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A discourse on the practice of wearing orthotic insoles in shoes as a means of remedying poor posture

Putting remedial arch supports in children’s shoes as a means of correcting common postural defects, such as flat feet or hyper-extended knees, is both inappropriate and harmful. The inserts appear to be effective; but meaningful orthosis is not achieved, and the price paid for the apparent remedying of the problem has far-reaching destructive consequences.

Body shape is organised as a whole; so when it has become distorted - usually through bad habits of use - it can only therefore be restored as a whole, by changing those bad habits into good habits.
Dropped arches, sore knees or round shoulders cannot occur in isolation, but are merely the more readily observable features of overall poor shape and mal-coordination.

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Orthotics Paper: Body & Sole

A discourse on the practice of wearing orthotic insoles in shoes as a means of remedying poor posture

Putting remedial arch supports in children’s shoes as a means of correcting common postural defects, such as flat feet or hyper-extended knees, is both inappropriate and harmful. The inserts appear to be effective; but meaningful orthosis is not achieved, and the price paid for the apparent remedying of the problem has far-reaching destructive consequences.

Body shape is organised as a whole; so when it has become distorted - usually through bad habits of use - it can only therefore be restored as a whole, by changing those bad habits into good habits.
Dropped arches, sore knees or round shoulders cannot occur in isolation, but are merely the more readily observable features of overall poor shape and mal-coordination.


Posture as such cannot be corrected. The character of a posture can be changed. The character of a posture is created by the person’s manner of use - the way the body parts are held in relation to one another, and the muscular arrangement in which the whole self musters force for action. Sitting is a posture. The way you sit - whether in a collapsed over-relaxed shape; or in a tightened down shape; or in an opened out, lengthened and widened shape; or in an over-lengthened and narrowed and stiffened shape - gives the character of your sitting posture.


Good use

As two- year-old Roger Chen investigates his environment he adopts several postures. He reaches up, leans forward and around , reaches out, turns to look at Mum, holds his toy in his lap - and in each posture the lengthened out shape of his trunk is maintained as a constant. The parts of his body not required for a particular action remain free - his legs while he’s sitting, his arms while his mother holds the bottle for him to suck. His legs don’t need to be crossed over one another to help him stay balanced in sitting; his arms are not being held tensely while he’s not using them. His overall shape is kept open throughout the flow of movements, so that in whatever he does the safety and well-being of his whole body is being taken care of. His manner of use is good, giving good shapes or what we perceive as "good posture".

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Last modified on Sunday, 06 May 2012 05:46
Christine Ackers

Christine Ackers

Christine graduated from the Constructive Teaching Centre in London in 1968. She runs a private practice in Sydney as well as taking on teacher apprentices from within the practice.

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