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Rolling out PTX Therapy – a new way to access posture alignment therapy January 21, 2015

Posted by jeffrooney in Muscle and Joint Pain, Pain Relief, Posture Alignment Theray.
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PostureprofilesWell it takes a new year to get to things sometimes. I am happy to announce my collaboration with a new effort in the promotion of posture alignment therapy that is aimed at getting it out of the closet! Welcome to PTX Therapy!

This is a project that was years in the making and specifically the brainchild of John Lemme and his cohort in the enterprise Carol Gamboa. All of us who have studied to be posture therapists just plain want to see this out there more. We know first hand, in my case over a ten year span, of witnessing countless people overcome many painful maladies with their own efforts with the guidance of this therapy option.

This effort with PTX has two components. One is already familiar with those who have embraced posture alignment therapy from therapists trained under the Egoscue Method umbrella. This is one on one therapy where the therapist guides a client to reach their goals in overcoming muscle and joint pain to resume an active life.

The other and new component is called PTX Virtual Therapy and this is a very inexpensive web based platform that many individuals and companies are embracing as a way to access this unique approach to resolving musculoskeletal problems with individualized exercise therapy. It treats the whole body, gets at the underlying structural cause of pain and allows for simple updating of condition and getting new routines til goals are met.

I invite you to try it for yourself. Give it a go and let me know how it works for you. As always I am available for one on one sessions at my office, your home or by Skype. Now you have new options for getting aligned, out of pain and ready to embrace this new year!

The Stories Feet Can Tell! November 20, 2013

Posted by jeffrooney in Egoscue Method, Foot pain, Gait, Posture Alignment Therapy.
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TalkingFeetI have been offering a series of workshops lately using themes from the book Pain Free by Pete Egoscue. It is an excellent primer on The Egoscue Method he developed to address all manner of chronic pain issues ultimately caused by structural mis-alignments and body wide  imbalances.

The most recent was called “The Stories Feet Can Tell” and revolved around the chapters on feet and ankle problems.

I started off the workshop with asking everyone attending to share a specific foot or ankle condition they have or had and why they attended. I found it amazing that so many conditions would be present from just a small number of people(6 participants) regarding a relative small area of the human body.

The stories feet can tell indeed. Here was the line up:
Plantar fasciitis
Corns
Bunions
Hammer Toes
Ankle sprain
Pain on the dorsal(top) side of the foot
Flat feet
Excessive foot abduction (feet in duck footed position)
Bone spurs
Distorted toe positions
Foot numbness

We started off simply and had everyone just stand up in bare feet and close their eyes. I asked where do you feel the weight at your feet? Is it symmetrical or heavier to one side? How about at each individual foot? Is the weight on the ball, heel or one edge of the foot? Then people walked and tuned in again.

Only one out of the group felt relative balance from side to side but she also felt differences in where weight was bearing from foot to foot.

The main premise of all these conditions, as Pete explains well in his book, is that to the greatest degree, these maladies stem from improper weight bearing at the feet and also an improper foot strike sequencing during walking, hiking and so on. Further, that very often these problems at the feet are telling a larger story of body wide imbalances that become reflected in abnormal gait and load bearing.

The easiest example to explore is bunions. Instead of a full use of the foot in heel-ball-toe off the weight is bearing on the inside of the foot and toeing off over the big toe. And this outward positioning of the foot (or feet if it is bilateral) as one walks has its origin in a mis-aligned hip joint position.

Many of the attendees talked of trying to get help via medical attention and how that approach leads to separating the foot from the biodynamics of the rest of the body. For example, I have seen many times where the collapsing of the foot arches comes from way above when the knees are collapsing inward such that now the weight bearing at the feet and ankles forces a falling of the arches and a falling inward of the ankles.

After testing the weight bearing in bare feet we had everyone place their hands behind their head and pull their elbows back and then walk. Almost everyone noticed a dramatic difference in the weight at their feet. Several were able to notice more evenness from side to side or a change in how the weight distributed at the foot (more even and using more of the foot than just one edge). So again this illustrates how the whole body and even spine alignment can affect the way our feet function.

PFbook

The bulk of the time in the session was devoted to using the foot strike routine in the foot chapter for all manner of foot pain conditions and then for one person with an ankle sprain the routine in the ankle chapter. It was great fun exploring how these feet of ours can get the brunt of our body’s imbalances.

So it seems we could write not just a story but a whole book by the tales feet can tell! Do the  balance test for yourself and let me know your results!

Ten Easy Ways to Check Your Posture Alignment August 20, 2013

Posted by jeffrooney in Egoscue Method, Posture, Posture Alignment Therapy, The Human Body.
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You may be new to this idea but it is quite likely that if you have muscle or joint pain the ultimate cause is your posture alignment. This is the first in a series of posts I will make about this subject. My idea here is to help to facilitate your ability to become the driving force in evaluating posture and knowing the steps to be taken to change it and hence resolve the source of your pains or physical limitations.

So first things first. You get to  use your own eyes, and perhaps those of a friend or partner to help. So often when people come to see me for a first appointment for posture alignment therapy they are surprised to see from the evaluation pictures things they could see by  looking in a full length mirror! Knowing what to look for really helps. What I am looking for are asymmetries and distortions from the common standing anatomical posture of the human form(see below). We are not talking brain surgery here. Two eyeballs and a reasonably functioning brain will suffice.

