Monday, July 18, 2011

An Introduction to Postural Patterning

We're excited to have physiotherapist Nik Curry at Healium - and blogging for us today. Nik, who offers a holistic version of physiotherapy he calls Postural Patterning, is completing his first book on the subject. More news on that when it becomes available!

In a world where we have extraordinary experiences each day, it's easy to miss the ordinary things. We can order 19 varieties of coffee, have real-time conversations around the world from matchbox-sized phones or palm-held computers. We can Google a picture of the house a friend just rented in Hastings or Hawaii. But do we see ourselves?

Postural Patterning is about what you normally do each day, and the way you do it.

We're all individuals. We all have pretty much the same bodies to work with, but the way we use our bodies is unique to us. We all have our own postural pattern.

There are similarities and trends with other people. Family members, sports people, tall people, left-handers all have more similarities to each other than to people outside their groups.

But we each have our own story, our own way of doing things, and we should know what our way of defying gravity and standing up is.

Self-awareness is a desired goal for anyone on the mind-body-spirit journey. In some ways, self-awareness of the body is the simplest form to achieve. Learning the language of your body happens in the immediate moment. Your body is with you all day, you can check in any time you like - it's where you live!

In the same way that most of us were never taught to stand or walk or sit, we weren't taught what the feedback from our body means. Sure, we know that pain is bad and comfort is good - or is it?

Pain messages arrive because something is overloaded, badly supported or damaged. We need to know about this, but is it important or can we ignore it?

Comfort means that things are supported and resting. But are they supported in the right places, by the right structures, or are they being supported in ways that reinforce problems?

In Postural Patterning there are three steps to self-awareness and self-management:

1. Learning to listen to the language of your body.

2. Knowing what the messages from your body mean.

3. Knowing what to do about these messages.

Initially, we look at what your body is telling you, usually where it hurts and how it is affecting your life. Then we have a look at what you're doing and the way you're doing it normally. We compare that "normality" to the ideal way of using that body part or your whole body, which allows us to see and understand the differences.

Then we find a pathway to change.

It's a process, not an event. It happens in the everyday way we do things and works with postural patterning keys. These keys are awarenesses that create change through your entire postural system and encourage balanced, optimal use of your body.

No one else can fix you or heal you or cure you. You have to do that yourself, but other people can help you and support you and teach you.

Postural Patterning gives you insight to how your body is doing its job. It helps you see the best ways of using your body for efficiency and resolving problems. Although you still have to do the work, it guides you through the process of developing self-awareness and balancing to gain control of your physical body and self-actualization.

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