What a loaded question! The answer is really dependent on what is meant by the term posture as the term seems to mean many different things to many different people.
Definition: “The position or bearing of the body whether characteristic or assumed for a special purpose” (Merriam-Webster)
Posture or Structure?
Type ‘posture’ into Google and the first page is full of sites talking about posture improvement and ‘good’ posture. To me this suggests that we should all conform to an ideal, a picture-perfect shape and position of the body regardless of an individual’s specific structure.
I believe that solely assessing the way someone holds themselves is not a good indicator of whether they have “good” or “bad” posture and that structure should be taken into account as well. Sometimes someone who seemingly has “bad posture” is in fact holding themselves in the perfect position for their specific structure. Take a person with a significant scoliosis for example; they will never conform to a picture perfect posture but may well be using themselves very well in spite of that.
Posture or Habit?
The other factor to take into account is habit in terms of both habitual actions carried out and an individual’s habitual way of carrying out these actions.
As a remedial massage therapist 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. Desk work for instance would be considered a “posture assumed for a special purpose” under the definition cited above. As this is not a natural position to be in for extended periods, this repetitive positioning can cause muscular imbalances that in turn change the person’s natural positioning or posture in other aspects of their life. Yet it is the habitual way a person conducts themselves in such postures that also needs addressing; how someone is sitting is just as important as the fact that they are sitting for extended periods.
Remedial Massage for Postural Imbalance
A common muscular imbalance with modern work is excessively tight chest muscles and weak back muscles. This is caused by having the arms outstretched for a large portion of our day and as a result shortening the pecs in the chest and lengthening the rhomboids and teres group in the back.
This imbalance causes the shoulder blades to sit further out from the spine than they normally would and for the shoulders to rotate forward. This positioning of the upper body can lead to headaches and neck and shoulder pain.
The remedial massage therapists at Melbourne Combined Natural Therapies deal with these imbalances by treating both the weak and tight muscles as both will have trigger points (knots). They also give the client exercises to do at home or the gym to stretch the tight muscles at the front and strengthen the back muscles to draw the shoulder blades back into a more stable position and reducing pressure on the neck.
Addressing muscular imbalances through remedial massage may then help an individual to use themselves more freely and more comfortably with correct muscular stability for their structure, 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 having feel free to give us a call at Melbourne Combined Natural Therapies on
03 9645 9923.
Remedial Massage | Myotherapy