Aston-Patterning is an alternative medical treatment developed by Judith Aston in the 1970s. Aston was a professional dancer who revolutionized sports training in the early part of the Me Decade by introducing movement and dance into the world of athletic training. Aston was unfortunate enough to be involved in two separate car accidents that left her with serious injuries for which traditional medicine (pills) had no positive effect. She first tried the then-fad of Rolfing, which is a type of deep massage treatment. Rolfing actually helped Aston recover from her injuries and she start a program that introduced dance music to the experience of Rolfing. In 1977, Aston moved away from Rolfing and created her own exercise program that became known as Aston-Patterning.
If you are a lover of the asymmetrical, Aston-Patterning may not be for you. According to Aston, a healthy human body must move with a calculated symmetry. Asymmetrical movements are considered very negative and this negativity comes from the belief that asymmetrical movements inhibit your body from being at its most effective when moving.
As you may already have figured out, Aston-Patterning was a precursor to the whole ergonomics movement that has become a fixture with the onset of the computer desk and chair as a regular part of the office either at home or away. Improvement of posture, balance and bodily stability are all hallmarks of the alternative medical treatment known as Aston-Patterning. Do you ever bend over and place a hand on a desk when you are talking to someone sitting in their chair or when you are looking over their computer monitor? That stabilization with your hand is a classic example of negative, asymmetrical movement that Aston-Patterning seeks to defeat. By steadying yourself with your hand on the desk so that you can bend over, you are putting an unwieldy stress on your back by forcing it to lengthen to a degree it neither desires nor was built for. Aston-Patterning takes many of these simple decisions you make during the day and forces you to confront how you are living an asymmetrical life. Treatment focuses on teaching you how to change your bad habits and adopt and adapt to a symmetrical way of life.
If you can find an Aston-Patterning practitioner, your first visit will result in a wholesale analysis of how you move, a massage, exercise, fitness training and education about proper ergonomics. The massage portion of Aston-Patterning is designed to release tension through non-compression. A special type of massage known as myokinetics focuses on massaging soft tissue. Athrokinetic massage centers on your joint and bones. The movement element of this alternative medical treatment focuses not on dance movement as you might expect, but on quite literally teaching you the proper way to sit, walk, bend and stand erect. The ergonomic element of Aston-Patterning teaches you how to change your everyday work and leisure environment so that you reduce pain and take away the likelihood of serious injury.
Those who suffer from respiratory problems, diabetes, osteoporosis and bleeding disorders should know that the deep massage and exercises associated with Aston-Patterning are not advised unless you have gotten permission from your physician.