Ideas for postural analysis

Guest blogger and 2018 FHT Training Congress speaker, James Earls, shares a few pointers to help therapists feel at ease when performing a postural analysis.

Man massaging a woman's neck

Performing a postural analysis can be nerve wracking for the therapist and the client. I remember my first few appointments after qualifying in structural integration – I was supposed to be some kind of expert with my certificate on the wall but, when confronted with an uncomfortable client standing in front of me in their underwear, it was nearly impossible to see anything clearly. Sweat ran down my sides, my brain shut down and I rushed to let the client get onto the couch and relax.

Once my client was on the table (usually face-down) and we were both back in our comfort zones, I could think clearly and get back to doing everything I learnt in basic bodywork class.

Eventually, I realised I was doing a disservice to everyone involved. I was rushing into a treatment with no real plan, thereby undermining my own professionalism and the training that required a lot of my time and money. Most importantly, the client was not getting ‘their’ treatment, just a re-hash of a range of numerous techniques that might correct some muscle issues but not necessarily the ones that were most significant for their overall pattern.

The privilege of teaching bodywork for 20 years has shown me that I was not alone in this experience. Many therapists practise bodyreading in the safe environment of the class where there is a mutual understanding of the process, but then have some degree of shyness, panic and/or discomfort when it comes to the privacy of the clinic room.

Here are a few pointers I hope will support you through the process of becoming more at ease.

1. Practise. The more you look the more you will see. Stay relaxed and don’t be hard on yourself. It takes time to see things and you will find there is a feedback loop between understanding something and seeing it more clearly. Seeing clearly will help you understand it a little better because you can now see it.Our visual system is tuned to pick up things that we already know. If you are new to a situation and information, it will take repetition for the visual cortex to re-tune itself. It is important to remind yourself of this in classes where the ‘expert’ points things out and you and your friends may not see what they are talking about. To a certain degree, it is true that you can’t see it as you didn’t know about the concept or the anatomy and your cortex needs time to learn the necessary algorithms. After a while these things become clear – but only with practice.

2. Positives. When assessing someone, especially for the first time, make sure you start with positives. What is working well in their structure? What is strong, balanced, open, grounded or light? Make sure your comments are clear and specific as possible; don’t make generic platitudes. But also, more importantly, don’t make them suggestive – choosing your words carefully is another important skill to practise.

While it might seem less important to find the ‘right’ things than the ‘wrong’, think of the process from the client’s point of view. They have an in-take session in which they list all of the negatives about themselves, often they already feel some degree of low self-esteem coupled with any pains and discomforts that inspired the appointment, and then we ask them to remove their clothes and stand in front of us while we list their faults, many of which they didn’t even know they had.

If we’re going to make our clients feel better, why not start from the outset and reinforce the fact that there are many good things in their system, not just the painful, stiff, or ugly ones they notice.

3. Feedback. Practise with friends, family or the regular clients who are already invested in your success. Ask them for feedback on how they feel about the process. Things like the position of mirrors, room temperature, draughts, your own posture and gestures – anything they notice should be considered for your clients’ comfort.

4. Real and relative. To bring it now to the technical – there are two methods of assessing posture, reading the real position of the bone in gravity and understanding its relative position to its bony neighbours. Few references, if any, make this clear.

Most standard texts measure a bone’s relationship to gravity and the floor; this is the usual plumb line approach.  We will call this the real position because we are only considering one bone’s position in space. The most common example is pelvic tilt and while there are many versions of what it ‘should’ be, most of those measure the pelvis to the floor by assessing the angles between the PSIS, ASIS and pubis.

Measuring the bone angle is fine but it excludes a lot of other information about the relationship to the rest of the body. For example, the pelvis can be anteriorly tilted by standard measurements and we would therefore expect the hip to be in flexion but this is not always the case. To really understand what is happening with the soft tissues, we need to assess joint positions.

A joint is a relationship between at least two bones and is independent of gravity. We refer to this as the relative position because it compares one bone relative to another. Reading the relative position requires seeing the relationship between bones. In the case of pelvic tilt, the relationship between the pelvis and the femur.

