The Red Dot Program
Correcting your posture is a long road – bad postural habits feel so natural! While you are at The Fix Program, your physio leads exercises and continuously prompts you to adjust your positioning, but once you walk out the door it's probably hard to maintain. The physio can't hold you in the correct position all day or sit on your shoulder 24/7 reminding you to exercise and adjust – though I am asked frequently to provide this 'service'! The treatments we provide are much less effective if they are undone in consistent, small ways away from the clinic or studio.
So what is the best way to work towards a good posture when the physio isn't around? Become part of the Fix Red Dot Program! If you have done our beginners classes you may remember being given some Red Dot stickers to pop around your home and office, and here's what it's all about.
In your assessment and your ongoing classes, your physio will have picked up a few postural errors that you are making repeatedly. Common ones include:
- Springing your ribs forward
- Flattening your lower back arch, tipping water out the back of your pelvic bowl
- Gripping your bottom muscles
- Bearing more weight through one foot than the other
- Bearing too much weight in the front or the back of your feet
- Hitching your shoulders up and forwards
- Tensing your neck and jaw
- Turning your toes out, knees in
- Poking your chin forward, dropping the big mango between your chin and chest
- Leaving your pelvic floor and deep tummy muscles inactivated before and during big movements
- Bending with your back rather than your legs.
Getting on top of your postural errors – brain training
Hopefully only some of these things apply to you! Whether it's one or several postural bad habits, the first step is to be aware of them, and the second is to have the right manoeuvres to correct them. Jot these down somewhere - ask your physio next time you see them if you're unsure.
Now think of the places or activities where these habits kick in – perhaps it's while you're working at your desk, in your car during peak hour, doing the dishes, changing nappies, or even just walking around the house. Jot those down too.
Time to break out the Red Dot stickers! Put these all around your home and office, making sure each location and activity on your list is covered. Put one on your computer monitor, one by the dishwasher, one on the rearview mirror, sink, laundry machine, feeding chair, changing table etc. You get the idea!
These dots are now triggers for your mind – whenever you see one it will cue up your correct posture, a reminder to develop the little physio in your own mind. Red Dots can mean:
- "Think tall!
- Neutralize your pelvis!
- Let your butt go!
- Tuck your chin in and float your ribs!
- Relax your neck and shoulders!"
They can be whatever you need them to be. The continuous, daily corrections you make outside of your time in our clinic will ensure the treatments you receive stick, leading the way to a pain-free and relaxed posture. It's just like having one of us cueing you over and over throughout your day, prompting you to refresh your posture and protect your body throughout those most aggravating activities for you.
After a week or so, take your dots down and move them all just a little. If you leave them in the same place for too long, they can blend into the background and won't be as good at triggering your good postural habits. Don't move them too far, just enough to jolt you each time you see one.
Best of luck, and let us know what you think. And remember if you need some Red Dots, don't hesitate to ask us for them next time you're at physio or class.