What are your ‘default positions’?

Your default positions play a big role in your body’s aches and pains – or lack thereof.

Ironically, after spending three days at a pain management conference in Vancouver sitting sideways with my head turned to watch the presenters, my body was hurting. Think about your own posture when you’re at home resting. How do you sit on the couch to watch TV? How are you positioned when you’re at your computer?

These ‘default positions,’ like my own at the pain management conference, can lead to muscle stiffness and weakness, decreased range of motion and chronic pain. Did you know, for example, that just one hour of continuous typing (or 20 minutes of piano playing) is enough to form a muscle trigger point (aka a “knot”)?

Over time, your default positions can cause your nervous system to become over-sensitized, at which point nerves can become strained and damaged. When aches and pains become chronic, they also affect your limbic system and can actually change your moods. The result is an overall decreased enjoyment of life, for both you and the people around you.

These general aches and pains are commonly and mistakenly associated with aging, with the conclusion that there’s nothing we can do about it. The cycle can, however, be broken. It starts with looking at your default positions and repetitive postural habits and replacing them with more neutral positions.

Your massage therapist can give you advice on how to neutralize your default positions, and massage therapy treatments will help stop the cycle of pain and relieve chronic tension areas.

The more you do to counteract harmful postural habits, the fewer aches and pains you’ll have in the long run.


Ingrid Waterman is a Registered Massage Therapist and the founder of i Day Spa in Courtenay. For a complete list of services, call 250-871-0411 or visit

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