Aston Patterning is a therapeutic method that focuses on fitness training, massage, movement re-education and some modifications in home and work environment based on the individual needs. It is a comprehensive approach towards the wellbeing of a person as a whole and treats each person individually. It deals with ways to improve the body movement and also the temperament.
Aston Patterning method of physical training was developed by Judith Aston, who was a dancer and a trainer. The conventional idea that human body is linear and symmetrical did not seem to please her. During her experiences, she realized that every human body is unique and that it develops asymmetrically, while trying to adapt to different positions and movement patterns.
Aston Patterning is based on the principle that while the body tries to adjust itself to different kinds of daily activities, recreational activities and other ways of movement, it develops asymmetrically. Aston patterning aims at making people aware of such asymmetric movement patterns that have occurred in their body and offer them suitable options to manage the same.
An Aston Patterning session involves the client and the therapist on an individual basis.
- In order to assess the individual needs, the therapist takes a detailed case history regarding the client’s work, daily routine, other activities and general health.
- They observe the movement patterns of the client, i.e. the way they sit, stand, walk or bend. The therapists make a note of their observations and share it with the client.
- The clients are then accordingly taught the necessary changes in their movement patterns that could be causing tension in their body.
- As per the requirements, gentle massage and stretching is also used to help them release the tensed tissues.
- Another approach is the modifications in their home and work environment, which is also called ergonomics. In this the clients are suggested various options regarding such modifications. For example, adjusting the height of working table or kitchen platform according to their requirement.
- There are specially designed products available for such modified use and the client is made aware of those.
With Aston therapy session clients learn to have better stability and improve their mobility. The number of sessions required varies from person to person and depends on the nature of their problems and their individual needs.
As the therapy focuses on body movement and postures, some of the most common indications for its use are:
- Neck and back muscle pain
- Posture and co-ordination difficulties
- Headaches and stress
- Sports injuries and rehabilitation
This treatment method is better avoided in
- People suffering from osteoporosis, bruising tendency and bleeding disorders.
- Those having carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Those taking drugs that can interfere in their sleep and balance system.
- In diabetic and varicose veins patients, massage to the legs should be avoided.