Massage Therapy and Pulling yourself back upright

In my experience, part of the most challenging part in a clients rehab is to pull their bodies out of the position that has triggered dysfunction and pain for the client. As an example, in my earlier posts, I’ve discussed the aspect of the head forward and shoulder forward position that I find a lot of clients have found themselves in. This can be a cause of everything from arm nerve impingement, headaches, upper and lower back pain, shoulder pain, breathing and digestive difficulties to name a few. It is with great irony that this forward head and shoulder position are often the effect of a Protective Nervous System Response. It’s a Reptilian Response that we are all given to respond to stress. As we are all bombarded with stress, this position of very difficult to pull out of. A lot of sitting, desk work, computer work are also big contributors to this position.

So how does a guy or girl pull themselves out this position of comfort that seems to contribute to all of the above symptoms?

There needs to be a reward for the body to make these changes, as simply doing it because you should isn’t enough to make a permanent change.

My last entry in my Blog talks about making changes to knee position, shoulder position and head position in relation to your neck are the physical changes but creating those changes to they reap a benefit for the body is the big mystery. What I tell my clients is to attach the changes to the discomfort that they feel. For example, if someone is working at a computer and they start to feel pain, make the pain a beacon to take notice and change any bad posture. Be aware of the reduced strain and reduction of pain. Doing this more and more will eventually spill over into being posture aware even when you are not in pain. As a Massage Therapist, am I aware of my posture a lot of time? Absolutely not. But it has helped me to follow my advice that I give to other people. Very often, we become very busy and become preoccupied with what we are doing and it is unrealistic to expect someone to be aware of their posture when they are super busy at work.

For myself, part of my increased awareness of my own posture, has come from observing the posture of my clients. So, I have included that in my homecare. I have my clients watch others during their day and try to get a sense of the strain that other people put on their bodies. For some reason, it helps them be aware of their own posture. As humans, we are better at watching others than watching ourselves.

What do you think? Email me at

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