One of the most important things about body mechanics and posture is alignment. Alignment refers to how the head, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles relate and line up with each other. Proper alignment of the body puts less stress on the spine and helps you have good posture. It also protects the joints of the body from wear and tear, and assists in maintainin a balanced use of muscles and other soft tissues.

Many of our physical problems are caused by the long term misalignment, misuse or lack of use of our body. Especially sitting for long periods each day impacts on our physical health. On the other hand, knowing how to move, sit and stand properly can help you stay active, painfree and able to perform well in physical activity. Proper posture can also help to avoid the development of kyphosis, scoliosis or other abnormal formations of the spine.

The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore regardless of your age, sex or physical ability. However, the importance of good posture and correct spine function and body alignment can never be over emphasized. Harm might occur during strenous but poorly executed exercise sessions. Poor mechanics or overuse can lead to injuries, and in certain cases when a chronic condition is present, some exercises can do more harm than good. Maintaining proper alignment in both activity and standing or sitting, is crucial. For example a person with osteoporosis or history of broken bones in the spine should avoid exercises that involve bending over from the waist. Even practises like Pilates and yoga that aim to teach alignment might need to be modified to avoid putting stress in the spine or other joints if a physical condition is present. If you are new to one of these practices, it is also crucial to be patient and go slow. This doesn't mean that you are not doing enough. Less is more, and is highly beneficial to become aware of your alignment, position in space, and muscle activation. This will be more mentally rather than physically exhausting, and it doesn't mean that you are not exercising because you are not sweatening.

When I work with my clients, I intend to assist them understand why their body is hurting, or why it won't allow them to do the things they want to do, and then work with them to make the changes necessary to reach their goals. I am here to help you change the way you use your body by initially creating an awareness of the things you are doing that are currently overloading structures (probably because of misalignment) and creating pain. In individuals with scoliosis or other spinal misalignments in particular, I can help them to understand how to alter the tone and behavior of certain muscles, so that they have the tools to stretch/move/stay still in ways that are optimal for their spine and reduce pain and tension. By empowering my clients with the knowledge, movement and awareness necessary to make the changes they envision, I am simply a facilitator in their own healing process as they transform to live with a healthier, more active body. The greatest success occurs when they are an active participant in their exercise program and I do expect their commitment.

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A web site about living in a body, fitness education, movement and transformation through Pilates, Nia, and Qigong, as well as Scoliosis treatment and Bodywork practices.

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