At Total Balance Chiropractic we are always looking to improve the posture of our practice members. Every time they visit we assess their posture before and after an adjustment. For anyone who has been adjusted here they would have heard the words “deep breath in, breathe out and let your body relax” many times. The reason for doing this is it’s the best way to assess your body’s structure (other than x-rays) we know of.
So why do we get you to breathe out and relax?
Simply put we are assessing your relaxed posture, utilising a test we refer to as a ‘Slump Test’. The key to good posture is not having to think about holding yourself in an optimal position but rather your body keeping itself there without you thinking about it. When you breathe out and allow your body to relax as ABC™ chiropractors we are able to assess areas of your body that may be having to work harder or are causing your body to slump.
In an ideal relaxed posture your body shouldn’t require muscles to do the work of holding you up, and as a result when you breathe out and relax it should stay upright and balanced.
A good analogy for the spine and what we are assessing with the Slump Test is the game Jenga. As the bricks are removed out of position the Jenga tower will become unstable to the point it becomes so unbalanced that one final piece will cause the tower to collapse. This is similar to how our body deals with things except for one key difference – muscles. The muscles in our body stop us from toppling over and we rely on them to rebalance our body when joints are out of place. The result of this is our body, twisting, bending, slumping etc to rebalance and compensate. If the body continues to compensate then it can get to the point that the compensating causes problems within themselves. The Slump Test provides us with important information as to how much and where misalignment and compensation is occurring within the body.
The Slump Test is a vital tool for us when assessing your posture, it can also be useful for you as well! Most of our practice members are familiar with the Slump Test and can often tell when their body isn’t holding itself up quite as well as it could be and may be in need of an adjustment. Some are so aware of their body they can determine the area causing the issue. It can be exceptionally empowering to know your body that well that you can self-assess accurately.
Going a step further the Slump Test can also help you measure the impact of your environment on your body. People will often ask us “should I be doing so and so.” The best answer we can give is “if you feel more slumped after any activity then it probably has misaligned your body.” For example if you want to know if a certain gym exercise is causing problems, then do the Slump Test before and after. If it’s worse after then it just created problems for you. Even shoes, pillows, mattresses, couches, office chairs can all be assessed this way. As practitioners we do this all the time. You too can learn to self-assess in the same way!
If you want to learn more ask us next time you’re in for an adjustment. It’s a skill but one worth learning.