The Essential 4 Series: Various Methods for Good Posture II
Posted Oct 23 2008 6:05pm
In my last post, I said that I will talk to you about the Feldenkrais Method and Pilates next. There is a slight change in plan. This post, I will talk about the Feldenkrais Method and Chiropractic Medicine. Before I get on with "the show," I want to say a couple of things: 1. I have many plans for you (my readers, my friends, my family, my fellow humans). I have many plans for me. I foresee us creating a plan together one day. In the meantime, this is like a "practice for my practice." 2. Even though my blog is very personal, the time will come when I have to get more serious. That time will be soon. I will let you know when this change starts. I would love to be able to balance being personal and being more professional but it seems like that cannot happen if and when I'm ready to take on clients.
Aren't we glad that hasn't started yet? I sure am!! I think when I share a part of myself to you, it makes what you're reading easier to take in. It creates a connection. And no matter how professional one maybe, if there is no connection, especially when dealing with something personal like health (it is personal in the sense that it varies, depending on the individual ).
OK OK...enough with the sap happy talk...let's do this! :D
THE FELDENKRAIS METHOD
While the Alexander Technique teaches you to improve your posture in a seemingly mysterious way, The Feldenkrais Method seems similar in principle but differs in technique. The Feldenkrais Method retrains your nervous system so that your brain functions improve as well as posture, flexibility, movement and self-image. This method is very integrated with science (more specifically, neuroscience, psychology, and movement science) and is also a fantastic alternative to conventional physical therapy. Practioners of this Method not only claim that anyone of any age can benefit from this physically but it will also relieve "...emotional and physical habit patterns" as well as promoting "profound psychological and emotional growth."
The Feldenkrais Method does this in two ways: Awareness Through Movement and Functional Integration. Awareness Through Movement are a series of exercises that are guided verbally, which address "every area, joint and muscle group in the body, and all aspects of human functioning." These exercises "engages the intelligence of our nervous system to create the conditions for successful learning." Functional Integration is a more hands on approach. "Change and Improvement are achieved through the use of highly skilled direction and manipulation." It is this approach that is extremely beneficial for people with orthopedic and neurological problems, chronic tension and pain, and motor development problems in children.
Well, this sure sounds fantastic! I'm sure if I knew about this when I had my car accident and used this method instead of traditional Physical Therapy, I would have been healthier a lot sooner!
From what I have read and seen, I think this method is very fascinating. I like the fact that it works so well with children and they can help you regardless of age and regardless of the physical ailment. I have never tried this method of healing but I plan to. If you're in the New York Area and you're interested to learn more about the Feldenkrais Method, The Feldenkrais Institute of New York is located on 134 West 26th St., on the 2nd Fl. They have individual classes as well as group classes and workshops. What's really good is that the first class is FREE. For more information, please visit www.feldenkraisinstitute.com If you would like to check out if there is a Feldenkrais Practitioner in your area, do a search in Google for "Feldenkrais Practitioner in xyz (your area)."
In past posts about posture, I spoke about my shoulder. I found out about the full extent of my shoulder issues at my job. The building would have different things going on from time to time. On this day, they had the local chiropractor setup a couple of tables where you could get a free massage and use a machine to give you a very basic analysis of your posture. Now, I love FREE...it's one of the best words ever created. Plus, my shoulder was aching me for a while...I figured, "what the hay? It can't hurt." So I got the massage first...it was very nice and the guy went straight for my shoulder...I didn't even have to say anything. Then was the assessment with the doo hickey. So the chiropractor attached the doohickeythingamabobbin to me and realized that my shoulder was not the best. He asked that I come in to do a full analysis.
I went in and he ran a series of tests on me. When I got the results, I was floored, to say the least. My neck problems affected my shoulder. I didn't stand up straight at all (I kinda leaned to one side) and my head was about 4 degrees away from where it was supposed to be. Even my lower back was slightly affected.
Almost immediately, I started coming into my chiropractor's office...twice a week, on a 6 month plan. I got my full hour massage (pretty good but not necessary). Then I got my detailed plan on how we were going to fix this. My chiropractor was the one that explained to me that certain nerves in your spine correspond to a part of the body (and it's various afflictions). He gave me various stretches and different tips to help me out. He would also give me adjustments.
Before I go any further, I have to tell you something...when I first went for my adjustment, I asked the doctor sarcastically, "so....you're going to crack my back?" My chiropractor responded very quickly and curtly, "we do not crack anyone's back...that is a misnomer. Actually what we do is adjust the spine so that nitrogen gas releases from the vertebrae, releving tension in the nerves/disks. What you hear is not a 'crack' but a "pop" and sometimes when you adjust, you affect many disks and nerves so it might sound like a cracking noise." On any other day, I would have taken offense to how he said that to me, but I didn't. I figured it was his pet peeve to always hear that so I apologized and told him that I had no idea. He explained to me (with a smile) that a lot of people have that misunderstanding and it actually gives a slightly bad name to chiropractors...thinking about it, he was right. Anything with a "crack" in it (well except for your butt crack - LOL) seems painful. I know a lot of people who don't want to see a chiropractor because they don't want to get hurt. They think that cracks lead to breaks...and a broken anything in your body is not a good thing. If you have this train of thought, get it out of your mind. Chiropractic Medicine is great for fixing your spine as well as the rest of your body, indirectly.
Chiropractic Medicine is truly Holistic...no surgery nor drugs are used to heal your spine ( structure )/nervous system ( function...you'll hear these terms a lot from chiropractors). A lot of Chiropractors often give nutritional and exercise advice for an added benefit. Although you will probably see a chiropractor for physical reasons, most find that a lot of emotional issues are also managed when their spines are in proper alignment (due improvements to the nervous system). Chiropractic Medicine is rehabilitative and preventative, which means that even if you don't have any serious issues, you can use Chiropractic to maintain the spinal health that you do have. The best thing about Chiropractic Medicine is that, unlike the Alexander Technique and the Feldenkrais Method, Chiropractic Medicine can be paid for by your insurance carrier.
Unfortunately, my insurance carrier did not cover my former Chiropractor. However, what he has taught me in the short amount of time spent with him has been incredible. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have the decent posture I have today...even though Chiropractic Medicine doesn't aid me in maintaining my posture now (we'll get to what does in the next post), I would always recommend Chiropractic Medicine to anyone who has neck, shoulder, back, and leg issues.
There are many great Chiropractors in the New York Area. However, I'm only going to recommend one: my old Chiropractor, Dr. Gregory Shure. He really is a great Chiropractor who listens to you and can effectively communicate why things will (or will not) work for you. The environment in his office is very comfortable and relaxed and his staff is very professional and nice. Click on this link for more information on Dr. Shure and how Chiropractic Medicine works : http://www.madisonsquarechiropractic.com/
That's it for now. Next post, I'll discuss 2 of my favorite methods of attaining and maintaining great posture: Pilates and Yoga. A lot will be covered but since I'm so familiar with these methods they should be quick and easy (unless time is not on my side). If you have any questions about Chiropractic Medicine, click on the link and give Dr. Shure a call. If you have any comments or want to share your Chiropractic experience, please do so by writing a comment.
Until next time, stay strong, stay healthy, and fight dis-ease! :D