Modern Energy Crisis
Dealing with Postural Energy Drains
For the body to sail smoothly through life, it must have the ability to repair, regulate and protect itself. Humans possess a complex self-regulatory mechanism that allows for adjustments to environmental stresses while maintaining homeostasis. These compensatory mechanisms work to keep the body in balance regardless of what works upon it, or what happens around it.
Although innate compensation is obviously a much-needed protective device for repairing worn out parts and maintaining bodily homeostasis, its role in maintaining posture is often confusing.
It has long been known that psychological factors play a large part in creating distorted postures through selective tightening of specific muscle groups. The word “uptight” is an expression commonly used to denote that feeling of tightness, stiffness and fatigue. Poor posture is always perpetuated as tight muscles become tighter—weak muscles become weaker—and central nervous system functioning becomes disrupted. If not properly assessed and corrected, this commonly seen postural progression may lead to agonizing, self-perpetuating pain/spasm/pain cycles.
Most clients entering my office are compensated in one way or another. In the early stages, the individual with poor posture appears to function normally despite some occasional aches and pains. But muscle contraction requires energy and postural imbalances drain energy in proportion to the magnitude of the imbalance. This is wasted energy, energy unavailable for its original purposes. Energy drains dramatically affect the limbic system—the highest cortical level regulating muscle tone. As whole-body tension builds, therapists begin to see energy-draining symptoms reflected in conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and digestive or hormonal disorders.
Re-educating the body
The longer you have put up with the pain the more likely you are to become a chronic and recurrent sufferer. Many find relief by combining ‘hands-on’ bodywork with corrective exercise therapies such as physical therapy, pilates, and yoga.
The therapeutic goal is to help identify and correct the source of dysfunction, while reeducating the body in the best ways to sit, stand, walk and move.
Addressing dysfunctional patterns through bodywork is a powerful preventive measure that helps keep unnecessary tension and strain from accumulating in our motor systems, while inviting us to move with greater ease and marked potential.