Archive for June, 2012

Austin Rolfing: Compensation

Monday, June 25th, 2012

The fact that your body compensates is incredibly important.  If it didn’t compensate every time you got a new injury you’d have a hard time getting much done in your life.  Whenever you hurt or damage tissue in your body, that tissue often times can’t perform its normal function as efficiently as it normally can.  So, instead of your body just giving up and telling you to just lie down while the tissue is repaired it finds someone else to do the job while it repairs itself.  Adjacent muscles work harder, bones rotate to adjust to the change in bio-mechanics, ligaments & nerves stretch as necessary and soon enough you’re off on your way again.

 

The damaged tissue does repair itself while it gets the vacation from working.  This all sounds like a great plan, except somewhere along the way we run into a problem.  Your body isn’t so great at knowing that it can let go of the compensation.  You see, you’ve created a new pattern.  Your body is essentially lazy and is always trying to find the most efficient way to do any task.  It WANTS to save energy.  So you’ve created a new pattern and your body has had time to get good at this new pattern and wants to stick with it.  If you try to change that pattern it’s going to take WORK, and the body inherently doesn’t want to work harder.  So what’s the problem with that you say?  Well, this new pattern isn’t how your body was designed to function.  You’ve got muscles doing jobs they weren’t designed to do and you’ve got bones moving in directions that they weren’t supposed to be moving.  If your alignment is off on your car, your tires wear down faster.  If you don’t have the proper alignment and balance around your joints and through your body, things wear down faster.  Your body can handle the changes over a short period of time, but over an extended period of time things will wear down.

 

In My Rolfing Practice in Austin, TX, I evaluate your entire structure.  I look at all of the compensations that are going on in your body to get an idea of where the original source of the issue is coming from, which is most often nowhere near where you feel the pain.  Rolfing is set up to manipulate your soft tissue (fascia, nerves, organs, muscles, etc.) to bring better alignment and proper mechanics back to your body so that it functions at its optimal capacity and the pain goes away.  In short, Rolfing is very effective and undoing years of abuse to your body and the resulting compensation patterns.

 

To learn more about what to expect during a Rolfing session, please Click Here.

Austin Rolfing: Improving Posture

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Is posture important? The answer to that questions is very clear….Yes and No. Not very clear was it. But it’s true, posture can be important in some cases and not so much in others. Let’s start off by taking a look at some of the ways that “good” posture can be helpful.

One of the ways that a healthy posture can be a good thing is that it means you’re fighting less against gravity. For example, if your head is properly positioned over your torso (your ears should line up with your mid shoulder as viewed from the side) then you entire structure gets to support the weight of your head. This allows the muscles in your neck to perform their designed tasks of stabilizing and mobilizing (i.e. turning, nodding, etc.). However, if your head is shifted out in front of your body it puts a lot of stress on the muscles in the back of your neck and shoulders to hold the weight of your head up while gravity pulls down on your head. This fatigues these neck and shoulder muscles as they weren’t designed to counterbalance the pull of gravity all day long. So they get tight from over-contracting all day long and they’re not freed up to help rotate and extend your neck and head as they were designed to do.

Posture, from a structural integration standpoint, can be an indicator that something is not right in the body. The postural imbalance might be coming from a usage imbalance, or an entrapped nerve that is not allowing a muscle to fire as it is supposed to, could be a genetic variable, etcetera. There are many ways that posture can be affected.

More important question to ask your self when looking at posture is why is the posture not “correct”? As well as, asking whether the poor posture has a potential to be harmful to the body over time. You can have great posture with pain and an ill-functioning body. In which case, the pain may be stemming from something on a deeper level like an entrapped nerve or an irritated organ. Conversely, it’s certainly possible to have poor posture and have a very efficient functioning body with no pain. What’s most common however is that if your posture is off, it’s a strong indicator that you have some type of compensation going on in your body that needs to be addressed so that your body can function at a more efficient level. As a Rolfer in Austin, I will review your posture and ask those bigger questions to find where the true source of the issue is coming from in the body.