What is Aston-Patterning®? Well, that’s a really tough question. In my eyes Aston-Patterning is more of a “How” than a “What”. Aston-Patterning is not about a specific set of exercises or massage techniques applicable to any person. Aston-Patterning is about assessing the individual client to tailor an effective approach to enhancing their natural movement. Aston-Kinetics is a system of looking at movement throughout the whole person, identifying movement patterns. For example: how does your feet placement effect your shoulders, do you lean to your right side, is your back extended, is it slumped? While noticing how the body moves in its pattern, I integrate into my assessment why that pattern exists – based on the client’s physical history and current aliments. Collecting a holistic vision of each person’s individual pattern is the first step. Then the client’s individual pattern is treated with movement exercises and deep massage dedicated to increasing communication throughout the body. Aston-Patterning is about letting your body move from its base support up. In 20 years of Physical therapy experience, I have yet to find another body of work that addresses whole-body-wellness in this way. I recommend getting regular AP sessions to improve posture, reduce chronic pain, and to optimize how you move whether in a sport or in an office.
In trying to explain Aston-Patterning, my client Liz came to mind as an example. Liz, 74, came to me 2 years after a left shoulder replacement surgery. Her physical recovery from the surgery was not progressing as she would like despite therapy and myofacial work. In addition to limited motion in her shoulder, she had difficulty bending over and getting up from the floor. During our consultation Liz told me she dreamed about some day being a grandmother, and was worried that her limited motion would keep her from being able to play with her grandchildren. No sooner than she said this, her daughter-in-law became pregnant! Liz was thrilled and motivated to move things along.
As I worked with her shoulder, it soon became apparent that Liz’s pelvis was not supporting her spine, thus the ribs were not supporting her shoulders. It was as if her shoulders were holding her up, rather than her back. Her body moved in fear of letting her shoulders relax. As we were able to get her pelvis under her shoulders and in a supportive position for her spine, both her shoulders were freed-up. Her motion and pain improved. Ah, ha… release and relief. This relief gave her confidence to have her other shoulder replaced. The second surgery was a success and Liz made record progress recovering. By the time the baby was born, Liz was able to easily get up from the floor, even holding the weight of the baby. Now, she regularly holds the baby for naps up to 2 hours!
The important thing to note is Aston-Kinetics is this paradigm shift the way we think about how we move and how this movement supports our body’s function. Rather than focusing on Liz’s shoulder I focused on how her shoulder moved in relation to the rest of her body. Sniffing out the root of the problem, not just the symptom. The conventional medical model divides movement into straight planes, forward and back, side to side, and up and down. In reality our movements are far more complex. Truly we move in asymmetrical spirals connecting our body all the way down to our DNA. Using the Aston concepts you learn to move accurately with your body to achieve optimal form or alignment- taking this newfound relief and strength into whatever you are doing.
If you have questions about this work or would like to set up an appointment, please contact me.