by Alex Bernier
Posture and performance act together in harmony. Optimal position of your head in relationship to all the joints below is crucial not just to elicit the power and execution necessary for prime athleticism but also supports your daily life, whether you are a student or an executive in a major business meeting. A misalignment from head to toe leads to a wide range of symptoms ranging from spiked stress, dampened mood to drained energy and poor digestion.
Mobility therapies and strength training are common solutions used by health professionals to treat poor posture. The problem is that these practices fail to address the cause of the issue which lies deep within the complexity of the nervous system to program permanent changes.
Your brain controls everything from tone to motion. You can strengthen or release muscles all you want; the results will never last if the computer operating them is out of whack, just like patching a wound that requires stitches with a band-aid.
Posturology is a system based on over three decades of scientific studies and clinical application that reshapes the way the command center communicates with muscles to recalibrates posture lastingly. The pearls of knowledge shared by Olympic medalist mass-producer Charles Poliquin first introduced me to the practice and Annette Verpillot, who runs the Posturepro clinic in Montreal.
My extensive list of past hockey injuries including concussions and fractures hindered many aspects of my training progress in a way no research or health professional consultation ever solved. I was better at helping the clients of my kinesiology practice than myself. The concepts shared on the Posturepro social media page were nothing I had ever heard of before, so I was curious.
I booked a postural assessment session with Annette who had just returned from a conference trail in Europe. Posturepro is a few blocks away from Montreal's highly clogged Decarie artery, so I opted to take the metro and walk five minutes to avoid the afternoon traffic madness. The clinic was Zen, spacious, and had a fully equipped training studio in the back.
She asked me to stare at the tip of a pen directly in front of my face after the initial interview, which was much harder than I expected.
" Oh, it's bad," she exclaimed.
The simple test assesses eye convergence, which is your ability to focus on one object. My left eye had no problem looking at the tip, but the right was completely off track, looking away in the distance, disconnected from the other. I was staring at two different things at the same time.
Cranial traumas can lead to eye tracking discrepancy." she explained "your eyes are out of line, and that throws everything downstream from your shoulders down to your feet off. Not only is this suboptimal for any movement, but you also waste energy because the brain has to process two things at once as if they were the same. "
She then measured my grip strength using a hand dynamometer and had me stand on a surface lit by bright fluorescent lamps. The latter showed the weight distribution on both of my feet, which were beyond subpar, particularly on the right.
She taped some magnets to the right side of my forehead and proceeded with the treatment. The session lasted a little more than an hour, and the results were immediate. My eyes could stare at the tip of the pen; I had more range of motion, and my weak grip strength went from 140 to 160lbs. I felt much better, with clearer thoughts and improved breathing mechanics.
The rapid results speak for themselves and hold in time, unless you get hit in the head again. I will have to retrain my brain and open up neural pathways in order to change faulty motor patterns. In order to do so I will need to wear a magnet on the side of my face of a certain period of time in conjunction with advanced eye exercises, correct my gait pattern and uneven weight distribution of my feet with corrective postural insoles. The great thing is that the changes are permanent.
The session was as valuable as it was insightful. This health-investment includes follow-ups, so I look forward to seeing the changes when I go back.
What does your brain have to say about your posture?
Follow Posturepro on social media to find out more on this fascinating practice.
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