Posture

During the consultation the client's posture should be assessed. If there are postural problems then some muscles will be shortened and tight, while others will be stretched and weakened. These factors will influence the types of massage manipulation used over certain muscles. Tight shortened muscles will benefit from those manipulations that have a stretching effect such as the petrissage movements, while the stretched muscles will benefit from the more stimulating percussion movements.

Clients with poor posture will also benefit from exercises to correct posture; these can be given after treatment or as part of home advice.

Posture is used to describe the alignment of the body, in other words how the body is held. Very few people have perfect posture because it is influenced by both physical and psychological factors throughout life.

When the client comes into the salon, observe how s/he walks, stands and holds her/himself: this alone will give some information regarding posture. Are the movements evenly balanced or is there tilting, stooping or unevenness in the way s/he moves?

When the client has undressed, a more accurate assessment can be made.

(a)

Vortex of head Lobe of ear

Point of the shoulder

Greater trochanter at the hip joint

Behind the patella

In front of the ankle joint

Vortex of head Lobe of ear

Point of the shoulder

Greater trochanter at the hip joint

Behind the patella

In front of the ankle joint

Figure 8.6 Points that the line of gravity will pass through if posture is correct.

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