Important to this line of work is posture. Posture is the way we hold our bodies consciously or unconsciously; it is our overall body position. It is not just our bodily position when we stand to attention, but whether we are slouched or hunched, and whether years of doing that has left us with rounded shoulders and a curved or kyphotic upper spine. It manifests in how balanced our bodily weight is between our two feet, the levelness of our hips, the additional curves in our spine and position of our shoulders.
Posture is the relationship between different body parts, their anatomical arrangement and how well or not they fit together. A good posture indicates good alignment or congruence of certain body parts, especially the joints of the body. Poor posture is generally acknowledged as causing musculo-skeletal pain, joint restriction and general discomfort.
Our postures hold the history of our traumas, injuries, emotions, how we feel about ourselves and whether we are confident or anxious. They also reflect our vocations; and whether our jobs are sedentary or active. Due to the plasticity of our bodies over time our bodies mould to the positions we hold the most – whether through vocation, recreation, pathological, physiological, environmental or social causes. Our bodies correctly stacked align in what is called a ‘plumb line’, which is an imaginary vertical line drawn through the body’s centre of gravity, passing just anterior to the 2nd sacral vertebrae. In Structural Integration, postural analysis is done in comparison to this line, to determine the amount of ‘order’ in a person’s body. People are analyzed from the side with the line passing from the ear, down to the shoulder, to the mid hip, through the knee and to the mid ankle.
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