Positive aspects of correct body alignment
- positive changes in tissue fluid dynamics
- relaxation of local and global muscle tissue
- positive and desirable changes in autonomic system tone
- reduced risk of injury
- increased energy levels
- faster recovery time from injury
- increase potential of full recovery from injury
- reduction and elimination of physical pain and discomfort
- reduction in the potential formation of trigger points and muscle imbalances
- prevention of repetitive strains and injuries
At Ananda Therapy, the postural alignment work begins with the initial assessment. The assessment identifies limitations and asymmetries in both posture and movement that may limit your well being and physical performance. Misalignment alters body mechanics, creating stress that can limit your physical well being and your ability to have a pain free body. If and when a muscle becomes inhibited or facilitated as a result of extended, undesirable posturing or repetitive movements, it can cause a distortion in posture extending up or down the entire kinetic chain. By changing the tension in one muscle or joint, the entire alignment of the body can be affected.
The importance of correct body alignment
Most individuals have some form of spinal or pelvic misalignment. Without proper alignment. A person is prone to:
- decreased energy levels
- higher risk of injury during sports or in everyday activities
- prolonged recovery time from injury or even prevention of full recovery
- increased risk of premature wear and tear of the various joints of the body ~ vertebrae/ hip/ shoulder etc
- physical pain and discomfort ~ headaches/ neck pain/ upper, mid and low back pain/ shoulder and arm pain/ pain radiating across the pelvic area/ pain anywhere in the lower part of the body, including upper thigh/ knees/ lower leg and ankles/ feet
- increased risk of muscle imbalances and the formation of trigger points
- eventual surgical interventions
The main causes of physical pain
- Muscle imbalances
- Over stimulation of the sympathetic aspect of the autonomic nervous system (ANS)
- Trigger points
- Poor nutrition
- Compression of the spine
- Misalignment of the spine and pelvis
Muscle imbalances occur when a muscle or group of muscles are lacking strength and/ or lack flexibility, compared to their partner muscles or opposing muscles. This puts on undue stress on certain muscles, as a compensation occurs within the body. This results in some muscles contracting more than they normally should, causing them to over work. Other muscles are put into a prolonged state of overstretch. Both of these cause an unnatural pull on the skeletal system, that in turn affects the posture and joints of the body. The muscle imbalances also contribute to the formation of trigger points.
Autonomic nervous system
The muscle tension and tone of the body is ultimately affected by imbalances in the autonomic nervous system. Techniques that address these imbalances and stimulate the parasympathetic aspect of the autonomic nervous system has a profound healing effect on the body, normalising the muscle tone and positively addressing postural imbalances.
A sacromere is a microscopic unit in the muscle fibre where contraction normally occurs. To make even the smallest movement, millions of sacromeres have to contract in the muscles involved in the movement. A trigger point occurs when these sacromeres are overstimulated and afterwards unable to let go of their contracted state. This results in a reduction of blood flow and reduced oxygen to the area. Trigger points can be either latent or active. Active trigger points cause pain and discomfort and usually refer pain, so the trigger point is often in an area that is in a different location to where the pain is actually felt. They are the cause of much unnecessary discomfort and can be treated effectively. Trigger points contribute to muscle imbalances and in turn, muscle imbalances can create trigger points. For maximum flexibility and efficiency of movement and to address acute and chronic pain, it is imperative that trigger points be addressed in an exercise or therapeutic program.
Negative stress or is one of the main contributors to most diseases. Dr Hans Seyle defined stress as "The non-specific response of the body to any demand placed upon it." If the stress has a negative impact on an individual, it is termed distress. Whether a stress becomes a distress largely depends on the person's interpretation of the situation faced as well as other structural, environmental and chemical factors. Distress has a massive negative affect on the healthy functioning of the physical body, affecting the nervous, circulatory, digestive, immune and endocrine systems of the body. Distress can contribute to the formation of trigger points and cause muscle imbalances in the muscloskeletal system. A proper therapeutic program came hugely help reduce the negative impact of stress and improve a person's ability to cope more effectively.
Eating foods that the body has a sensitivity to and consuming artificial sweeteners, flavourings and additives that do not support the well-being of the body can cause: inflammatory responses, lowered energy levels, changing mood and ability to focus, weight gain, increased LDL-cholesterol and acidifying the tissue of the body. Inflammatory responses in the gut can contribute to back pain and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A sensible nutrition food plan can greatly help with the above symptoms.
Compression of the spine
The narrowing of the space between the vertebrae can cause pressure on the discs and spinal nerves, resulting in pain and discomfort. The excess pressure on the spinal discs between the vertebrae can result in a bulging disc and in more serious cases, a herniation of the disc. Much of the narrowing can be caused by the presence of muscle imbalances and trigger points that contribute to an unnatural pull and torsion of the spine, thereby reducing the space between the vertebrae. Spinal stenosis can be exasperated also by the presence of muscle imbalances and trigger points and addressing them can be an important part of the treatment of spinal stenosis. Some people use inversion therapy as a means to help reduce the compression of the spine and find it helpful. However, inversion therapy alone does not fix muscle imbalances and resolve trigger points, so anyone who is using inversion therapy with find great benefit in treating muscle imbalances and trigger points.
Misalignment of the spine and pelvis
Proper alignment of the spine and pelvisis crucial for optimum levels of health, well-being and performance. The body can not be free of pain long-term and function correctly if the posture is out of balance. Specific assessment procedures and corrective bodywork and exercises are fundamental to a pain-free, healthy body.