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Posture, Body Reading, and Myofascial Release

Posture, Body Reading, and Myofascial Release

An excerpt from Techniques For Movement (TFM) Manual I:

The TFM manuals are used within the TFM Learning workshop series that focuses on Posture Assessment, and the practical application of Myofascial Release for the manual therapist.

Structure and slouching

“Posture is holding your structure as well as you can. When the structure is properly balanced, good posture is natural. A man slouches not because he has a bad habit but because his structure doesn’t make it easy for him not to slouch.”

Ida P. Rolf

What exactly do we mean when we assess ‘Posture’?

To stand before a mirror, or a thera­pist, is to capture a moment in time; one possible postural event that draws with it all the limitations and possibilities that we possess. Posture can be considered finite – it is a statement stamped as a moment, a single possibility, reflecting the thoughts, emotions, and physical capacity available in that moment in time. To truly explore and unfold the potential in another, it is important to focus on what is possible (Structural Integration), not just what has come (dis-ease).

Structural Alignment

Structural Integrity is our underlying level of organization. Our structure and the degree to which we maintain structural integration allows for the various possibilities of movement that we have at our disposal. Structure precedes movement/function, and informs the composi­tion and shape of our posture. By improving our underlying structure we are improving our movement potential, and consequently improving our Posture.


Onions are not just for eating! Part II

For the Manual Therapist

Intention key to any therapeutic process
If we continue on with our theme of the onion layers, we see how attempting to ‘dig’ deep to achieve release for the sake of release alone, we may be moving our clients away from integration and towards an unstable and unsustainable state. Working with the appropriate Myofascial structures (layers) allow the therapist a great opportunity to introduce lasting change to a client.

Within any therapeutic intervention it is necessary to remember:

Do not remove something at a local level if you haven’t got something better to put in its place.

Too often therapists seek random local changes without looking at the larger implications that can come from release work. Consider the ‘long game’ approach and how you (the manual therapist) can add to structure and therefore function with every intervention.


Onions are not just for eating!


Working through layersIn integrating structure and function via the myofascial system, it becomes necessary to work the superficial ‘layers’ before you can proceed deeper.

Clients can sometimes feel impatient with the degree to which change occurs or goals are met to completion. Quite often it’s the last ten percent of change that takes ninety percent of the time to resolve. Working with the body is like peeling away the layers of an onion. It becomes important to remove one whole layer of dis-ease before moving onto the next. This ‘ideal‘ is a cornerstone of the therapeutic process, whether you’re receiving a treatment, conditioning your body through resistance training, or taking control of your diet.