Postural Analysis

In postural analysis there is a tendency to look for what’s not working. In my opinion it is better to begin a postural analysis by obtaining the clients direct experience of their body.

I would begin with the client facing me and ask them to notice what is going on in their body and to name/describe it. While they are doing this you also notice what you notice. Think of this process as two forms of information about your client, one from them and one from you, and you are looking for where there is common ground.

While on the subject of gathering information it is important that you also gather other information such as range of motion (ROM) both active and passive, and thorough palpation. This is because no one piece of information is reliable, but if you gather enough information and certain patterns start to emerge then you have a solid basis on where to focus your treatment.

Just remember that before you are inclined point to what is not working ask the client to experiment with different positioning so they can get insight into what feels better. For example, if somebody has let’s say rounded shoulders, rather than naming this you could simply ask them to bring their attention to the shoulders and then to play with moving the rib cage and noticing how this changes the way the shoulders are organised.

At the end of the day, the role of our treatment methods is to show through direct experience that change is not only possible, it is probable. We also need to recognise that our treatments do not usually have long term impact, the body is not that easily changed, which is a good thing! Improving ‘posture’ is about repetition and finding those patterns that serve your client and those that don’t and this is the responsibility of the client. Our role is to inspire them by engaging them in the process and by finding ‘self-care’ strategies that makes sense to them.