Q. Of what does a typical session consist of?

A. A first visit is usually 90mins-2 hours long. We will go over your health history and answer any questions you may have about postural alignment therapy. Your posture then will be assessed and you will be given  a 'menu' of alignment exercises to do. We will show you how to do the exercises correctly and you will do all the exercises here in the clinic so that you know exactly what to do. You will be given a copy of the exercises before you leave and another set will be emailed to you. Follow-up goals and a follow-up appointment will be set before you leave. Follow-up visits are usually 1 hour and involve posture assessment and a new "menu" of exercises which, again, you will do at the clinic.

Q. How many sessions will I need?

A. There are many variables that affect how many sessions you will need and it also depends on what your own personal goals are for the therapy. If you are just looking to become 'pain free' then that typically may take between 6 and 10 sessions. It may happen sooner; it could be longer. If your goal is not just to become pain free but to have a body that is properly aligned and is without physical restriction well into the older years, then this may take a longer commitment. Much also depends on how far your body is out of alignment to begin with, how active you are and how much time you are willing to commit to consistently doing the exercises.

Q. How often will I need to attend therapy?

A. We will set up a schedule that works for you, but typically the second visit is one week after the first one. Other visits are generally spaced at 2 week intervals to begin with, then 3-4 weeks apart. Recently Posture Alignment Specialists are finding that posture alignment and pain levels are improved more quickly by having visits more closely spaced than they were originally.We work with each client to develop a schedule that meets their particular needs and constraints.

Q. How soon can I expect a reduction in my pain/symptoms?

A. There are many variables involved in the timing of becoming pain free. We expect you to look and feel better after your first session and every session thereafter. Some people feel totally pain free after their first session; others feel a reduction in their pain. Others report that they feel "looser", "more balanced" or even "springy"!

Q. What sort of time commitment do I have to make to do the exercises?

A. We will work with you to figure out a program of exercises that fit into your schedule. If you can only spare 20 minutes then that is what we will do. Doing the exercises consistently is key to the success of postural alignment therapy as the effect of the exercises is cumulative. Typically a "menu" of exercise is 30-40 minutes long with an occasional longer exercise. The more frequently the exercises are done the more progress is made. A person doing the exercises 6 or 7 days a week is going to see much better and faster results than one doing them 3-4 times per week.Generally a client begins to feel the improvement in their body and that feeling of life pain free motivates them to continue the daily exercises. A body in alignment has more energy than one that is not.

Q. Do I need to buy anything else for postural alignment therapy?

A. No, most of the exercises can be done using things you already have at home. Having said that, some clients prefer to purchase foam blocks and a slant board such as we use in our home-clinic. We do not sell these, but they can be easily purchased online. Click on our "Links" page to find a source.

Q. I have already had surgery on my (blank). Can postural alignment therapy still help me?

A. Yes, most definitely yes. Most likely the root cause of your pain/surgery i.e. postural misalignment, has never been addressed. If a knee is replaced or vertebrae fused because of a slipped disc, without the posture being re-aligned then the misalignment will only cause pressure on another part of the body. It is not unusual for such persons to go on to then have further surgeries and other joint replacements. Even if you have had surgery, postural alignment therapy can still improve your postural alignment and can prevent the need for further surgeries.

Q. What is the difference between postural alignment therapy and other treatment options such as osteopathy and chiropractic?

A. Basically these other treatment options involve the therapist manually adjusting your body to put it back into alignment. With postural alignment therapy we teach you what to do for you to put your own body back into alignment. With the exercises that you will be given, your own muscles will be strengthened to move the joints back into their proper place. Because your own muscles have been strengthened through the exercises, the joints will then stay there as the correct muscles are now strong enough to hold the joints in place. In this method, you are in control and you do the work yourself. The Posture Alignment Specialist is there to determine which exercises will be most appropriate for you and to teach you the correct way to do them. Many clients coming to postural alignment therapy are persons who have 'tried everything' and come without much expectations and a measure of skepticism. One of the jobs of the Posture Alignment Specialist is to show them how their pain is connected to their posture and to give them hope.

Q. Is anyone too old/young to be helped by postural alignment therapy?

A. Postural alignment therapy has been successfully used for persons of all ages. Exercises can be adapted to whatever limitations a client may have. For example, many of our exercises can be adapted to be done sitting in a chair for those unable to get down to and up from the floor. With our modern lifestyles that are involving less and less motion we are seeing major postural misalignment at younger and younger ages.

Q. Why do athletes use postural alignment therapy?

A. It is surprising how many professional athletes have bodies that are out of proper postural alignment. This sets them at great risk for sports injuries. The motto of postural alignment therapy is, "straighten first, then strengthen". A body that is  properly aligned not only reduces risk of sports injuries, but also will perform much better. Professional athletes in many fields are currently using postural alignment therapy to help them achieve peak performance. These include football player Brian Urlacher, golfer Jack Nicklaus and surfer Bethany Hamilton.

Q. I did the posture self-assessment on your "Posture Assessment" page and can see that my posture is out of alignment, but I am not in pain. Does the misalignment really matter?

A. While you may never have pain from your misalignment, any joints that are out of alignment are constantly under more pressure- think "wear and tear" - than they were designed to be. As a result, the joints can wear out, or bone spurs or similar conditons can develop, resulting in surgeries and other treatments. In addition to this, a body that is out of alignment is more prone to falling; joints that are misaligned are a much greater risk of being seriously damaged in such a fall. The stress on bones that are out of alignment is much greater during a fall than if those same bones were properly aligned. In their correct positions joints can withstand an amazing amount of pressure. Overall, a properly aligned body is a much more functional body that will be able to live a more active, and pain free lifestyle than one that is not. As we age, if our bodies are properly aligned, we can avoid the physical limitations that many older persons suffer from. Aside from this, correct posture affects many other body systems; shoulders that are rounded forward compromise the respiratory system; a head that is out of alignment can affect sinus drainage contributing to chronic sinus infections. The body functions as a unit and if one part is not doing what it was designed to do, then all other systems are affected. Postural alignment therapy contributes to overall, optimal health.

Q. I cannot afford to see a Postural Alignment Specialist. Is there anything else I can do?

A. Yes, while seeing a Postural Alignment Specialist in person is the best option, the least expensive option is to read Pete Egoscue's best-selling book Pain Free. Many local libraries carry this book or it can easily and inexpensively be ordered online. There are several "menus" of exercises offered in this book - you can choose a suitable menu according to where your pain is.