In a private session we observe how you move and walk, discerning what is tight or weak. Using that information carefully, we shift you into fluid, easy, pain free movement with individualized corroborative exercises and classic physical therapy modalities as needed, to assist with changes in your movement patterns and help you walk yourself well.
Walking defines most everything about us, including athletic prowess, predisposition to pain, and our health with respect to aging. Although it seems that walking correctly should be something everybody does automatically, it’s not. Most people walk with small, but very significant structurally unsound movements. It seems impossible, or ridiculous, that how you walk might be why you have pain, or why you have a double chin, or saggy buns, or a potbelly. And just imagine, if how you walk is the reason why you can’t accomplish an athletic endeavor that seems like it should be easy to attain! Changing the way you walk can absolutely improve your level of fitness, eliminate structural pain, and help you look and feel better.
The system we use in my clinic, and as outlined in my book, is a combination of simple gait corrections and exercises that corroborate those corrections. There is a standard for walking. And every person has their own walk that wavers from that standard in one or more ways. How many of you have a walk which when you really stop and think, resembles somebody you loved, when you were first learning how to do it? I say, all of you have. It’s much less genetics, and much more patterning. (Imitating!) Your injuries and exercise history and habits and mood states all play a role in how you walk too! Once any of your weight bearing joints gets crooked, (don’t panic . . . there are only six, plus your spine . . .) or out of balance, your brilliant survivalist mechanisms makes it so you look and feel like you can walk perfectly well. You don’t realize the change, your whole body adjusts to it, and now, you’re askew. Even if it is very subtle, that change is a compensation, which is either wearing down that joint, or, one adjacent to it, or across from it, or diagonal to it. Somewhere, there’s a crooked joint, which eventually is going to give out. You’ll push a thumbtack into the wall, or pick up a paper clip, or just turn quickly, and you’ll think that that simple movement caused your pain. Actually, those previous compensations, set you up. You were an accident waiting to happen.
The most classic deviation is the lean back. Most people do this and it comes in many variations. The result, however, always turns out to be the same. The bulk of the weight is toward the rear of the body, and collapsed into the hips, knees and lower back. The majority of the weight will be felt in the heels as opposed to the balls or front of the feet, where it belongs. When that happens, the head and shoulders are forced to move forward, as a counter-balance to keep from literally falling on their rear ends. In corrective walking, we learn to lift our bodies up and forward with true grit muscle strength instead of being held up by our joints. This creates a much more fluid, graceful, and lofty movement pattern. And our weight is forward, where balance becomes our method of lifting our bodies against gravity, and strengthening becomes the result.
What if you could learn to fully understand and rebalance your body. With only six weight bearing joints (two feet, two knees, and two hips) and your spine, it’s doable! Stand and imagine growing as tall as you can, with your weight in the balls of your feet, your chest down and your knees unlocked. This is the place to walk from. Try walking with your feet as wide as your hips (those bony protuberances on your front and just below your waist)- Feel too wide? What if a ladder had its bottommost rungs an inch less wide than the next ones up? Get used to this one. Well-balanced feet will give you a chance, for all the joints above them to be in balance.
Expect this to feel awkward. If you can understand that this is a process, one that will be served well by taking your time and going step-by-step, your physical and mental barriers to healing will fall away, as will your backaches, swollen joints and back and neck soreness. It’s an inexpensive drug-free and surgery-free method of ending pain, even if the pain has been with you for years.
Everyday someone comes into my clinic telling me they know they have bad posture and that is besides the point of the pain they came in for. When it happened to me, I also did not realize that my pain was more than one weak link that blew. It’s so hard to believe that something as simple as posture is precisely what is causing the weakness that allowed a joint to be vulnerable and give way. And the hardest part is convincing people that is totally changeable
We take an average of twenty-five hundred steps a day per foot. What this work would give you is the opportunity to make every one of those steps strengthening, instead of wearing down the very joint that right now, is giving you pain.