Ideas for Healthy Aging: Postural Restoration Institute
As we age, our bodies undergo numerous changes that can affect our posture and overall health. Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) is an approach that focuses on restoring optimal postural alignment and function of the body. It is an effective tool for healthy aging, as it addresses common postural imbalances and dysfunctions that can lead to pain, injury, and reduced quality of life.
The PRI's approach to Postural Restoration is based on the idea that the human body is inherently asymmetrical, and that asymmetry can lead to pain, dysfunction, and limitations in movement. The PRI's treatment techniques focus on restoring balance and symmetry in the body through specific exercises, manual techniques, and neuromuscular re-education. In this blog I would like to help make you aware of this option, share some information about what I believe are key concepts, and explain how PRI can impact healthy aging.
The first concept affects most people and is called the "Right BC Left AIC Pattern". The Right BC Left AIC Pattern describes a common compensation pattern where the muscles on the right side of the body's Backward Chain become overactive and dominant, while the muscles on the left side of the body's Anterior Interior Chain become overactive and dominant. This compensation pattern can result in asymmetrical posture and movement, which can lead to pain and dysfunction.
To address the Right BC Left AIC Pattern, Postural Restoration exercises and techniques focus on retraining the body to use the correct muscles and restore balance between the Backward Chain and Anterior Interior Chain. This can involve exercises to activate weak muscles, release overactive muscles, and promote symmetrical movement patterns.
The second concept is the zone of apposition. The zone of apposition (ZOA) is a term used to describe the region where the diaphragm muscle attaches to the lower ribs and the spine. This specifically refers to the area where the diaphragm's central tendon attaches to the inner surface of the lower ribs and the lumbar vertebrae.
The ZOA is important for the proper function of the diaphragm in breathing. During inhalation, the diaphragm contracts and moves downward, which increases the volume of the thoracic cavity and allows air to enter the lungs. The ZOA helps to anchor the diaphragm in place during this movement, preventing it from bulging into the abdomen and maintaining a more efficient contraction.
The ZOA can be affected by a variety of factors, such as poor posture, muscle imbalances, and injury. If the ZOA is compromised, it can lead to decreased diaphragmatic function and inefficient breathing, which can contribute to a range of health problems.
Here are some reasons why PRI is good for healthy aging:
- Addresses common postural imbalances: As we age, we may develop postural imbalances due to lifestyle habits, injuries, or other factors. These imbalances can lead to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. PRI helps identify and correct these imbalances by using specific exercises and techniques to activate and strengthen the muscles that support optimal posture.
- Improves breathing and oxygenation: PRI emphasizes the importance of proper breathing for optimal health and function. As we age, our lung capacity can decrease, making it harder to breathe deeply and efficiently. PRI techniques can help improve breathing mechanics and increase oxygenation, which can lead to improved energy, stamina, and overall health.
- Reduces pain and risk of injury: Many common aches and pains in older adults are related to postural imbalances and muscle weakness. PRI can help reduce pain and prevent injury by addressing these underlying issues. By improving posture and alignment, the body can move more efficiently and with less strain, reducing the risk of injury and discomfort.
- Enhances balance and stability: As we age, we may experience a decline in balance and stability, which can increase the risk of falls and other injuries. PRI exercises can help improve balance and stability by strengthening the muscles that support these functions. This can help older adults maintain their independence and reduce the risk of falls.
- Improved quality of life: By improving pain, mobility, breathing, digestion, and balance, PRI can enhance overall quality of life.
- Enhanced performance: PRI can improve athletic performance by optimizing movement patterns and reducing compensations that can lead to inefficiencies and limitations in movement.
- Improved digestion: PRI can improve digestion by addressing postural imbalances that affect the position and function of the organs in the abdomen.
I personally have struggled with a hip issue for an extended period of time. The Postural Institute has helped provide a productive way to make progress in dealing with my own injury. If you would like to learn more about the institute you can view their website at posturalrestoration.com.
Basic Concepts of the Postural Restoration Institute®, https://www.posturalrestoration.com/the-science/basic-concepts-of-the-postural-restoration-institute.
Polyarticular Chains, https://www.posturalrestoration.com/the-science/polyarticular-chains.
“Zone of Apposition (ZOA).” Zone of Apposition, https://www.posturalrestoration.com/the-science/zone-of-apposition-zoa.