Posture Can Be Easy

When I meet someone for the first time, and talk with them about how Rolfing helps people improve their posture, I can see them adjusting and shifting their bodies before my eyes—standing or sitting more upright, shoulders cranked back, head pulled back and up, and getting that spine as straight as possible.  I can feel myself getting tense all over my body as I watch them demonstrate what they, and I, too, have been taught “good” or “correct” posture is supposed to look like.

Who hasn’t been told as a child to “stand up straight!” or “get your shoulders back!” or “don’t slouch!”….Ay caramba!, as my dad would say!  Honestly, this can just create more problems the more someone tries to force “good” posture, creating more strain, pain, exhaustion and frustration when they can’t seem to maintain it all the time.

For those that don’t know me, I am a lover of Jane Austen. While I am so glad as a woman in the 21st century, we are not expected to wear corsets, boy, they sure would help with maintaining good posture….broken ribs and constricted breathing aside, of course.  Let’s hope that isn’t a fashion trend that comes back into style!  But I digress…..

You may not have ever heard this, but the goal with good or correct posture is for it to be effortless! Yes, EFFORTLESS!  And people, it is possible!  No corset needed!

My Experience With Rolfing

When I first starting Rolfing sessions, there wasn’t a particular issue I was wanting to address, other than the general tension in my neck and upper back that at times was a burning or electric sensation.  I was in a very busy and difficult time of life working a full-time corporate job and going to school 20+ hours a week at night.  I sought out Rolfing as a way to treat and take care of myself during a stressful year.

I got great relief with every session.  Headaches disappearing, workouts in the gym and pool came easier because I was moving better, I didn’t feel the need to self-adjust my back or neck, and much more.  But I began to notice something happening more subtly, and yet, not so subtly.  I was carrying myself differently–no longer was it comfortable to stand with one hip kicked out to the side.  I sat differently at work–my body wanted to be upright, and it was growing more uncomfortable to sit slouched in my chair.  I walked differently–shoulders back and down, arms swinging at my side.  I felt light, airy, fluid.  On another level, the stresses of my days were more easily managed, and I firmly believe this is because I was feeling better in my body.  I had more resource in my body to keep all the plates spinning with work, school, and life.

What I love the most was that my posture was changing!  I could feel it.  To share a quote from Dr. Ida Rolf…

“This is the gospel of Rolfing: When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through. Then, spontaneously, the body heals itself.”

I truly believe this is what was happening in my body–it was working more effectively and efficiently, and better yet, my body wanted to stay in this new place of good posture.

Why Do I Have Poor Posture?

So why doesn’t it come more easily for us to have that ideal posture day in and day out?  Could be several reasons, but the number one reason is poor postural habits.  These poor habits could have been modeled for us as children.  Over time with the patterns we create in our bodies (sitting slouched in front of a computer screen 10 hours a day, as an example), misalignments begin to occur in our structure and tissue structures become restricted.  The longer we continue in these patterns, the more they alter our bodies, and the harder they are to unwind.  Additionally, poor posture can lead to more serious issues in the body with disease and dysfunction.

I am sure no one reading this can relate to the picture down below…..come on now, most of us are guilty of assuming this ever-so-attractive posture at home or work.

skeleton at computer

In looking at this picture you can imagine the headaches, neck aches, and back aches they might be experiencing. As well, the compression on their lungs and organs.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this person wears a mouth guard at night because of the tension in their jaw, and the clenching and grinding they experience.   I am going to go out on a limb and conjecture that they feel pretty crummy overall–physically and emotionally.  The longer they continues in the habit of this posture, it will become their posture when driving, standing, walking, etc.  Eventually sitting up or standing straight with good posture will be uncomfortable and even painful.

There is Good News….Rolfing helps with Posture!

There is hope for you!  The encouraging thing is that the body can continue to be shaped and molded by influencing the connective tissues in the body with Rolfing.  It might take longer to unwind patterns that have been chronic over decades, but improvements can be made to bring greater ease to the body. Rolfing helps to remove tissue restrictions, free up joints, reeducate movement in the body, bring effortless posture and movement to the body, raise better body awareness with clients, and so much more.

Yes, it is important to be conscientious of our posture and self-correct when we start to look like the person above at the computer.  But in doing this, if you notice you seem to be working extra hard to have good posture and muscles start to angrily cramp up on you between your shoulder blades leaving you exhausted, you might need some help to get you back on track with good posture.  This is where Rolfing comes in to help create greater ease and help your shoulder blades rest easily back and down on your rib cage, your spine, neck, and shoulders to easily rest on top of your pelvis, and your head to float on top of your shoulders.

To make a long story short, if you are starting to feel like this….

it might be time to give Rolfing a try!