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
Ageing and Postural Therapy
I am a competitive Power Lifter at the age of 69 (in august 2018). As I was going through my deadlifting workout I thought a lot about other lifters I have seen that are far older than me. Some well into their nineties.
When I began Powerlifting in 2014 several people told me “I should be careful, I could get hurt” The reason I am able to avoid injury is due to Postural Therapy and good lifting techniques.
Today us Baby Boomers need to stay on top of our game. Bone density begins lowering as a woman nears menopause and men start losing bone density in their 70’s.
There are several causes for bone density loss, so becoming proactive will definitely slow down the process.
You may already notice that your body is getting stiffer and more difficult to move effortlessly. That’s where Postural Therapy is going to catapult you to the next level. Increasing function and flexibility is going to give you the tools to do other things such as going to the gym, playing golf without getting back pain, walk longer and further, play with your grandchildren, gardening, hiking, cycling and work around your home without concerning yourself about moving something heavy or getting up on a ladder.
Most of us have been trained to think “go to the doctor, they will give me something or do something to make it go away”. For some, that probably wasn’t the best choice.
Postural Therapy a drug and surgical free approach lines up the joints, stops the unnecessary faulty wear and tear, and adds function and mobility to our lives. Why not give it a try?
Today, due to Postural Therapy I am described as “inspirational” for what I like to do. There is nothing stopping you from doing the same thing. Every morning, right after my cup of bullet proof coffee I begin my exercises. It takes anywhere from 20-40 minutes and well worth the time. I am free of pain, joint restriction, muscle and joint soreness and movement is effortless, and stronger.
If you suffer from neck and shoulder pain, back pain, knee pain, sciatica, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, spondylolisthesis, and ankle and foot pain, join me along with others and start living life on your terms, free of pain and restriction.
Call today for an assessment. We can see you in person or via the internet.
CHEK Practitioner 4
PAS/AET certified through Egoscue Institute
702.354.8269 carolynvanzlow.com email@example.com
Friday morning I received a call and text from my husband. Steven has Spondylolethesis and a history of 2 disc herniation’s, nerve impingement, torn meniscus right knee and of course “Spondy”.
Steven told me he had hurt is shoulder lifting and pushing upward. He felt something spasm under his shoulder blade and had trouble breathing without pain. He could not take in a full deep breath without upper body pain. I had him do some quick exercises that provided a band aid since he made it clear, he was not leaving work. In the middle of his job site, he spent 5 minutes trying to activate and align his body enough to finish work and come to my office.
When he arrived, approximately 8 hours later he was still having trouble taking a deep breath, sneezing was definitely a big challenge!
I did an assessment, listened to everything he said about what happened and what is currently happening.
After the assessment it became very clear, he did not have a shoulder injury! His hips were off balance, meaning one side was elevated, leaving more weight bearing on the opposite side and a small amount of upper body rotation.
It was a muscle spasm in his left spinal erector due to hip elevation and compensation. When he pulled the large pipe and lifting, he was already offset and by pulling on one side, the muscle went right into spasm in the mid-back.
He was given a program of 7 exercises that takes him 17 minutes total. During his exercises, he does deep abdominal breathing when possible.
Right after his first session same afternoon, he was able to take a deeper breath and pain had decreased approximately 50%. This is huge for someone with “Spondy”. The next day, more improvement and breathing issues down to 5%.
In the picture below, he is at the beginning of his exercises. This exercise is relaxing his back muscles while lining up his hip, knees, ankles and feet while working his hip flexors (muscles that move the leg). After 5 minutes he moves into his next exercise.
You don’t have to be a slave to pain or conditions. You can make changes that allow you to move more functionally and without pain. As one of my clients says “effortlessly”.
If you are someone who wants to be pain free and has Spondylolethesis, please contact me and we will do an assessment. If you are not local, all can be done via the internet on Zoom.
CHEK Practitioner Level 4
Postural Alignment Specialist Certified through Egoscue Institute
Do you have a sore knee?
You start to notice that you are having knee pain, however it’s not bad enough to consider going to a doctor.
If you are an athlete or do a lot of walking and moving around, you might decide to wear a band around your knee to keep it feeling more stable. However; as time moves forward you might start noticing that the knee pain becomes more constant and gets in the way of certain activities. You begin to wonder if something is torn? You go to a doctor and they decide to do an X-ray or MRI. They tell you to go to physical therapy. All the while looking at the knee as the problem, which from that perspective, it is.
Postural therapy is going to look at this situation from an entirely different perspective. Let’s examine what has happened and how to address the pain.
