This is our passion. We love to get our clients moving. In whatever guise you come to us for rehabilitation - whether it be for a sports injury, for general aches and pains, or for any of the elements below, you will be treated at some point with movement therapy. Everyone could benefit from this to rid the body of pain, to reduce the risk of injury or to enhance performance & quality of life.
The Perfect Centre
There are many influences on any individual that effect how they perform a particular task. Take the simple task of walking - then ask yourself what affects the way I walk? Your answer could have many dimensions:
- The pain I get in the sole of my foot
- My posture with the rounded back I have
- That knock I took to my knee when I was 8 years old
- The shoes I am wearing
- The ground I am walking on
- How long ago I had eaten.
The deeper you think the more things you might find that you think could affect the way you walk. You would not be wrong. Everything that affects your mind and body is interconnected. The stress you are under at work, the excitement that you are going on holiday soon, these all have affects on how your body acts. And if the mind and the body are not in their most optimal state then they are not performing at their best. At lifestlyes we call this optimal place of tension, joint alignment, well-being ‘Perfect Centre’. But can this point of perfect centre actually be achieved?
To help understand our thoughts and make sense of this chapter Lisa Letchford developed a model to show how every affect on a human being is interconnected and how just one affect can pull the body away from centre. For example a financial struggle, leads to stress, stress leads to tension held in muscles around the neck and back, which leads to compensations through the body, which leads to inefficiency in movement. It can become a never ending downward spiral if you never take action whether thats to relieve the stress or relieve the symptoms of stress. Anything that affects the inefficiency of movement can be helped to regain some balance by one of our movement therapists. But sometimes this is not enough so intervention from one of our therapists is key to helping our client achieve a more balanced lifestyle.
A book recently been published by Jeffery Ives, a University Lecturer called ‘Motor Behaviour - Connecting Mind and Body for Optimal Performance’ has an excellent chapter which appears to support this ‘perfect centre’ model. He states “it is thought that proper alignment places the body in a state of equilibrium and minimises muscular activity necessary to maintain upright stance, which in turn decreases injury risk and the chance of developing chronic muscoluskeletal pain. ￼Deviations away from cenre are a result of muscle imbalances, structural defects from genetic causes, disease or injury, or habitual misue. Misue may be a result of emotional guarding, pain, chronically poor positioning during work or activities of daily living, or imbalanced exercise.”
Compensation for a deviation or inefficiency is an sunconscious act by the body so you are often unaware of it (unless its causing pain of course!). The goal of a movement therapist and our team os skilled therapists is to determine which links in the chain are inefficient, and therefore weakening it, which have been compromised and which changes are needed once again to improve it.
For someone to perform any task they do not have to be in perfect condition (at perfect centre) - you only have to look at Nadal or Woods to see that they both had floors in the physiology despite being the World’s number one. However, to reduce your chance of injury, to reach your potential in both mind and body you have to strive to get to the perfect centre. That might be impossible if you have a physiological genetic condition or a past injury that has left physiological structual defect that does not allow your body to access that perfectelly centred position.
However, in our movement therapy course of Anatomy in Motion we were taught that whilst perfect centre may not be achievable the closer you can be the closer you get to ‘perfect centre’. We call the centre you can get achieve your ‘true centre’. (see the diagram below)
This is our passion. We love to get our clients moving.
What is it?
Movement therapy simply treats through movement. It can be used to help rid the body of chronic pain, to help reduce the chance of injury, to improve performance or a mixture of all three. We use a blend of techniques but is predominantly based on 'Anatomy in Motion' principles. It is a whole body approach, in which the person as a whole is treated and not just the symptoms. The idea is that the body has the ability to heal itself given the right environment created by releasing soft tissue through correct joint alignment. We call the moment when every joint is perfectly aligned and the body is in dynamic equilibrium 'perfect centre'. This is our 'holy grail' our work attempts to rebalance the body as close to this place as possible giving our clients a feeling of freedom and ease of movement.
Who is it for?
Movement therapy is literally for anyone. Exercises and movements that we ask of you are designed specifically for you and your body. They progress and regress you as much as needed. Even the frail and elderly have benefited from our therapy. Don't let the word 'movement' put you off. Our bodies have been designed to move and if yours doesn't then this is the perfect opportunity to come and get involved with this amazing treatment. Equally if you are an elite athlete that has great function and movement in your sport you will still benefit from movement therapy.
How does the first session work?
The first session is used to gain as much information about you and your body as possible. We spend the first half of the session:
- taking down your history of injury and illnesses.
- static postural assessment
- Static pressure footplate assessment
- Gait analysis with video and pressure footplate.
- Basic movement tests.
- Any other muscular/joint tests that we deem necessary.
From this information we determine where you have imbalances and movement deficiencies. We then put together exercises and movements that will help you to move more efficiently. Any movements that we deem are lacking we help to give back to you through a variety of movement exercises, stretches and gentle manipulation. It is important that all of these movements are performed in a pain free environment. As soon as your body senses pain it tenses to protect the area, we are trying to create optimal tension through our body so it would not be helpful to our session if we were to push you into pain therefore the sessions are suitable for absolutely anybody.
The final part of the first session is spent going over your basic homework so you have something to go away and work on and help keep you pain free and moving more efficiently.
The total time varies between 1-2 hours. However we always charge for the 2 hours but if we do not use all of this time we simply roll the money over to a subsequent session.
What should you wear?
Every session will involve bare foot exercises. Therefore please make sure your feet are clean. You will need to wear something comfortable and either shorts or trousers that can be rolled up to above your knee.
How do subsequent sessions work?
Subsequent sessions run on an hourly basis. We will always listen to how you have been since the previous session. We then perform a shorter but still thorough assessment but more importantly we get you moving and progress you on. At the end of the session we again give you some homework to go away and perform.
We have noticed more and more that movement therapy homework is actually adhered to. This appears to be due to the fact that our clients are really feeling the benefit of the exercises in the session so are actually taking away a way in which helps to alleviate their symptoms for themselves.
How much does a session cost?
How many sessions will I need?
This depends greatly on the assessment at the start and what your goals and objectives for the sessions are. The normal pattern is someone sees us weekly for 2-4 weeks, then this drops down to monthly and eventually drops down to 6 monthly. But we are finding that once someone has had movement therapy they always come back for more as they love the feeling of freedom it gives them.
Who are the movement therapists at Lifestyles?
We have three therapists at Lifestyles that are qualified Movement Therapists: Find Out More