The Way We Carry Ourselves

What is posture?
What is posture if not a collection of functional attitudes?

What is posture but the way someone goes about mundane tasks: like taking out the rubbish, answering the phone or using an eftpos machine?

As a movement therapist I ask myself daily how can posture be broken into “chewable” bits?  How can a person can be taught, guided through a maze of experiences tainted by emotions and personal perceptions of environment and themselves?

The challenge is to translate posture into an attainable gift that warrants autonomy and comprehension under varied circumstances of a fast changing reality.

What paths lead to the complex result of achieving adequate posture, One that is comfortable and effortless? And would posture not be considered a reflexion of an inner existence?

I was born in the 70’s, soon after LSD’s Peace and Love decade.  Being hippy was trendy.  Body was on the flow of “letting go”, yoga and enlightenment.

During the 80’s, when I was growing up,  Body became robotic.  I witnessed a search for “solidity” in repetitive gym routines.

Attempting to “break free”, Body became stretched by Souchard’s “RPG”.  Ida Rolfing’s fascial re-structuring released connections between struggling participants.  I witnessed a lot of posterior chain stretching, fascial release and injury!

In the 90s, through Bertazzo, I came to know the work of Mèzieres and Godelieve.  It was then that I had my first contact with osteopathy (Phillipe Campignon).

Through Bertazzo I came to appreciate the work of Schroth in scoliosis and GDS Muscular Chains.

I have come across Kabat and Bobath during my Physio degree.  Bertazzo just validated that.

I have gone through my share of massage diplomas, and I am trained in Pilates too.

Today I find in Bertazzo’s method the confluence of all the best parts of my movement queries through the decades.

In Bertazzo’s, the different parts become one whole.

Lately, in Bertazzo’s online classes, I have been reflecting that Posture is a dynamic concept, described by multiple functional activities.

Posture is the breathing result of body segments aligning mass, in regards to gravity, respecting an axis, determined by reflexes and embryology.

Chains of muscles, through reciprocal innervation, finely tune the description of movement in space, and I finally find rhythm!

What freedom!  Body is no longer stationary, as it draws elliptical actions in many planes at once.  Like a dance party!

Muscles tighten bones in torsional force, draining lymph.  Torsions and oppositions create healthy bones, promoting venous return and joint congruence.

Teaching Posture in 2020 is making space for the person to find axis and elliptical movement in themselves.  It is pushing boundaries to find opposing forces, arches and domes in the “fight against gravity”.

The pandemic challenges the role of movement therapists. Hands on contact has been a great portion of treatments for as far as I can remember.

For me, a lover of all things massage!, there is forever space for guiding touch in the arduous task of teaching posture.  But I must admit that my findings are that effective learning occurs when the client is fully independent of the therapists touch.

Teaching posture is like being on the fighters corner when the bells go on.  It is pushing the person to face their challenges, holding their hand but only so far as to show them the way.  Then letting go.

Structural learning comes from mirroring, internalising sensations, visualising, understanding.  I can only teach my client what I myself know and experience in my body.

Posture is promptitude. And I must feel it in my bones so I can teach it.

Posture is not to be stuck but to be ready to take a fall, it is only a matter of time after all!

Posture is motor readiness, heightened senses.

Posture is to be present HERE and NOW.