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Hope and Healing for Chronic Pain Sufferers

There is hope and healing for those that suffer from chronic pain. This is the message that Deb Freeman, owner and operator of Aligned by Design, Inc. in Marlton, New Jersey, wants everyone to know. Freeman, an Egoscue Institute-certified Postural Alignment Specialist, has suffered herself from many years of chronic pain and now assists others in their journey to eliminate their own chronic pain and restore lost functions so they can once again enjoy life and do the things they most love to do. 

“There is a lot of fear associated with chronic pain,” she says, “and more often than not those who come to Aligned by Design say they have tried just about everything with little to no lasting success. Often, they don’t understand why they are in pain despite having a medical diagnosis.” 

An initial assessment of posture therapy at the practice begins by taking the time for the client to ask questions and share their story, providing important information on their background, current situation and goals for therapy. Freeman explains, “Not only does this allow the client to share what they have been going through, which can be healing in and of itself, but it also provides valuable insight into how to best support them as they move through the therapy process.” Having received inspiration from Scripture, Freeman says her hope is to comfort others in their affliction as she herself has been comforted (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

The next step in the initial assessment is to take posture pictures. This aids Freeman in helping the client to connect what they see in the pictures to their specific symptoms. “While everyone is different,” Freeman attests, “the human body has a basic design whereby it functions optimally. Once we deviate from that design, we not only have compromised function, but over time we begin to suffer from pain and injuries due to our chronic imbalance. With chronic pain what we typically find is that whether the pain was triggered by an accident of some sort or manifested slowly over time the postural imbalances can be traced back many years, sometimes decades. The pictures can be a real eye opener, especially once they understand what design posture is supposed to look like. The initial pictures are used as a baseline against subsequent pictures taken along the therapy process to track progress. This enables clients who learn best visually to understand where they are and where we need to go with the therapy process.”

“An additional purpose for assessing your posture pictures,” explains Freeman, “is to encourage increased body awareness. Body awareness is an important ability to foster for those who wish to take responsibility for their own health and well-being. What many do not know is that their body is signaling that it is out of alignment; however, if you don’t recognize the signs, you aren’t likely to do anything about it. You just need to know what to look for.” Aligned by Design helps its clients learn how to do just that.

Functional testing is the next step of the process. Based upon all of the previous information obtained, Freeman discerns which functional testing is to be done. “Typically, functional testing quickly uncovers the extent of a client’s abilities and limitations,” says Freeman, “and can be as revealing as the posture pictures. Functional testing is extremely helpful for kinesthetic clients (those who learn best by doing) to grasp where they stand functionally and connect that to their pain.”

The last order of business for an initial assessment is to choose specific positions, stretches and exercises for the client to begin mitigating their pain symptoms and restore lost functions. They are led through each chosen stimulus and then checked for its effectiveness by comparing before and after pains, limitations, posture and balance. Each position, stretch or exercise ultimately provided to the client comes with full written instructions, pictures, and in most cases step-by-step video clips. Personalized follow up is built into the therapy between sessions to check on the client’s progress, answer questions and trouble shoot where necessary. 

Aligned by Design, Inc. is located in Marlton. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 856-495-6604 or visit AlignedbyDesignInc.com. 

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