We have 8 loading joints. The joints are shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. It’s optimum if they are equal, however when one joint changes, it will affect both sides of the body and all the other 7 joints. When your knee begins to hurt, you are going to favor the knee and stop putting as much weight on the affected side. Now the opposite site begins to work harder and tighten up due to excess work load. During the process of dealing with a sore joint, the other joints will shift to keep the body upright and able to move. This is very smart on the part of the body, however will play havoc with the other joints and muscles. When approaching just the issue with the knee without looking and working with the other muscles and joints, compensation begins to take over and additional issues can arise. A common example is low back pain. This can go unnoticed until pain starts and now there is a second problem. I’ve heard this over and over where clients will start with an injury on one side and later well after the injury is better they begin having problems with other body parts. Maybe you are wondering why low back pain would occur months later? The compensations that occurred during the time of pain and injury changed your movement patterns. One side is still working harder, while the other side may be less strong and a bit inactive in certain muscles. How this happens goes back to the nervous system and survival. Your body learned a different way to survive and keep you upright with more weight on one side. Unless this is addressed, your body doesn’t know you need to re-educate how to move. It’s just doing what was necessary to help you get around during the painful knee issue. This is a simple and brief explanation of what happens.
How do you fix all of this? When assessing the posture, we look for misalignment’s and compensations. Maybe one shoulder is higher than the other, or you notice one arm looks longer. Maybe your upper body is rotated in one direction, or a kneecap looks lower than the other side. Using stretches and exercises we can begin to straighten out the misalignments and when this occurs, pain reduces, and you begin to move freely without restriction from a painful joint. A simple morning routine around 20 minutes per day will reduce pain and improve movement. Its really empowering to have control over your pain and experience it diminishing.
Carolyn Vanzlow Postural Therapist
CHEK Practitioner Level 4
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.
For more information and a complimentary assessment in person or via the internet:
carolynvanzlow.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Well into my career in Postural Therapy I noticed that some of my clients weren’t getting the expected results. Studying their postural photos, I noticed those who had shoulder issues and poor upper body posture would lack the change needed to relieve, reduce and eliminate knee pain. Even if I discovered a dysfunctional pelvis and lower body (which always was the case) I still didn’t get the expected results. Looking at all the postural photos and functional tests I decided to look more out of the box. What I discovered was implementing shoulder postural corrections would immediately reduce knee pain, even before I started correcting their base of support, the pelvis. If you are someone who feels like you have done all the work, and still can’t dissolve and reduce knee pain, your shoulders may be the driving factor. I have observed through the years that poor shoulder position can drive neck pain, mid back pain, groin pain, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain and elbow pain. As one of my instructors always said the two most used joints in the human body are the jaw and the shoulders. Not everyone is shoulder driven, however like mentioned earlier, if you have tried many modalities, it might be time to explore what Postural Therapy can do for you to become pain and injury free.
Carolyn Vanzlow is a Postural Therapist Certified Through Egoscue Institute
For more information visit her website www.carolynvanzlow.com
Have you ever stood up or gotten out of bed and thought to yourself “I must have tweaked my knee”.
Now thinking back, did you do anything the day before to bring that on? More than likely, I bet you didn’t do anything to your knee. So what would cause this sudden onset of knee pain?
We sit, stand, walk around and our base of support is below the waist, it’s our pelvis. More than likely, you have rotated and perhaps on side is more anterior than the other. This means that when you place your foot down during movement, you may have more weight distributed on the front, back, or sides. Try this test; make sure you can grab something just in case you lose balance. Take your shoes off and close your eyes. This will work best with eyes closed. Wait until you can feel both feet individually. Now start with one foot and notice where the weight is. Is it on the heel, mid foot or toes? Perhaps a combination of both? Is the weight on the inside or outside of the foot? Now repeat the same test on the opposite foot. When you have completed this, determine whether or not one foot has more pressure on the floor. Meaning; it there more weight one one of the feet?
My guess is you will find a difference between the two sides. This demonstrates you have a compensation and that is why your knee hurts or feels painful.
This can be corrected through a series of 3-5 exercise in Postural Therapy. It also indicate there are weaknesses within the Gluteal muscles.
For more information, go to my website and make an appointment for a complimentary consultation. You can see me at my office or we can schedule an appointment on Skype or Zoom.
Happy Healing’s, Carolyn
Research has demonstrated undeniably that exercise does slow down the ageing process.
As Postural Therapist and Corrective Exercise Specialist, I have observed through the years that not only is this true, but it can be taken a whole new level.
As we age, joints begin to stiffen and wear. If you have poor posture (improper load joints) you will begin to notice small changes, aches, pains and lack of range of motion. It’s very disturbing to me when I hear people say “I’m just getting old, it’s normal”. There is nothing normal about lack of ability to move.
We can change this with daily postural exercises and strength training. If you can plan 20 minutes per day for postural work and 3 times per week strength training you are going to be amazed and thrilled with your results.
Clients describe the changes as “feeling more functional, looser and much stronger”.
Have you noticed that after a fall a few days later your knee hurts, shoulder or back?
When we fall it may take a few days for the compensations to begin bothering you. You may not even put it together the fall was the source of your pain.
Postural Therapy re-aligns your compensations with exercises that will begin the healing process after your first session.