My Journey To Living a Pain Free Life

As a Postural therapist certified by Egoscue Institute, my journey started by realizing I could not go one more day in this amount of back pain, neck pain, hip pain and shoulder pain. I had a history of herniated discs, whiplash, narrowing of the spinal canal and fracture of the thoracic spine. At 49 I hit the wall and decided if I could not find another venue, I would have to follow the western medical paradigm. With a very intended mindset, I decided to look outside of the box for some other type of therapy. I had tried many modalities prior to this, however nothing would “stick” and within hours all the pain returned.

I eventually found my way to the CHEK Institute where I learned about posture and exercise prescription.
I learned a lot about how to care for myself and others.
In 2007 after smashing my right foot and wearing a medical walking boot for 6 weeks, I ended up snapping my left hamstring. Now, more problems.
The medical walking boot  is used to immobilize the injured area, often toes, feet or ankles. What happens is it offsets the entire kinetic chain.
Our bodies have 8 loading joints, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. The boot has a thick sole which adds height to one side of the body. Now you have a built- in leg discrepancy, offsetting the iliac crests and now creating dysfunction in the lumber spine. Think of the discs in your spine as a smore. Just as squeezing the smore causes the filling to go out the opposite side, same thing happens to the lumber discs. This causes pressure from being offset and can lead to a bulging or herniated disc. Many clients notice they begin having low back pain and never really putting it together how it happened.

By changing the position of the bones, the muscles follow; thus, causing additional problems.

There is a solution to all of this. As a Postural Therapist I can put a program together on my ePete software while you are still in the boot. By implementing your daily Postural menu, you can work on keeping the rest of your body feeling intact and avoiding additional issues after the boot is long gone.

Carolyn Vanzlow is Level 4 CHEK Practitioner and
AET Certified Through Egoscue Institute


Are you someone with Spondylolisthesis? For the sake of this little article I will refer to “spondy”. As a Postural Therapist, I have worked with many who have this condition. Some were born with it and others due to a catastrophic event acquired it. The clients I have worked with seek my services because they are dead set again surgical intervention or drugs. They are proactive about daily exercises and movements that will help them stay pain free and keep active. Some of my clients are construction workers, athletes and others are people with low activity jobs. They all concur that movement, the right movement keeps them relatively pain free and happy.
When a new client comes in with this condition, I like to spend a lot of time learning about what brings the pain on, and what movements decreases pain or stops it.
Some qualities I have noticed about most Spondy people is winging in the shoulders and a forward lean when walking. What I like to do is teach their shoulders proper function and and decrease the forward lean. All of this is done with Postural Therapy.
Some clients come in with a lot of pain and have a difficult time standing for any length of time. Many times this is due to lack of muscle activation. Postural Therapy re-educates the nervous system and the muscles become more active, thus pain decreases.
After they start feeling better, we go into corrective exercise with helps hold the postural alignment (think of exercise as glue). Unless the client is active in a contact sport, many go on to do what they like.   

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