It is possible, in fact it is very common, for the pelvis to be anteriorly tilted in gravity but ‘posteriorly tilted’ relative to the femur. The implication is that the hip is actually in extension, and not in flexion, making the flexors longer and the hip closer to its normal end of range – could this be why so many people are diagnosed with ‘short, tight hip flexors’?

Coming to terms with the relationships through the body and how it all fits together requires clarity in what you are seeing – both the real position of the bone in space and its relationship to other bones.

5. Practise. This is so important it is worth repeating. You won’t learn to see until you start practising seeing.


Learn more at the 2018 FHT Training Congress

You can learn more about postural analysis at the 2018 FHT Training Congress in the NEC Birmingham:

Postural analysis – adding the next dimension to your treatment
With James Earls (supported by Lotus Publishing)jamesearls
Room 2, Monday 21 May, 2pm – 3pm

Postural analysis is often considered diagnostic – it isn’t. Posture is only the starting position from which movement takes place and it gives information about a client’s potential for movement. Performing quick postural screenings allows therapists to ask better questions and getting better information is an essential element of giving a good treatment.

Book your FHT Training Congress tickets

You have one day left to pre-book your seminar tickets as sales will close this Friday at 4.30pm. Any remaining tickets will be sold on a first-come first-served basis at our Training Congress.

Remember to also register for free entry to the Holistic Health Show

FHT 2018 Training Congress at Holistic Health

#FHTCongress

How to attract your ideal clients – by discovering your unique brilliance and authentic brand

Guest blogger and 2018 FHT Training Congress speaker, Emma Hague, discusses how to attract your ideal clients using archetypes.

Emma Hague

Have you ever got talking to someone new and felt like you’ve known them for years?

Ever noticed how you naturally resonate with the characters from certain books, films or songs? As though their story is one you’ve somehow lived yourself?

The same is true for your brand. Branding isn’t just about having a fancy logo to spark recognition – and the reality is most of us won’t live long enough to establish a brand like the Nike ‘swoosh’ or McDonald’s ‘golden arches’.

True branding for the small business owner is the emotional appeal you create – whether that’s with a logo, the way you speak or your physical presence.

As people who ARE our business, we naturally put across certain traits, values and language when we speak to our clients (and potential clients) – even if we don’t mean to!

And so it’s essential that you understand what you want your brand to be, what it stands for and how to get that across properly to people.

Ever feel like you’re not attracting your ideal clients? And wondered why?

Have a look at some of your competitors’ websites – I’ll bet you’ll find many are created from some kind of template and they can have a fairly standard, corporate feel to them.

Everything looks the same – same services, same stock photos, same fonts… it can be very difficult to work out the kind of people you’re dealing with and thus, many people who try to market purely online find it difficult to get the results they really want.

Doing good work and being honest and reliable are worthy characteristics. But let’s be realistic, it’s charisma and personality that make a person and their business succeed.

Which is why when I work with clients on creating their authentic signature brand, I include the amazing power of archetypes.

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So what is an archetype?

Archetypes are well-established character types that exist in each one of us and permeate the essence of who we are.

Archetypes define our personality and our values and when you reflect your own archetype in your personal branding, your ideal clients are drawn to you.

Your audience can connect with who you are rather than just what you do (which may be the same as thousands of other business owners).

There are dozens of different archetypes and they’re often used in therapy and healing. I focus on just 12 in branding a business like yours.

What’s important to know is that each archetype: Alchemist, Maverick, Humanitarian, Artist, Nurturer, Jester, Romantic, Innocent, Hero, Ruler, Explorer and Teacher has it’s own meaning, personality, values, strengths, likes and dislikes and sense of mission.

What this means for you is that when you brand your business with the stunningly accurate power of archetypes, you immediately make your marketing easier and incredibly exciting because you’ll (finally!) clearly communicate who you are and what you’re all about to your audience.

Branding With Archetypes dives deep into the heart and soul of who you are. We see this shining through in highly successful people who’ve turned who they are into a brand they love.

Here are three examples to show you exactly what I mean:

Example 1: Angelina Jolie

Can you guess which archetype Angelina is? Well, in her early twenties Angelina was known for being a Rebel and she is still a voice for challenging authority (through the Jolie-Pitt Foundation she fights against global issues of injustice such as immigration, sexual violence and rape).

