People often ask me if there's a simple exercise they can do to help with their posture and pain. I wish there was that 'magic pill' in terms of 'do this one thing and then you'll automatically feel great'.

The art of Postural Therapy is that it's highly individualized in creating a model of why someone is experiencing their specific pain, injury, or dysfunction. We base this upon one's injury history, daily patterns, activity profile, posture, movement, gait, and more.

With that being said, a basic principle of function is to align the body from the side in terms of points near the ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, and ear. When the body is aligned, or "loaded", this way it should function more optimally than when out of alignment.

To experience this, stand tall and relaxed; get a sense as to how this feels both static and walking. Now push your hips forward and round your upper back - take into account the feeling overall, in your lower back, your breathing, and any tension in your neck (look were your head is relative to the rest of your body) standing still and then waking.

Static Back Abdominal Breathing (picture below, courtesy of Meridian Physiotherapy: is an exercise that is both simple to do and highly effective in aligning your body. All you need to do is lay on the floor and put your feet up on a bed or chair (create a ninety degree angle hips, knees, feet). Allow your knees to relax out, with your arms just below shoulder height and palms up. If you're back is too rounded or head far forward, you may place a small pillow under your head. Now just breath for 5-10 minutes in this position: Inhale, stomach rises; exhale, it goes down - this is how toddlers breath and most adults reverse this due to stress or incorrect patterning.

When you first get into the position note if your hips feel evenly on the floor is there more pressure on one side; do the same with your shoulder blades and back of the shoulders. After 5-10 minutes, retest these three points to see if they've evened out and if your back has relaxed.
The hard surface will not allow your body to default into its normal incorrect patterns, and the weight of gravity will help your body to regain its alignment from side. I often do this first thing in the morning to counteract the effects of the positions my body gets into while sleeping. I find it amazing how the rotation in my hips and shoulders is eliminated and I feel so much better and more ready to start the day.

In order to reap the true benefits of this exercise, you may try it everyday for one week. You can take pictures of yourself (front, back, left. and right - sitting height) at both the beginning and end of the week to see if there's a visual change from this five minute/day commitment. The effects are often profound in a very positive and life changing manner.

As always, I look forward to your feedback, comments, and questions (and please send me the before and after pictures as I'll be excited to see them!).


Joey Zimet

Postural Alignment To Health
Your PATH to Pain Free Daily Functioning
(917) 589-5446