Adapting to life through Posture
If you check out the above web site–you will see the work of Bill Dan. A San Francisco artist that has a knack for balancing different shapes and sizes of rocks into an amazing display of “finding your center of gravity”.
This visual geometry of how you can show one segment finding it’s place of balance in relation to another segment makes me think of how we might organize our posture. This sensory feedback of weight is critical. It is not the only or possibly major feedback, but for this post it is the focus. Also we are summating all the feedbacks dynamically in some integrated fashion. Our maladaptive postures may actually be quite efficient for balancing ourselves at the moment. Like the rocks in the picture–it is amazing we don’t fall over–or at least aren’t rushing to the Emergency Room more often.
It seems that we have posture defined statically and posture as in interim in our movement sequences. In either case, we have a postural default that many of us keep coming back to. (I know this is on interpretation of an observation, but continuing…). When we evaluate someone or ourselves, we discover both movement and postural changes in and of the structure and it’s relationships. Say we have done a fair job and make some educated guesses on how to “improve” the system. We look good for awhile–moments to hours and possibly (generously) for several days. Usually in a short time our posture is back in that amazing rock balancing act.
Is this return to our “default” posture because we haven’t done the right exercise or done enough of it or what? I’m sure this question becomes important. I’m learning more all the time of what I don’t know (which is actually expanding faster as I know more–such an oddity is this inverse relationship of knowing less as you know more) But forget the digression and let’s return to something solid like posture and rocks.
This postural alignment is maybe more fluid and interactive than just balancing out the mechanics of the musculoskeletal system. The interactive nervous system must play a significant role here. I’m wondering about how important should we be looking at emphasizing the sensory input of center of mass. Working to highlight the awareness of this input and exercising to train the shifts of these different sensations may be significant for helping to change the “default” posture. Of course doing all the re-balancing that “corrective” strategies gives is important. But the emphasis of “what one is sensing proprioceptively and kinesthetically becomes important also. How important and how to utilize this sensory training is one of my interests.
I think that correcting posture and then improving movement are great strategies. I also find that spending time having a person develop the sensitivity to recognize say a balanced posture that allows for effective movement is extremely important. Often I will have the person move in and out of their postural adaptations. Spending time in each position until they “feel” and can more readily recognize the different sensations and adaptive postural changes. I wonder if you are working in these ways. I’m sure many are including this but clinically we might approach it differently and spend different amounts of time, etc.