to SPEAK or CONDUCT A WORKSHOP“Kathleen Porter’s insights about skeletal alignment are destined to change the way we think about and inhabit our bodies.” Christiane Northrup, M.D.
Kathleen presents new “out-of-the-box” insights that shake up our thinking about what “good posture” really is and what it means to not just have a body, but to be one.
Events can be targeted to specific interest of a variety of groups or organizations related to adults or children’s health.
Compelling visual examples add layers of insight, many gathered during Kathleen’s travels throughout the world.
Participants are guided to experience first-hand some of the benefits available through putting these principles into practice. It’s not unusual for an entire room full of tired, achey bodies to discover, within a few short minutes, how to release unwanted tension and pain in the body.
The following are samples of topics related to natural posture and structural alignment in adults and children.
TOPICS THAT FOCUS ON ADULTS
Presentations pertaining to adults and natural posture—what it is and how it relates to chronic pain and other related health issues—are ideal for many groups and organizations that include health professionals, occupational therapists, physical therapists, bodyworkers, fitness instructors, athletes and coaches, yoga teachers/students, as well as meditators. Anyone who who wishes to more effectively address lingering chronic pain issues among their patients, clients, or students, will learn why alignment of the skeleton, the underlying framework of support for the body, lies at the heart of much of the back pain, knee, hip, shoulder, and neck pain experienced by millions of people today, as well as a long list of other chronic health issues. Discovering the details of the essential role of the body’s natural alignment is an exciting new development that has been too-long overlooked: Even people with seemingly intractable pain and other issues often find relief when learning how to align themselves with the same original human structural design that all healthy toddlers discover when first learning how to sit up, stand and walk.
BONE DEEP: The Essential Role of Aligned Bones for Authentic Strength, Flexibility, and Freedom from Tension and Pain.
Alignment of the skeleton plays a far bigger role than we’ve understood in whether or not one suffers from back, neck, hip, knee and a host of other pain conditions. A collapsed structure, as well as one that is overly lifted and “held up” with chronic muscle tension, distorts the spinal cord—the primary neural pathway—creating compression of intervertebral discs and weight-bearing joints. Many people who have tried everything else without success, find their pain problems, stiffness and inflexibility, even fatigue, begin to resolve themselves as soon as their body finds the support it needs in aligned bones. Attendees are invited to participate and are guided through finding the support they need for sitting comfortably in a chair for long periods of time. This talk is also well-suited for employer-sponsored occupational safety programs for employees.
FINDING PEACE INSIDE YOUR SKIN: The Psycho-Spiritual Benefits of Natural Alignment (or How Would the Buddha Sit?)
How would Buddha sit? Slouched in a collapsed heap? Or a tensely lifted-up chest and straining back muscles instead? Would Jesus be sporting six-pack abs and “buns of steel” underneath his robes? Not likely, as these distortions from the naturally aligned center create chronic tensions and block the flow of energy throughout the body. In other words, these are not peaceful postures. A naturally aligned skeleton provides the framework of support for the body that allows tension in muscles—and the mind—to relax. In fact, only when we have the support of aligned bones is it finally safe to fully relax without any fear of collapse. As we learn to align our bones along the vertical axis of gravity, we discover that we have always had all the strength and support we ever needed within, resting within ourselves, at the ready to provide us with stability, strength, openness, vitality, and joy at anytime, without effort or strain.
This talk includes an illuminating slideshow that touches upon the relationship between breathing, energy flow, aligned bones and the role they play in meditation, heightened awareness, stress reduction techniques and as the physical structure for aligning and opening chakras. Participants will have an opportunity to experience how limiting beliefs and attitudes we have about ourselves and others often begin to drop away, as we let go of the physical tension that keeps mental and emotional tension trapped within the body/mind. As we free the body, we also free the mind.
TOPICS THAT FOCUS ON CHILDREN
Children’s health has suffered greatly in recent decades. There are a variety of reasons for this, almost all of them avoidable. The following are samples of presentations that are designed to be of special interest to pediatric health professionals, pediatric occupational and physical therapists, parents, teachers, school administrators, parent/teacher groups, and others who work with and care for children of all ages, from newborn through high school.
BELLY-TO-EARTH: THE PHYSICAL DISEMPOWERMENT OF BABIES & ITS CONSEQUENCES
This talk sounds an urgent alarm, while also providing workable solutions for ensuring that babies are given ample opportunities for neurodevelopmental movements in the earliest months of life. Until recent decades, babies typically developed and thrived through the natural “belly-to-earth” movements that serve as the motor that drives development of a healthy, well-functioning nervous system. Think for a moment of a newborn kitten that actively squirms and writhes as it pushes its way through a heap of litter mates to the source of its food. The kitten’s movements are powered by a “pushing against”-type of engagement with the Earth (and any surface that represents the Earth) through a phenomenon known as ground-reaction force (GRF). While human babies are not kittens, the same mechanism is at work in newborn infants as with all vertebrate species, yet GRF is ineffective—indeed, mostly impossible—from an on-the-back position. It’s the belly-to-earth (think greatly expanded “Tummy Time”) movements that fire up billions of sensory and motor neurons within the spinal cord in order to form essential, lasting connections between body and brain. This is key to building a solid internal core that supports postural integrity and assists with the integration of primitive reflexes, as well as development of basic motor and cognitive abilities, processing of sensory input, and maturation of social and emotional skills.
Because of the recent development of and subsequent over-reliance on strollers, car seats, bouncy seats and swings, along with the physical disempowerment
of the well-intentioned but misguided “Back-to-Sleep” campaign, many babies have become unwittingly robbed of these essential neurodevelopmental movements. While some children do appear to “catch up” from this movement deficit, others do not. The good news is that many children, even at older ages, show marked improvement once basic infantile movements are reintroduced in a therapeutic way.
MINDFUL ALIGNMENT (or Let’s Get Blood Flowing to their Brains!)
At a time when so many children are struggling with learning disorders, sensory processing issues, behavioral challenges, “unexplained” pain, skyrocketing sports injuries, depression and sleep problems—and frequently prescribed medications for these conditions—we are remiss if we do not examine the relationship between structural collapse and how this compromises the spine/spinal cord/nervous system, as well as the long-term effects of chronic slouching on respiration, circulation and organ function. While there is no research in the United States that is looking into this, mounds of anecdotal evidence point to dramatic improvement in children’s ability to be more calm, focused and physically relaxed and comfortable when they learn how to be supported by naturally aligned bones. Children love learning and applying the details of how their bodies are designed to work. They appreciate being invited to turn their awareness inward and being given permission to feel what is going on inside their skin.
This talk and slide show addresses the long and short-term consequences of the slouching epidemic plaguing so many children today. Through no fault of their own, most parents, teachers, and medical professionals are at a loss to know how to help children know how to “sit up straight” in a way that is both comfortable and sustainable. The key is knowing how to guide children (and ourselves!) onto an aligned pelvis that serves as the foundation for a relaxed, elongated spine that rises above it, without having to depend on straining muscles to hold it up.
This talk is chock full of useful information for anyone concerned about the health and welfare of children and is especially suited for medical professionals, educational conferences, public health and policy-making organizations, parent/teacher organizations and faculty groups.