles and process of therapy concepts to my own clients. And as an Adjunct Instructor of The Egoscue University, I can tell you that it is a universal component of what we teach and train our seminar students to communicate to their clients.
However, most frequently, the error comes down to the client and his or her personal choices to follow through or not.
As you can see from the list above, the absence of pain is only a small part of the process. If you chose to only do a menu or two because it restored your posture enough to alleviate your physical pain and that was good enough for you, then, what can I say? You're a grown up.
Certified Posture Alignment Specialists go into our profession because we are dedicated to helping our clients achieve a pain free live and living! It's our desire and mission to partner with out clients through to completion of their postural therapy.
Unfortunately, not everyone client follows through. Even the founder of The Egoscue Method has run into this common postural therapy error with his clients. In his most recent book, Pete Egoscue writes:
"My mistake was to regard the absence of pain as the principal requirement. By eliminating pain, I assumed people would continue to eagerly work on recovering their musculoskeletal system to full function because it felt good. I underestimated the power of the thinking mind to remain locked in crisis mode." [Pain Free Living: The Egoscue Method For Strength, Harmony, and Happiness p. 11]
So really the big question is:
"If you started the postural therapy process and only did a menu or two, where and why did you choose to stop progressing on this list?"
Clearly if you've made mistake number two with postural therapy, you can now see that the entire process of postural therapy was not finished to completion. Chronic pain doesn't just happen overnight. It's the accumulation of poor posture, and repetetivie muscular and joint imbalances taken through a lifetime of activities of daily living.
Yes, you will feel better after a few menus, BUT it's very important to understand that although your pain is reduced, it will take more than one or two menus to truly unravel and correct this accumulation of muscle and joint imbalances to truly restore your posture and become balanced in mind-body-and-spirit.
Mistakes happen. It's what you choose to do with what you've learned from it that makes a difference. Call up your Certified PAS and get back at it. I promise your body will thank you!