However, she channels most of her energy now through her true archetype of Humanitarian and is passionate about helping those less fortunate than herself. She is a special envoy for the United Nations and is noted for her extensive work in poorer countries of the world.

Example 2: Oprah Winfrey

What is Oprah’s speciality? Transformation! Oprah takes the raw material of life and turns it into something amazing through her charitable work and makeovers.

Her archetype is the Alchemist – the archetype of change and transformation.

Her message is clear and consistent: with enough determination ANYONE can live their best life.

Example 3: Me! Emma Hague

As a Ruler archetype (with some influence of the Hero) I am passionate about taking control of my own future and creating a prosperous and successful family and community.

I strongly believe that we are in control of (and responsible for) how our lives turn out and in helping others achieve the results they desire.

Which is why in the ‘Identifying your unique brilliance and authentic brand’ session I’ll be hosting at the FHT Training Congress in May, we’ll focus on how your brand is your personal archetype expressed through your business.

It’s personality that separates the ordinary from the extraordinary. Archetypes give you a highly creative yet easily structured way to create a brand rich with emotion and personality – one that’s authentic and unique to YOU.

Emma will be giving two talks at the 2018 FHT Training Congress at the Holistic Health Show:

Charge what you’re worth and get it
Room 3, Sunday 20 May, 12pm – 1pm

Do you often feel unsure about what you should be charging? Do you feel like you can’t charge what you want to, because you’ll lose clients or you’d feel guilty charging more? Learn the secrets to understanding your own value and pricing with confidence, so you can finally charge what you’re worth… and get it!

Identifying your unique brilliance and authentic brand
Room 3, Monday 21 May, 10.30 – 11.30am

In this fun and inspirational session, you will discover your ‘brand archetype’, which unlocks the powerful, instantly recognisable presence within you that is a client-attraction and opportunity magnet. Capture your spirit, personality and passion into an authentic brand that you can use in all of your marketing.

 

Book your FHT Training Congress tickets

Remember to also register for free entry to the Holistic Health Show

FHT 2018 Training Congress at Holistic Health

FHT Training Congress Speaker Highlight: Lotte Mikkelsen

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Lotte Mikkelsen is a laughter ambassador and laughter yoga master trainer, as well as being a laughter therapist trainer and gibberish trainer. She is your everyday laughter queen.

In 2017, Lotte celebrated a decade of delivering Certified Laughter Yoga Leader Training in the UK with passion, compassion and empathy, always with her students in mind.

After founding UnitedMind in 2002, the laughter yoga journey has been exciting and life-changing in many ways. Working with organisations in the private and public sectors falls naturally with her background of almost 20 years in technology companies prior to starting her full-time laughter venture.

Where to find Lotte at the FHT Training Congress:

Laughter yoga
Room 1, Monday 21 May, 12pm – 1pm

Enjoy an hour of laughter yoga where you will be actively moving around and connecting with people, experiencing the benefits of extending your laughter from a few seconds to a real workout. The workshop gives you an insight into how you can choose laughter in your life, everyday.

Look out for an article by Lotte on laughter yoga in the next issue of International Therapist.

Book your FHT Training Congress tickets here

Remember to also register for free entry to the Holistic Health Show on their website here.

FHT 2018 Training Congress at Holistic Health

FHT Training Congress Speaker Highlight: Jane Duncan Rogers

Jane Duncan Rogers cropped.pngJane Duncan Rogers, award-winning coach and counsellor, founded Before I Go Solutions, a social enterprise that arose directly from her memoir, Gifted By Grief: A True Story of Cancer, Loss and Rebirth. She speaks internationally about the benefits of preparing well for a good end of life, and supports people to make full end of life plans through the products and programmes provided by Before I Go Solutions.

She is also teaching an FHT Hosted course, which you can book here.

Where to find Jane at the 2018 FHT Training Congress:

Five pointers to being with your terminally ill clients
Room 3, Monday 21 May, 2pm – 3pm

When facing end of life, how others behave around you is crucial, especially your therapist. In this talk, Jane introduces you to five essential things to consider with your client, in order to best support them, and facilitate as good an end of life as possible.

Book your FHT Training Congress tickets here

Remember to also register for free entry to the Holistic Health Show on their website here.

