|This diagram represents The Patterns of Postural Change, Sara Meeks' concept of what happens to the human body as, but not because, we age. This is not necessarily the only pattern that may occur, but it is the most common one I have seen in my practice. The Meeks Method is a program designed to prevent, arrest and/or reverse this highly avoidable postural aging process.
© SARA MEEKS SEMINARS 2001
You will note that I stated above that the Patterns of Postural Change occur AS, but not BECAUSE, we age. If they do not occur because of age, then why DO they occur?
Let's take a closer look at the picture. If you were to envision a person who is 25 years old, would you think of the figure on the left or right of the continuum? If you were to envision a person who is 85 years old, would you think of the figure on the left or right? Do we not associate age with a forward-flexed, stooped-over type of posturing? However, I say it is AS we age because, in my practice, I have seen people in their 80's and 90's who resemble the person on the left side of the continuum and people in their 20's and 30's who more closely resemble the figures on the right side of the continuum. I have also seen people in much more advanced postural changes than the figure on the right.
This pattern is a result of many occurrences in life. Assuming that a person is born without any anatomical abnormalities, posture at any time during life will be representative of how life has been led, some of which is under a person's control and some of which is not (e.g. life as an infant and young toddler would be largely determined by parents and other influential people in a person's life.)* It will be representative of how much and what type of exercise/movement/activity, how much sitting and standing has been done along the way. It will also be representative of emotional states and belief systems, what kind and how many accidents, illnesses, and/or surgeries have been encountered along the way. At any point in life, a person is the sum total of what was present at birth and what has happened throughout the life span.
As you look at this picture, determine where you fit along the continuum. Then, imagine where you will fit in 5, 10 or more years. If you do not like what you see, then consider taking steps to avoid problems in the future. If you do like what you see, vow to preserve your good body alignment for your lifetime. Good body alignment in older age does not necessarily happen by accident—you may have to work at it.
The Meeks Method is designed to help you do this personally and also to help you instruct your patients to age more functionally and gracefully. Information in the Level I, Yoga or Pilates Seminars explains the Patterns of Postural Change in much more detail.