Posture and Comfort

by Hugh Babington Smith

Techniques for changing postural habits

There are various techniques for changing postural habits. If postural re-education is being considered, it is advisable to gain more information about the different alternatives before you choose which technique to go for.

Alexander technique

The Alexander Technique is a method which can help you perform all your usual activities without unnecessary tension. It can be applied to sitting, standing, walking, lifting, speaking – to whatever you do during your day. It is a simple and practical method for self-improvement and self-help.


The Pilates Method represents a unique approach to exercise that develops bodily awareness, thus improving and changing the body’s postural and alignment habits and increasing flexibility and ease of movement.


Yoga is best known as a set of physical practices that include gentle stretches, breathing exercises and progressive deep relaxation. These physical practices are intended to ready the body and mind for meditation as well as for a meditative perspective on life.

Tai Chi

A series of meditative and self-healing movements based on Chinese teachings over 6000 years old, Tai Chi literally translates to ‘The Grand Ultimate Way of Life’ as taught through movement. Also a martial art, Tai Chi is generally practiced as a non-contact, non-competitive sport for focus, self-awareness, health and relaxation. The slow, rhythmic movements are very effective in returning the skeletal structure, muscles and organs to their natural alignment.


A system based on the body’s energy meridians. Shiatsu massages are normally done fully clothed and involve pressing points on the body and stretching and opening of the energy meridians. Shiatsu is somewhat related to acupuncture, which is a form of anaesthesia and therapy used in Chinese hospitals for surgery. Its proponents view it as an alternative to medicine or surgery.

The Etcom Way

The Etcom Way, as used by Etcom People Engineers, was a method of training individuals to understand and improve posture. Designed to achieve quick and practical results, it was based on physiotherapy and used the principles of ‘patient language’ together with a Swiss system, Functional Kinetics. The trainee learned to take control and to avoid musculoskeletal problems in the future. In its complete form, it covered all aspects of life, including work, home, hobby, sports and driving, in about four to six weekly one-hour sessions.