I posted a link on the facebook page a little while ago about the great article on Katy Says regarding posture and the alignment of your pelvis. I thought it might be good to expand here with regards to what I’m seeing/wanting to do with it.
Often when talking to a new client about their posture they will feel that it’s ok, that they don’t slouch etc. Yet when you get away from thinking about slouching/hunched posture and look at how the shoulder/hip/knee line up it’s quite obvious that it isn’t fine at all, just as Katy points out in the article. There’s nothing particularly relaxed and it’s all very much as though they are standing to attention. If we forget about whether the pelvis is level with regards to the ground and look at it’s position in respect to the femur you can see that it’s actually ok, that is not to say that this position is good just that relative to the femur around which it rotates it is reasonably level.
So given that on the one hand the pelvis is in alignment but on the other it appears not to be and in the over all picture there are a number of issues to address, what can we do? First off simply softening the knees can have a big impact as it will change the angle of the femur and over time allow the pelvis to rotate back towards a neutral position. This will take time as the person learns to adopt the soft knees approach though will be quicker if they also combine this with engaging the pelvic floor and consciously bringing the pelvis back. On top of this if they combine the previous two with a lengthening of the spine, I like to think of straightening up as I breathe in as this seems to give more of a vertical lift, then they have a package that will allow them to work on their posture.
All of the above is good but will be a slow process that needs to be practised regularly and this is where the massage therapist can help things along. With most of us there is, in broad terms, a downward pull in the fascia of the front of our bodies and a more upwards pull through the fascia in our backs. In the first instance we want to work up the superficial and deep layers of fascia in the front of the body and down the back which will aid in attaining the soft knees mentioned earlier. Around the pelvis itself there are a number of other things likely to be going on that would need to be looked at as well as simply the apparent anterior tilt of the pelvis. The inominate bones are likely to have a posterior tilt on one side and an anterior tilt on the other which will affect the the tissue of the hamstrings, obliques, hip flexors amongst others. These require the direction of the work to be a little different depending on which side they are on. On the side of the anterior tilt the hamstrings are like to be “long” and tight, the hip flexors “short” and tight and the obliques pulled anteriorly. In each of these the direction of specific work would be opposite to the direction of pull whilst on the opposite side the direction would be reversed.
Whilst there are many other things occurring within the body to create the type of posture described above at least you can now start to get a picture of some of what is happening and what can be done to help alleviate it.