The Egoscue Method
By Rosemary O’Connell
One thing every dancer hears is that they need to work on their posture. I don’t think I know any dancer who hasn’t been scolded to stand up straight. Even when we think we’re doing well, quite frankly, we’re probably not. Good posture is difficult to find and even more difficult to maintain.
About a year ago, my dance partner (and husband) Daniel and I began to actively improve our posture. As regular competitors and occasional social dancers, we knew that improving our posture would have a significant impact on our ability to dance and present ourselves. We considered a few things, such as yoga and Pilates, but the class times at our gym simply wouldn’t fit with our schedule. Eventually we heard of Healing Motion Therapy through word of mouth.
Healing Motion Therapy is a private, alternative clinic, of sorts. When I first heard of this clinic, I was a little skeptical. To me, this sounded like it would be similar to physical therapy or chiropractic care. Still, Dan was excited to try it, especially after hearing that it would improve his knee pain, so we gave it a chance.
Michelle Mariska, the owner and provider, mainly practices the Egoscue Method of health and healing. In a nutshell, Michelle says that she uses exercises to gently strengthen and stretch in order to change the alignment of the body. In the initial session, we discussed why we came to see her and explained our goals. We then had our posture thoroughly examined by Michelle. She has seventeen years of experience and a background in physiology, and it shows. She was easily able to see and explain the imperfections in our posture and in the way we walk. Every exercise she gave us was extremely personalized and effective. It was impressive to see how one simple exercise changed the way I looked and felt.
In addition to improving our posture, Michelle has reduced our pain. I occasionally got minor backaches after playing the oboe for too long, but after doing the Egoscue exercises, the pain became significantly less frequent. Dan has seen even more improvement than I have. He has chronic pain in his right knee, and Michelle found that he was not distributing the weight properly, thus causing all of his knee pain. He feels much better, and I’m enjoying the added bonus of better practices, since his knee pain would often hamper his dancing or the amount of time we could practice. Now every day is a good knee pain day, though when he doesn’t comply with his routine, the knee pain returns. The exercises are truly effective.
Due to the great things I have seen with improved posture, I would definitely recommend the Egoscue method to anyone who wants to improve their dancing, whether social or competitive, as well as their general health. I would also recommend Michelle to anyone with pain who has not seen relief with other, more traditional methods.
I am truly thankful to have found Egoscue, and to Michelle for continuing to help me and my dance partner in our never-ending work to improve our posture.