Updated: Dec 10, 2018
Advice on what posture correction certification is right for you. Egoscue University, National Posture Institute, Pain-Free Program? The list is growing, and it's important you take action steps to choose what's right for you.
It's been over three years since I left my teaching position at Egoscue University as an Adjunct Instructor. And in that time, I've continues to refine my professional teaching practice, and working toward finding what corrective exercise modality works best for my clients.
I've learned that posture, poor that is, and pain are intrinsically linked. And I know that I know, that correcting posture and movement patterns makes the pain go away. BUT it's not as easy as it sounds, and I truly do not believe that ONE specific modality works every single time for every single person.
That said, over the years I've worked diligently to gain as much knowledge as I can on the subject so I can help as many people as possible. And because I love to teach, am well versed in therapeutic movement practices and have had great success in helping my clients achieve their goals, I've become a trusted voice in the field.
I'm not sure why I'm surprised, but I get calls and messages from others in my field looking for my advice on certifications. Surprisingly, it's often physical therapists, chiropractors, or individuals looking to expand their careers in the personal training and fitness arena. Usually they've stumbled upon Egoscue Method, and are intrigued and excited by the concept. Exercise can heal? And the question is always a variation of wanting me to tell them "What certification should I take/recommend and why".
So, the calls and emails pour in. They look something like this:
"Hi, I am a chiropractor trying to change my direction into postural correction. I wanted to ask you a few questions about recommending Egoscue method or other to become proficient in this work ASAP. I have been learning a lot on my own, but if I can expedite the process by paying. I will do it, if it is worth the time, effort and money. Since you have in person experience, I would really love your honest opinion. Thank you so much. I would really appreciate a phone call if that is at all possible."
Tell Me What Certification I Should Take and Why
Well, over the years and with time and experience I've now come to this standard answer and am now posting it in hopes it will save us all some time.
Professionally and personally, I do not believe it is wise or best practice to tell another person which learning path is best for them. There are simply too many variables to consider.
I believe it's best that each person makes a certification decision based on real information, not my opinion (simply because I do not want to express bias, be affected by my personal feelings toward a company, or make you think that what is right for me is right for you).
Your life experience, goals and future clients will not be like mine, nor will our business models be the same. That said, I highly encourage you to do some investigative work after clearly identifying what kind of business and model of operation you'd like to set up.
I advise you to look into all the options available to you to learn more about corrective exercise and posture alignment therapy.
There are several organizations that offer similar certifications, and some are far more reputable and better developed and delivered than others. Please check out:
Pain-Free Performance - Anthony Carey
The BioMechanics Method - Justin Price
The National Posture Institute - Ken Baldwin
Posture Exercise Professional - Dr. Steven Weiniger
Nutritious Movement - Katy Bowman
Egoscue University Certified Posture Alignment Specialist
Applied Movement Neurology
And these are just the posture specific related programs. There are so many more out there now, (have you been on Facebook lately?) and it's missing other therapeutic modalities such as Foundation Training, Pilates, Somatics, and Alexander Technique just to name a few.
Identify Your Choices And Take Action
Once you identify a few that peak your interest I suggest taking the following action steps.
Do a cost/benefit analysis of certification with each program. Ask open ended questions. Will you have to travel to take a course? Can you do it online? Does the delivery method mesh with your learning style? How many clients will you need to work with in the future to recuperate the investment?
Make a list of questions you have after your cost/benefit analysis and schedule a call with each organization. Have a live real time personal conversation with the company and ask questions that go beyond the glossy facts advertised on their website. Find out what partnering with their organization will give you in the future in terms of support. You may be surprised to find out that some will not allow you to use their trademarks, phrasing, or list you as a provider, and others will. Some will list you as a recognized professional, and others will not at all, or have stipulations on certain requirements you must have before they do so. You'll want to know these things ahead of time.
Do a cost/compare analysis that reflects your business practice mission and goals, and choose the certification modelthat best meets the needs of your learning style and clientele base.
Some certifications are recognized by industry leaders such as American Council on Exercise, IDEAFit, etc. and their programs give you certification credits with those organizations. On the other end of the spectrum, one organization is just an "in-house" certification program, meaning that the certificate stands alone with no outside agency evaluating the efficacy of the learning model, or ensuring that the certification is up to date on current science standards. You may be surprised to find out which ones are not subject to outside agency validation.
Some of these certification agencies have a very high testing standard, with an outside party to evaluate, and others do not.
Some require you to pay a monthly fee for invest in additional software and trademark logo use. This can be costly, and keep you from turning a profit, and in my experience is not necessary to provide excellence in coaching and care while helping a person get out of pain and improve their posture and function.
These are just a few action steps, and I know you could add many more to this list.
As a result of asking myself many of these questions over the course of my career, I ultimately ended up choosing a comprehensive certification that allowed me the freedom to take the best of different modalities when customizing programming for my clients. That was the right choice for me, But I would have no way to know that my choice would be right for you.
Here are some articles I've written that you may find insightful as to why I chose TBMM as my main certification to work from:
I hope that helps give you some direction going forward.