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What we can learn from ... Trainer Shelly Hamrick explains benefits of symmetry

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Shelly Hamrick

Posted: Monday, June 4, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:30 am, Mon Jun 4, 2012.

Knee pain prompted Shelly Hamrick to try postural alignment therapy. After the first session, her knee never hurt agan.

The therapy, also known as symmetry, is a way of retraining the body by putting it in proper alignment.

Since it worked for her, Hamrick, who is a personal trainer, decided to try her hand at helping others through this therapy. She does this through her business, Beyond Balance.

On a recent afternoon, she explained what the therapy is all about.

Q: What do you enjoy about it?

A: I really enjoy making people feel better. Sometimes people come in as the last option. They just come to me and say, why not, let's try. After the first session, they usually call and say they haven't had any pain. It's rewarding to give people hope again to live without pain.

Q: What are its benefits?

A: Living a pain-free life.You teach yourself how to hold yourself in the correct position. I'm here to help but you're responsible for doing the routines yourself. It also prevents people from having surgeries.

Q: Who benefits from this therapy?

A: Usually anyone from athletes to corporate America people. Anyone who lives with a lot of pain.

Q: What are some of the exercises?

A: There's one called the sitting torso twist, which helps with hip elevation. There's the pirifomist stretch. It helps with rotating the hip. There are over 270 different exercises.

Q: What physical ailment do you see the most of?

A: Backpain.

Q: What causes joint degeneration?

A: Generally, it's when something is out of alignment.

Q: What problems can happen with misalignment?

A: Usually it's backpain. The spine gets misaligned. I see a lot of sciatic pain, rotator cuff problems, degenerative disk. I see that a lot.

Q: What are some important tips to remember to maintain proper posture?

A: If you have a desk job, try to get up every hour and take a quick walk. That will help release the pressure in the spine. Be active and do different kinds of workout routines. Get out and play. Really use the body in different ways so you can use all the muscles in all different ways.

Q: What is an example of different kinds of workouts?

A: Things that make the body move in different directions. Kickboxing is really good. Zumba is another one.

Q: What would be your advice to someone with chronic back pain?

A: Look at other treatment options besides medical and chiropractic. Be open to fixing yourself non-medically.

Q: What is the biggest success story you have had?

A: Randy had L-4 and L-5 disk that had been smashed together in 1992 due to an accident. He's been seeing a chiropractor, been on pain medication and was getting epidural shots. He has been coming in for six months. He told me the doctor noticed he has been standing up straight and that he has been feeling better.

Q: What is a big negative habit many people have that contributes to poor alignment?

A: Mostly, it's a lack of activity. Our bodies were made to move. Over time, our bodies break down. Some muscles are overworked, which causes pain and causes us to overcompensate.

Q: How long does it take to retrain the body in good posture?

A: It's spread out through four months. We stretch it out that long so you can adapt and retrain muscles. You come to me every two to three weeks and in the first four to five weeks, we get you back into proper alignment. In the next three to four, we strengthen you in that alignment. Our bodies have such a good way of compensating that if we don't remember (to stay in that alignment), we're going to go back to (the old way).

Contact Features Editor Pam Bauserman at pamelab@lodinews.com. Find the best bargains in Lodi on Pam's blog, Saving with Pam.

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