The goal of the Corrective Works exercises is a better alignment of the body and greater balance in muscle tone. The exercises aim for greater ease in posture and body use, empowering the body to better respond to the demands we place upon it in everyday life.
Key Benefits are:
- Greater strength
- More ease
- Bigger range of motion and movement capabilities
- Increased suppleness
- Better adaptability to stress and changes in body and mind
- Improved function of internal organs
Posture is defined by our primary and secondary curves.
The Primary curves (our lordoses) are mainly defined by the basic inclination of our sacrum and pelvis. Our main postural organisation starts with the pelvis.
The secondary curves (our kyphoses) are a result of how we learn and adapt to movement as well as our understanding of our body. This can be expressed in arched or flat feet or cervicals. Through our life we develop habits and compensations that shape our curves, muscles, tone, tendons and thus our posture.
- Primary curves (pelvis, occiput, thoracic spine, heel) are structural and usually difficult to change
- Secondary curves (lumbars, arches of the feet, cervicals, knee pit) are created after birth by how we use our bodies, how we move and strengthen
An ideal posture would be aligning the ear over the shoulder over the hips over the knees and over the ankles.
The Corrective Works exercises aims to strengthen and tone atrophied muscles that are weakened by underuse. Muscles that are overused or overcompensate for weak structures will be released and strengthened.
This will establish a healthy, integrated relationship between the moving parts of the body.
Getting slowly in and out of a posture is as much part of the work as holding the posture itself. Eccentric work (slowly letting go against resistance) in combination with isometric work (holding a posture) is stimulation at the same time phasic muscles (for movement) as well as postural muscles (mainly holding us in place all day long).
Tight muscles have merely forgotten how to slide and have lost their suppleness in the tissue for being held in place for too long.
Changing one’s inner language is as important as the change of movement patterns. Start to think sliding and expansion rather than contraction and muscle fatigue. The body needs to open to grace, spiralling out into expansion from the centre.
Another key point to observe is intention and direction. Our bodies obey our thoughts as well as our focus. Always look and intend to go into the direction you want your body to go to avoid conflicts in your body. For example, engaging in a forward fold, while looking up, will tell your neck and back muscles to stay alert while they are moved into a stretch.
Chronic tension in a muscle will then increase the amount of oxygen and need for getting rid of waste products. The body will try to increase the blood flow, but the tension constricts the blood vessels, starving the muscles from oxygen and forcing it to accumulate waste product. The result is pain and tension.
In order to take the load of the muscle sarcomeres, the body will build up collagen along the lines of tension. This is a natural process aiming to strengthen the muscle and the tendon when high loads are placed upon the connective tissue. In case of chronic tension, it will however harden the muscle and lead to calcification of the tendon induced by the strong pull.
This mechanism can both happen for a muscle that is chronically shortened or lengthened. This way we shape our body into a postural pattern.
The Corrective Works Program follows the therapeutic concept of lengthening and strengthening of affected structures. Via lengthening the body will regain its suppleness and replace the collagen with more elastic tissue. We do this by stretching and opening passively and actively.
Second, we need to move and strengthen to increase the blood flow and reduce pain and muscle spasms through better oxygen supply and discharge of waste products. The goal is to ensure the muscle can contract and release again.
Ideally this is combined with (self-) massage work to open the fibres and allow better blood circulation in the affected areas. All active movement work will then contribute to realign the fibres and slowly replace the hardened tissue.
You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs.