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When "Stand Up Straight" hurts

Do you find that when you try to “stand up straight” your low back, neck, or someplace else become more uncomfortable?

Many of us have an idea about what it means to “stand up straight” that may actually exacerbate any postural imbalances/pain/issues we may be experiencing. Sometimes we experience physical restrictions/weaknesses that keep us from finding an ease-filled upright posture. Sometimes it is a combination of these.

One common postural pattern is for someone to stand with the top of the pelvic area tilted forward (anteriorly), and slightly downward. This brings the pelvis out of alignment with the shoulder girdle.

One postural variation we may see with this anterior pelvic tilt is a person who has then shifted their shoulder girdle forward and perhaps also a bit downward, unconsciously aiming to re-align shoulder girdle and pelvis. In this variation, when this person then tries to bring their shoulder girdle into an “upright’ stance, their pelvis will ( usually) remain tilted to the front, which can leave the area between shoulder blades and pubic bone “confused” about placement and relationship. This person may then keep trying to press their shoulder girdle further and further to the back, which creates more and more pressure/pulling/”confusion” in a number of areas, including the low back and neck.

Another common variation with an anterior pelvic tilt is for someone to bring their shoulder girdle backward, and slightly angling upward/ceilingward, to counterbalance the forward tilt of the pelvis.

Both of these variations (and others as well!) can create a lot of pressure/pulling/”confusion” about the placement and relationship of areas in the body, while in motion or in rest.

There are other postural patterns people have that create/ contribute to pain and restricted use of/ease in different areas throughout the body.

Sometimes these patterns can be traced to the feet or ankles, or to other specific body areas, sometimes they can be a result of muscular, ligamentous, bone, or other types of imbalances, or a result of habits created after an injury, or as a result of repetitive motion/sitting/typing patterns, or even as a result of emotional protection.

As for “standing up straight” in a way that is comfortable:

Sometimes a person cannot access that because of restrictions/weaknesses in the body- in these instances, helping to release restrictions and bring balance to the body will be helpful.

Sometimes a person cannot access a comfortable, upright, stance because of preconceived ideas about how to achieve “standing up straight”- in these instances, bringing to conscious awareness the patterning that is occurring, the patterning that is dysfunctional, and the patterning that is desirable, will offer this person the most opportunity for relief and increasing well-being.

Bodywork Beyond Massage’s Therapeutic Bodywork can be of great help.

In addition, Bodywork Beyond Massage’s Movement Education can also be of great help- guiding people to a greater awareness of and familiarity with their “Inner Landscape” offers them more “tools” to use to create change from the inside out, rather than superficial change.

Bodywork Beyond Massage’s Therapeutic Bodywork and Movement Education are both based in principles of energy and structure, and aim to offer the client the opportunity, tools, and path forward to bring their body into a place of greater ease and functionality, and increasing well-being.

Every person responds differently to therapeutic bodywork/movement education. I cannot guarantee how someone will respond. I cannot promise any specific result.

I can tell you that the work that I do encompasses many aspects of how/why a person has come to a place of postural imbalance and strain, and as a result, my work has good results.

“...In both my bodywork practice and my movement education work, I focus on how the patterns of energy and weight transfer and use travel through our body structure, in motion and in rest. This means I look at patterns of energy transfer and energy use, and also patterns of weight transfer and weight use, and how these patterns have created pathways in the body. These pathways can help or hinder us as we seek to increase our well -being and find our inner balance. The work that I do strives to strengthen patterns that help us, and to release patterns that hinder us….”

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