As a Tai Chi teacher or therapist, have you ever noticed a student’s or patient’s slumped posture and wished that you could help them find a more efficient alignment? Perhaps you’ve mentioned some posture tips to the entire class or even quietly instructed the individual, but they still weren’t able to make a noticeable change?
While many Tai Chi teacher programs advocate a “no touch” policy, I find that under certain conditions using touch as a positive guiding influence can be very effective. However, before touching a student or client consider at least two important things: one, is it legally appropriate to do so? and two, verbal consent at a minimum must be received prior to any physical contact.
Touch is our most primal sense and the first sense we experience, as a fetus protected within our mothers’ womb. Our skin actually develops from the same embryological layer (ectoderm) as our brain, meaning that it provides salient input directly to the central nervous system. The effect of touch on the neuromuscular system alters levels of muscle tension underlying the skin is another well-known concept. With respect to the miraculous function of skin receptors, the story of using touch as a guide for posture change goes even deeper. Beneath our skin, connective tissue extends in all directions creating a complex, interconnected net within which all other body structures are contained. By design, this ubiquitous connective tissue is crystalline in nature and thus, like all crystals, conducts piezoelectric information. This piezoelectric flow informs cellular systems to alter and adapt various functions, including posture.
If you are ready to understand how to powerfully correct posture by leveraging the connective tissue system, then check out this week’s IRQTC training tips.