This is a difficult question! It really depends on how you define the term “posture” as it can mean many different things.
Definition: “The position or bearing of the body whether characteristic or assumed for a special purpose” (Merriam-Webster).
Posture or Structure? | Can Remedial Massage Help Posture?
If you google ‘posture’ you will see the first page is full of sites discussing posture in particular ‘good’ posture. These sites seem to suggest that we should all conform to an ideal, a picture-perfect shape and position regardless of an individual’s specific body type.
Solely assessing the way someone holds themselves is not a good indicator of whether they have “good” or “bad” posture, the individuals structure should be taken into account firstly. Sometimes someone who seemingly has “bad posture” is actually carrying themselves really well for their specific structure. Take a person with a significant scoliosis for example; they will never conform to a picture perfect posture but may be using their body really efficiently.
Posture or Habit?
The other factor to take into account is bad habits. These could be habitual actions carried out or an individual’s specific way of carrying out these actions.
As remedial massage therapists posture only becomes a concern if a person is experiencing symptoms that could be the result of the positions they are holding themselves on a regular basis. The position computer workers hold themselves in daily would be considered a “posture assumed for a special purpose” under the definition cited above. This is certainly not a natural position to be in for extended periods. Being in this position for long periods can cause muscular imbalances that in turn change the person’s natural positioning or posture in other aspects of their life. Some individuals form bad habits while in this posture that also needs addressing; how someone is sitting is just as important as the fact that they are sitting.
Remedial Massage for Postural Imbalance
A common muscular imbalance with computer work is excessively tight chest muscles and weak back muscles. This is caused by having the arms outstretched for the majority of our day. As a result the chest muscles are shortened and the rhomboids and teres group in the back are weakened.
This imbalance causes the shoulder blades to sit further out from the spine than they normally would and for the shoulders to roll forward. This positioning of the upper body can lead to headaches and neck and shoulder pain.
Our remedial massage therapists treat these imbalances by working on both the weak and tight muscles, as both will have trigger points (knots). They also provide the client with home exercises and stretches to lengthen the tight muscles in the chest and strengthen the back muscles to draw the shoulder blades back into a more stable position.
Addressing muscular imbalances through remedial massage may help an individual to use themselves more efficiently and be more comfortable, providing more muscular stability, an increased awareness of their habitual movement patterns and perhaps, better ‘posture’.
If you would like to have a chat about any symptoms you are experiencing feel free to give us a call at Melbourne Combined Natural Therapies on
03 9645 9923.
Remedial Massage | Myotherapy