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Posture and Palintonicity

What is posture and how would you define it? What makes posture good or poor?Traditionally good posture is an idealized way to hold your body: Straight spine, shoulders back, head up, all centered along the mid-line. It is a static state rather than a dynamic one in which anything that deviates from the agreed up ideal is considered poor posture. But what if we began to look at posture as more of a movement rather than a state of being? What if good posture was moving your body through time and space and ideal posture was just a moment in time? How would that change things for you?

"The most common postural issue is loss of embodiment. You cannot make full use of your body as a perceptual instrument if your only awareness of your body takes place when you 1) feel pain, or 2) look in a mirror." -Mary Bond

In order to have good posture, you must be oriented towards the ground and be spatially aware of your body and it's surroundings. A fancy word for that type of bodily knowledge is proprioception. When we lack awareness in our bodies it can lead to clenched toes, tight shoulders, tension in the buttocks and hips. These tensions configure the body in ways that limit movement and expansion of the body resulting in that dreaded "poor posture."

We've redefined posture, but what is that other word and what does it have to do with anything?

Palintonity literally means "stretched back and forth." A more eloquent way of defining it is: the unity of opposition. It is one of the principles of Rolfing that means you cannot touch one part of the body without touching the others: Front-back, left-right, top-bottom, intrinsic muscles-extrinsic muscles. This is how Rolfers seek to balance the body and provide awareness. We ease restrictions/adhesions and work the still spots in the spine so, for example, there is unity between the right arm swinging forward and the left leg extending back when walking.

Rolfing helps improve embodiment and proprioception which can evoke the palintonic nature of our bodies and improve movement and dynamic posture resulting in a body that has less pain.

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