Sample Exercises

You may be wondering what sort of exercises are involved in postural alignment therapy. For the most part they are  easy to do and are gentle exercises and passive stretches that are held for a period of time ranging from 1-10 minutes. A few exercises are longer. As they are done each day, you will be truly amazed at how quickly your body responds to them and how noticeable the changes are. Even within the first session with the Postural Alignment Specialist there are observable changes in posture: hips level out; feet move towards their proper alignment; heads move back towards the vertical line that they are supposed to be in. That is not to say that the body is going to stay in this new position permanently from then on. It takes time for the correct muscles to build up their strength and for tight muscles to relax, but the daily discipline of the exercises will pay off over time and the joints will stay where they were designed to be.The motivation and reward will be a decrease in pain and the enjoyment of life pain free. A body in alignment is able to do things that it may not have done for many years. Much that is attributed to 'getting older' is, in fact, from misalignment.

The following 3 exercises are just a sample of the exercises that we use at the clinic. We have a base of many hundreds of exercises that we select from when we tailor a 'menu' of exercises for each client. Each 'menu' is specific for the postural misalignment that we see on each individual client. Having said that, there are many exercises that are beneficial for almost anyone as many of us share similar postural imbalances in our bodies.

Before you do these exercises, take a moment to tune in to your body. In a standing position, close your eyes and think about how your weight is distributed on your feet. Does it feel more on one foot than the other? Is the weight more in the heels or balls of the feet? Is it the same on both feet, or different? Does the weight seem to be more on the outside edge of the foot, or the inside edge? And again, are both feet the same, or different? You may even want to write down what you notice at this point as you will do this again once you have completed the exercises. Also, assess your pain level on a scale of 0-10, with 0 being no pain and 10 being unbearable.

As you do the exercises, it is important to pay close attention to how you are aligning your body. The key to these exercises being effective is not how much effort you exert or your strength, but how correctly you are aligning yourself. Many of the exercises require you to stand or sit or lie with your feet and knees hip width apart. This refers to the hip joints, not the outside edge of your body. There needs to be a gap of about 4-5 inches between your knees and between your feet. On the standing exercises the outside edges of the feet need to be lined up straight ahead. The mid-line of the foot is actually between the second and third toes. This position may make you feel pigeon-toed at first; this is correct alignment for the feet and it may take a little while to get used to it. As you do the exercises, concentrate on relaxing your abdominal muscles. They will tend to want to tighten up to help you and need to be reminded to relax so that other 'dormant' muscles can be wakened up to do the job that they were designed to do. Finally, and also of great importance, focus on taking slow and steady deep breaths. You should see your abdomen rise and fall as you breathe.

After you do the following 3 exercises take a few moments to tune in again to how you feel. Do the same checks that you did before the exercises. Notice what has changed. Remember, however, that while you should feel a difference from just these 3 simple exercises, they alone will not fix your posture issues for the long term. To reach the goal of being pain free, you will need to do a full program of exercises consistently over a period of time. At "A Life Pain Free" we are here to assist you in achieving that goal.