You may have heard that a healthy posture can help alleviate different kinds of musculoskeletal pains. To achieve better alignment, we are often told to ‘sit up straight’, ‘pull your shoulders down’, and ‘lift your chest up’. However, have you ever wondered why these positions are so difficult to do, let alone maintain?
Whether your aches and pains are chronic or a result of an injury, they are most likely caused by a muscular imbalance. That is, there are some muscle groups working harder than others to keep you moving. Therefore, to achieve a healthy pain free posture, we just need to balance the work of the muscles. This is why assuming a different position, like, ‘sitting up straight’ doesn’t work in the long run. You are just replacing the old tension with new tension. In this blog, a first in a series on Pilates and posture, we are going to explore your own unique posture by creating balanced tension in your muscles.
Take a small ball, about the size of a tennis ball, but something that can bear the weight of your body. If you are familiar with the ‘trigger point ball’ at Beyond Basics, that would work well. Roll the ball with the bottom of your foot from the metatarsal to the heel. Press as hard as you can handle. Make note of where there is the most tension. Is it uniform throughout your foot? Do you feel more tension on the pinky toe side of your foot or the big toe side of your foot?
After massaging one foot, stand and compare it with the other. How does it differ? Can you feel the difference all the way up your leg? Roll forward and touch your toes. Do you feel a difference in your back or the back of your legs on each side? Now switch feet and repeat the exercise. Do this every day, make note of how your body responds, and let me know how it feels.