Postural Restoration Integration & Liz Dejonge, PT
Why do we exercise the right side of our body the same as our left? Most of us have two arms and two legs, therefore, any action done on the right side also needs to be done on the left side. This is what I was taught in Physical Therapy school. However, after studying with the Postural Restoration Institute (PRI), I learned that under our beautiful shell lies an asymmetrical being. This long held belief about exercise may not always be the best approach.
Movement Patterns & Asymmetries
We were born with three lobes of lung that dome against a big liver on the right and only two lobes of lung and a smaller, flatter spleen on the left. This anatomy forces the diaphragm (breathing muscle) to pull or lateralize our rib cage to the right. Our body is further lateralized to the right by our neurological system and what we experience in our daily habits. Let’s be honest: don’t you just love your right side? When is the last time you reached into the dryer with your left hand, walked through Cub clockwise, or even picked a burner on the stove other than the lower right? We live in a right-sided world, and we develop movement patterns that accentuate these asymmetries.
Before you start worrying, know that there is nothing wrong with being an asymmetrical being. That is, IF you keep your dominant patterns from acting as a “dictator” over your movement system. You need to be able to move from one side to the other without one pattern hijacking your system. But, how do you know if you have a “dictator” running the show? Well, for one thing, you hurt!
1. You don’t swing your arms when you walk, or you only swing one arm.
2. When you stand or walk, one or both legs are turned out.
3. You have over developed muscles, e.g. your right calf is more developed than your left.
4. Your right shoulder is lower than the left.
5. Your rib cage is flared—more so on the left.
6. You use your neck and shoulders when breathing in. Full exhalation is difficult.
7. You have a lot of tension in your neck and low back.
8. You have been dealing with nagging injuries that do not heal, even with attempts at management.
9. You are frequently in a state of fight or flight (neurological up-regulation).
Integration for Optimal Performance and Recovery
Through extensive PRI training, I have come to appreciate the importance of our neurologic and respiratory systems in assisting our bodies to inhibit (turn off) and facilitate (turn on) muscles to oppose the “dictator.” We need a democracy for integration of movement in our body. Integration can be achieved through awareness of reference points in our body, position and efficiency of our rib cage/diaphragm, and muscle re-patterning. This allows for optimal performance and recovery.
For the past 12 years I have incorporated Postural Restoration Institute philosophy, techniques, and exercises into my clinical practice to successfully treat everything from pelvic floor dysfunction to chronic back/hip pain. I have worked with professional lacrosse players optimizing injury reduction/management as well as with 80 year old athletes focused on their ability to walk to the mailbox. The goal is the same: Reposition, Re-pattern, Restore Movement and Optimize Recovery.
I am pleased to join the amazing team at Uncommon Age to bring Postural Restoration Integration to large group classes, small group training, and individual sessions. I look forward to exploring this journey with you.
Yours in Health, Liz DeJonge, PT
New! Postural Restoration Clinic: March 31 – May 5
Liz will be offering a 6 week clinic that will introduce you to the foundational concepts of Postural Restoration while you get a workout! The clinic starts Saturday, March 31 and runs through May 5. 9:30-10:30 am.
If you have a class pass with Uncommon Age, your large group classes or unlimited membership covers her clinic! Otherwise, the walk in rate for this clinic and other classes at UA is $18. We hope you join us!