FHT 2018 Training Congress at Holistic Health

FHT Training Congress Speaker Highlight: Emma Hague

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Emma Hague is a Certified Money Breakthrough Coach, Chartered Management Accountant and entrepreneur who helps women in accounting get that first ‘breakthrough’ in their home-based business so they can find the confidence they need to build a business they love – and get past that place of ‘never having any money’ no matter how hard they seem to try.

Emma has helped scores of business women (and men!) during her time as a self-employed accountant and business coach – from Architects to Ecological Surveyers, Fish & Chip Shops to Landlords, Scientists to Sushi Bars and Tilers to Web Designers!

Where to find Emma at the 2018 FHT Training Congress:

Charge what you’re worth and get it
Room 3, 
Sunday 20 May, 12.00pm – 1.00pm

Do you often feel unsure about what you should be charging? Do you feel like you can’t charge what you want to, because you’ll lose clients or you’d feel guilty charging more? Learn the secrets to understanding your own value and pricing with confidence, so you can finally charge what you’re worth… and get it!

Identify your unique brilliance and authentic brand
Room 3, Monday 21 May, 10.30am – 11.30am

In this fun and inspirational session, you will discover your ‘brand archetype’, which unlocks the powerful, instantly recognisable presence within you that is a client-attraction and opportunitiy magnet. Capture your spirit, personality and passion into an authentic brand that you can use in all of your marketing.

Book your FHT Training Congress tickets here

Remember to also register for free entry to the Holistic Health Show on their website here.

FHT 2018 Training Congress at Holistic Health

FHT Training Congress Speaker Highlight: Jane Johnson

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Jane Johnson is a physiotherapist with a passion for helping therapists to gain confidence in hands-on techniques. A massage and sports massage therapist for many years, she appreciates the value of touch and thrives on sharing the many tips she has picked up over the years. Jane is author of six books for therapists: Soft Tissue Release, Therapeutic Stretching, Deep Tissue Massage, Postural Assessment, Postural Correction and The Big Back Book; Tips and Tricks for Therapists. You can contact Jane on her Facebook page, The Friendly Physio.

In 2015, Jane wrote a two-part feature for International Therapist magazine, which provides an in-depth discussion on therapeutic stretching. This feature serves as an excellent primer for Jane’s session at our Training Congress, and you can read both parts here and here.

Jane is also teaching FHT Hosted courses, which you can book here and here.

Where to find Jane at the FHT Training Congress:

Stretching your clients
Room 2, Monday 21 May, 10.30am – 11.30am

Would you like to incorporate stretches into your massage routine? This seminar includes practical elements to show you how you can utilise and deliver couch-based and seat-based passive stretches. It also provides you with information on how to adapt your stretches to suit various clients’ levels of flexibility and contraindications.

Book your FHT Training Congress tickets here

Remember to also register for free entry to the Holistic Health Show on their website here.

FHT 2018 Training Congress at Holistic Health

FHT Training Congress Speaker Highlight: Barbara Scott

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Barbara Scott is the founder of Seren Natural Fertility, Reproflexology™ Training  and Chair of The Association of Reproductive Reflexologists.  She is the author of ‘Reflexology for Fertility’ (Watkins Books 2016), and was awarded Complementary Therapist of the Year 2017 by the FHT.  She speaks regularly at The Fertility Show in London and Manchester and on specialist panels as an expert and voice for Reproductive Reflexology as a form of support and integrative medicine for couples who are trying to conceive.

Learn more about reflexology for fertility in a feature Barbara wrote for International Therapist, which you can read here.

Where to find Barbara at the FHT Training Congress:

Reproflexology as an integrative approach to fertility
Room 1, 
Sunday 20 May, 12.00pm – 1.00pm

Reproflexology™ is an integrative approach to using reflexology to support fertility and underlying reproductive conditions for both men and women.  The integrative approach allows us to understand what the issues may be, measure outcomes and monitor progress.  This provides an evidence based approach to fertility, using reflexology as the main form of treatment.

Book your FHT Training Congress tickets here

Remember to also register for free entry to the Holistic Health Show on their website here.

FHT 2018 Training Congress at Holistic Health