Why Strengthening Posture is Rocket Fuel for Your Rehab Practice
People often ask me where StrongPosture® rehab and the PosturePractice model comes from.
Here’s the story.
The StrongPosture® protocols integrate precise postural exercise with bio-mechanic patient education. The system developed in early 2000 when I needed a way to integrate posture rehab and concepts in a busy clinic with multiple doctors and therapists.
Short-Duration Rehab Exercise
My vision was for patients to receive rehab individualized to their unique kinetic chain strengths and weakness, and consistently experience subtle strengthening and improvement from their “posture exercise professional”. Plus, I wanted patients to receive consistent cueing during the short-duration exercise and clear communication of concepts, regardless if their session that day was from a chiropractor, massage therapist, trainer or an assistant.
In other words, after removing restrictions to motion (be it muscle, joint or neural patterning), I built a system to retrain that motion – towards symmetry, with control. I also framed education to engage people with an understanding of how to move well, and why posture care is often a neglected factor in overall physical, mental and even social health, as well as performance. I wanted to tailor their posture retraining so each person experienced improvement in functional ability, regardless of who on our team taught them.
My work began with Vladimir Janda’s Czech School of Rehab, and concepts including kinetic chain and Crossed Syndromes. Additionally, back in the 1970’s when in college I studied yoga, and saw many parallels. So over many patients and trials of protocols, Janda’s work was blended with yoga concepts of mindfulness to more effectively communicate these ideas for each individual, which added the emphasis on precise control of breath, along with objectively accurate motion.
Mindful Somatic Training System
The vision developed into what I call a mindful somatic training system to empower patients to better care for their unique muscle imbalances. We trained people towards balance between overly strong muscles and previously neglected antagonists… and were blown away by how strongly they were invested with the results of our care.
Thus grew a web of interlinking and inter-dependent protocols combining attentional focus with tightly controlled and isolated motion, with often dramatic results for our patients. In addition (and to my surprise), their engagement with posture rehab and us as a group skyrocketed, as did staff morale and referrals.
People were excited with their own accomplishments, and progressively learned to strengthen previously ignored weaknesses and asymmetric patterns of motion control. The excitement (and compliance) grew as we educated patients with the common-sense biomechanics concepts I developed – BAM (Balance, Alignment and Motion) and the 5 Posture Principles (aka the Principles of Posture).
Stand Taller Live Longer: An Anti-Aging Strategy is the book I published 10 years ago which encapsulated the basics of these ideas. Especially for people interested in learning more, the book combined the StrongPosture® concepts and “bio-mechanics 101” posture principles with simple demos that really boosted patients ability to share our concepts with anyone else who should be concerned about postural health. Which is everyone.
Subsequently, over the past decade interest in posture has mushroomed with aging Boomers slumping, Millennial’s bent over phones training “tech-neck”, and teen complaints of tech-related back and neck pain being reported at higher rates than ever before. As research on the health impact of posture has multiplied, I’ve shared our work with thousands of health professionals, training many as CPEP®s (Certified Posture Exercise Professionals®) in the hands-on detail of functionally strengthening posture in a Posture Practice.
For 2019, we’ll continue the mission of training practitioners globally to help everyone stand taller to move, feel and be well. If you missed the last one, register for our next free Posture Research webinar. If you’re already in the CPEP® network, it will be available on-demand in the new CPEP members area launching next month.
Steven Weiniger, DC
the Posture Expert | CPEP® Founder
Coming in Pt II: The ACE Spiral of Awareness-Control-Environment: From PostureZone® App Referrals to Posture Care LifeHabits