Freddie

So slip off your shoes, wear a pair of shorts and a tank top (guys can slip off your shirt, females can use a sports bra if you like).  Lets walk through ten easy steps at determining your posture. Take a piece of paper and jot down your findings.

1 – So just stand up, gently march in place. Stop and look down at your feet. What are they doing? Are they both pointing in the same direction, is one off to the side, etc.? Does one foot seem more forward than the other

2 – Still in the same standing position. Close your eyes and take note which foot bears more weight. Secondly, where in each foot do you feel the weight, at the forefoot or heel. Don’t think about it just jot down your immediate impression.

3 – Next take a look at your knees. Are you bowl legged or knock kneed? Are the knee caps pointing in the same direction (imagine your cars headlamps – they should be pointing straight ahead like that). When looking down does one knee look more forward than the other?

4 – Now take your thumbs and place them both on the very front edge of your “hip bones” the boney protrusions at the very front of your pelvis. You may have to dig around for them but I am talking about the very front not the top edge. In any case it is like you are hugging your hips with thumbs facing forward. Now look gently down. Do you see one side of the pelvis going more forward than the other? Now look in the mirror. Is one hip higher? If you have sciatica this could be a big part of the reason.

5 – Now look at your hands. Do you see the back of the hands forward, are they different from side to side? This is a major indicator of shoulder position. Is one hand more forward and also is one lower than the other when you look in the mirror?

6 – Now looking at the shoulders, are they level? Is one more forward relative to the other? Are you able to lift the arms up toward the ears easily and evenly from side to side? If not is it less easy on the side that is more rounded forward?

7 – You still with me?! Now if you noted that you felt more weight on one side at your feet versus the other now take a look at your upper body. Is the upper body leaning more to that side? If you have foot, ankle, knee or hip problems a big component of the solution is getting the upper body more symmetrical so that the load bearing is more even to the lower extremities.

8 – Now lets note what the head is doing. Most of us in our culture have a distinct forward head that is not our birthright. To check this have your friend view you from the side or simply stand with your heels, butt and shoulders to the wall. Now take note of what effort it takes to position the back of the head to the wall. If when you do that the head seems to point your eyes upward your head is significantly more forward.

9 – Next pull out a chair and gently get yourself on the floor. Put both legs up on the chair with knees hip width apart. Scoot your butt right up to the edge of the chair so that your hips and knees are at 90 degrees. Here we can clue into a number of things. One, what is your immediate feel to your backside, is it even on the floor or different from side to side? If you noted earlier that one side of the pelvis was more forward than the other side does this correlate. Next, is your low back or lumbar spine have an arch or is it flat? This will likely tell you that your pelvis is either tipping too far forward or tipping back and is not in its neutral position. This deviation can be at the root of many problems.

10 – Lastly, lets get you up and walking. When you walk are the feet doing the same thing? Just walk your normal pace, taking note of your sense of balance. Now take your hands and put behind your neck and pull your elbows back. Walk again. Any difference in how you feel. Is it easier or harder, better or worse balance? If it seems to give you more balance, why do think that might be?

Well there you have it folks. You just went through some of the paces I use to evaluate clients posture in a session. I do more than this but I want you to see that it is straight forward and common sense oriented. Any asymmetries noted (and they may surely add up and have consequence) are part of the big picture of your body’s stature and the framework for how your body functions or doesn’t function. They will tell the story of your body and why things are going awry. At bottom this could well be the explanation for hard to treat conditions that have been illusive to the medical and even alternative medical community. It may be hard to fathom nowadays but in many ways taking note of what a persons knee cap is doing is a window into the status of a hip joint dysfunction, without X-rays and MRIs.

Let me know what your findings are and if this helps to connect the dots between whatever your pain condition is and what your body is doing. Now if it looks pretty disturbing don’t jump off a cliff, just get ready to do some work to change it! Muscles move the bones. So if they are putting them in the wrong place the right physical input can put them in the right place, if not ideally, at least to the point of giving you the best possible functioning body so that you can enjoy your life.

Stay tuned for more on posture as the source of many common pain conditions, limitations and effects on athletic performance.

10 Workouts From Mark Sisson – Short and Sharp! March 25, 2013

Posted by jeffrooney in Uncategorized.
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Here is a link to a recent post at Mark’s Daily Apple. It focuses on 10 different high intensity workouts that can be completed in 10 minutes. The caveat I would add to these is to pay attention to the posture part of the equation. If you have questions about this contact me or leave a comment. Everyone is going to present some alignment deviation that may pose problems with a high intensity endeavor. So I augment the approach he is advocating to include the posture component. So for example if one has rounded shoulders and forward head it is a good idea to do a short “corrective posture” preliminary to the routines he is talking about. Another example might be if your legs are not symmetrical in functioning there are some things that could be done prior to give more balance to the physical structure and hence gain more from the workouts and reinforce postural balance. That being said, I by and large like a lot of his ideas expressed in this post.

10 Workouts in 10 Minutes from Mark’s Daily Apple

 

Perils of Forward Head Posture February 13, 2013

Posted by jeffrooney in Alternative health, Posture, Posture Alignment Therapy.
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Perils of Forward Head Posture

Something I have been doing for quite a while is a google alert for the word “posture”. So every other day I get an email in my inbox that has all the articles or links to something regarding posture. This helps me see where things are going in the human population with posture alignment issues. Here is one from today’s entry on Forward Head Posture

See if it applies to you! If so, let me know if I can help you get started doing something about it.

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