Posture specialist Gina Carpenter talks yoga and posture therapy
Life Force Healing Center in Chicago combines a unique array of healthcare and wellness services, including chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture, psychotherapy, and yoga exercise and therapy, to address the physical, mental, and spiritual health of its patients and clients. Gina Carpenter has been a yoga instructor for 7 years and just recently began CPEP posture specialist certification training to augment and complement the expertise provided at her practice.
Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the practice, Gina says there is a lot of cross-reference of patients and clients between practitioners as they see the need for a multidimensional treatment. She notes that inter-practice communication has been essential in the implementation of her posture specialist training.
“Open communication is what makes our practice a great place to be. It is a great place for the StrongPosture® program. Posture is not just valuable – it’s indispensable. Balance is indispensable, core strength is indispensable – and the ball work is an adventure!”
Gina explains that her journey began after Dr. Rick Brown, the practice chiropractor, returned from a seminar taught by Dr. Weiniger. “He purchased Stand Taller Live Longer at the event and showed incredible enthusiasm about what posture rehab could do for patients. After talking with him and reading the book, I knew that this was the next step in my career. It has become a big part of what we do.”
One of the foundations of Dr. Weiniger’s posture research that stood out to Gina is the emphasis on how a sedentary lifestyle takes such a tremendous toll on health. As someone who “can’t imagine a life of sitting,” she is passionate about helping others discover the healing power of movement.
“If I’ve been seated for a long time, my brain feels tired, and my body is sluggish; the ability to stretch and move around is a necessity! I often work with people who haven’t done much physically in a long time. It’s meaningful to work with people who have been sitting for most of the time, motivating and encouraging them to take advantage of how great it feels to be in touch with yourself, fit, healthy, and vibrant.”
When it comes to how she integrates her CPEP training into her yoga teaching, Gina points out that each client receives a customized treatment because of her interest in investigating what works best for that individual. In addition to her one-on-one postural and yoga sessions, she works closely with Dr. Brown to determine how posture rehab will best target each person’s specific problems.
“Because of how hands-on Dr. Brown is with coordinating care, we are able to tell exactly what is going on and then target it directly. He sometimes refers auto accident patients to work with me after they’ve been adjusted. I’ll use Thai yoga massage to loosen them up further before we go through the balance, alignment and motion protocols. In conjunction with strengthening the core, opening the hips, and aligning shoulders, our patients have been galloping with progress!”
Gina adds that her clients largely come from a middle-aged and older demographic who have several decades of desk-bound jobs behind them. She finds that while younger people go to yoga studios with larger classes, there is a trend for the mid- and late-career group to seek posture care to help with the back and neck pain they’ve incurred from being hunched for many years.
“It’s interesting to me that many companies are beginning to offer lunchtime yoga classes. That shows that this is a service that working-aged people want. Because I work more one-on-one with my clients, they tend to be older and looking more for rehab and pain relief.”
Of her clients, she has seen great improvement, which she attributes to their personal investment in their posture and health.
“My clients are very motivated by improvement. We start with small goals and work toward them, and as these are met, we move forward with bigger challenges. I’ve been employing the grid – it helps me as I assess the exercises for wall tilts and alignment exercises. You see people gradually inch closer to the wall as a result of their work. It’s nice to see the improvement, but also to let them know that they are making progress and that you are paying attention to that progress. It makes a difference in their determination and compliance.”
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