NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT POSTURE

We are constantly being shown what perfect posture is, and are told that this is the goal for our clients. That any type of difference than what's shown in the books is considered a "dysfunction" (ouch...a dysfunction?! Really?!) Isn't it ironic that we are told what perfect posture is, but I have yet to see, and ran into someone who actually has seen it. How is this any different than spending yeeears trying to achieve the aesthetics that we see on social media that we know is filtered??

In the military, standing at attention in formation would be along the lines of perfect posture. If you ever had to stand at attention for more than a few minutes for a ceremony, or formation, you know it is not comfortable. Shoulders rolled back, back straight, neck moving back to align with with back, chin up, arms pin straight down, stiff as a board, with knees SLIGHTLY bent. I remember standing at attention as the Commander would walk to the front to give us our morning briefing, and I couldn't wait for him to say "at ease" so I could relax. It would really suck whenever the Commander forgot that we we've been at attention for almost 10 minutes...ugh..

And I wonder how functional would the ideal posture be if no one has it? If you think about it, if we all had the perfect posture, we'd all be moving almost robot-like, and how functional is that really!? we need to be able to bring our shoulders forward to reach for things, to type, to pick up stuff, we always have our arms in front of us for a reason. It would be really annoying having to move our entire body to just type, oppose to just moving our arms forward. In sports like jujitsu, and snowboarding for example, we need to flex/round our spine to get more power, landing, avoid injury, and technique. Other sports like gymnastics, keep a straight spine for aesthetics. You actually have to TRAIN to land with a straight spine, because naturally we flex it so we don't get hurt.

How we hold ourselves in regards to posture is a combination of our culture, society and how we each live. I wouldn't consider someone's adaptation of their lifestyle a "dysfunction".
Our bone structure, in terms of length, width, how it's positioned, etc is not all the same for everyone. So by default, not everyone will look and move the exact same. Why is that so bad?

Compensation is not automatically a BAD thing. Think about it, if you ever cut your thumb while cutting food, it's pretty nice being able to have the rest of your fingers, and the other hand help out a little more in lieu of your cut thumb. Okay maybe that wasn't the best example, but hopefully you got the idea, lol. Another example of postural compensation being an AWESOME thing are the Paralympic Games! Because of compensation, these athletes are able to still compete at an elite level with their disability. The body adapts and becomes very strong, and is able to give that person ability to still do what they love, and to be self sufficient.

It's unreasonable to nit-pick every little thing. If it can't be fixed and it's not causing them any pain, there's no need to have them stand there while you're essentially body shaming them. Why tell clients these "dysfunctions" are "such a problem" and now they have a perception that they're so messed up and they have to see a chiro, massage therapist, doctor, PT, whomever for the rest of their life every 2 weeks to attempt to fix something that can't be 100% fixed... what a scam, not cool bro. Just cause something looks different than what the book says, doesn't automatically mean it needs to be fixed.

Tanya Crooks

ThumbWorks Sports Massage, 1224 Mangrove Avenue, Chico, CA, 95926