An Army Veteran and Certified Exercise Therapist Shows You How to Live Healthier with Two New Techniques
Written by Victor Fernandes Photos by Grant L. Gursky
Robert Griffith, 58, served his country for 26 years in the U.S. Army, yet with all he’d seen and done during that time, it was a shoulder replacement and six subsequent surgeries that rendered him nonfunctional, often having to resort to bed rest, medication and painful therapy just to get through the day.
Then, four years ago, he discovered Posture Alignment Therapy — and he’s never looked back. Posture Alignment Therapy is a proven program designed to treat and mitigate pain and dysfunction without medication, manipulation or surgery, by realigning the body for optimal functionality and wellness. It treats the cause of pain and dysfunction, not the symptoms, through a multilayer process that pinpoints where the imbalance exists and provides a series of progressive exercises that, according to Griffith, “allows the body to naturally heal itself, improving function, freedom of movement and stability.” Griffith was so amazed by the benefits of Posture Alignment Therapy that he went on to become not only an Egoscue-certified Posture Alignment Therapist but also a certified Exercise Therapy Specialist who is pursuing his Advanced certification.
Currently teaching a Restorative Stretch class featuring Egoscue-inspired exercises at Coastal Fitness in Ocean City, Griffith said clients experience the physical, mental and emotional benefits of Posture Alignment Therapy and Restorative Stretch with dedication and time.
“Postural imbalances can be caused by normal daily life, from sitting behind a desk at work for long periods of time to physical activities, such as sports, as well as physical traumas stemming from injuries or surgeries,” Griffith said. “They also are rarely found at the location of the pain.”
This technique features generalized exercises adapted from Egoscue’s list of approximately 300 exercises that help participants improve overall function and range of motion. “As with yoga or Pilates, clients can often feel the results after each class.” Unlike Posture Alignment Therapy, it is not the goal of Restorative Stretch to treat specific postural imbalances. Instead, it makes you aware of what your weaknesses are.
POSTURE ALIGNMENT THERAPY
With the assistance of a certified Posture Alignment therapist, you will be able to:
Document your history by outlining factors that range from injuries and surgeries to occupation, diet and hobbies. “It helps bring in focus the client’s lifestyle.”
Evaluate your body symmetry.
A specialist can examine a client’s load joints, including the shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles. “You identify where the deviations are in the body symmetry.”
Associate certain chains of muscles, which allows specialists to begin pinpointing where the cause of pain lies.
Perform functional tests. Clients perform simple movements that help specialists confirm their initial thoughts on the cause of pain.
“Evaluate the body in motion because it tends to tell a little more of the story of where the weaknesses are.”
Implement an exercise program.
A specialist will design a regimen of gentle daily exercises that clients may use to help strengthen and lengthen muscles.
Follow-up sessions. Specialists and clients determine if adjustments need to be made to exercise programs. “This process takes time and commitment.”