The Montana Postural Care Project Year One:
“We Are What We Repeatedly Do” – Will Durant
What a journey we have all been on over this past year. On September 30, 2016, the first year of The MT Postural Care Project officially ended. We learned so much, from our favorite statewide coffee shop (hello City Brew!) to what a spectacular sunset you get to see if you run out of gas between Big Timber and Livingston… but the biggest lessons were all from the people with whom we worked.
From the darling little 3 year old boy to the 62 year old man who shares our project director’s taste in “music of their generation,” we met and worked with 30 people of all ages across our state. Every single person and family had their own story and unique reasons for choosing to implement 24 hour postural care. As we traveled around the state in September, meeting with people to collect our final data in an attempt to quantify their experiences, we heard and saw so many amazing success stories.
Postural care is a unique approach in that it can be implemented anywhere, without expensive equipment or easy access to therapists and medical personnel. We had people living in small towns, way out in the country, in bigger cities who all experienced positive changes. Some people had huge improvements in their sleep quality – talk about life changing!!!! Many experienced physical changes, as their bodies became more symmetrical. A few felt relief from chronic pain. The common denominator in all these positive changes? Not quality of medical care. Not having appropriate and well-fitted adaptive equipment (which was, sadly, a rarity among our participants.) The one thing that all participants who saw positive changes had in common was consistency.
In summing up his interpretation of a phrase from Aristotle, Will Durant stated “We are what we repeatedly do.” The results from our first year data show exactly that. The people and families who implemented postural care consistently, even if it was only for an hour or two each night, even if they had to dramatically modify their original postural care plan, every single one of them saw positive changes. The power of consistent action, of small habits – an extra five minutes before bed, as one family said – showed incredible results.
Gathering and beginning to analyze this data inspired all of us here at Posture 24/7, and we decided that for our second year we are going to complete the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process for working with human subjects. Why go through IRB? Because the results we saw were so exciting! Here’s one of the many inspiring stories from year one of The Montana Postural Care Project.
In a mere 5-6 months one woman’s body changed from being quite asymmetrical to almost perfectly symmetrical. She went from waking multiple times per night in pain to sleeping through the night. What happened? Her family implemented the principles of postural care every single day, and by the time we saw them they had a precise system that worked for her in place. Huge positive changes for everyone in that family!
We believe that stories like these need to be shared as widely as possible. This project is all about giving people access to a non-invasive, low-cost, and routine-based intervention that can affect big changes for the better. It is amazing to see Montanans benefit from postural care, and we want to be able to share this data and these stories with people from all over the country. To that end, we have submitted our IRB proposal, and are eagerly waiting to hear back from the review board. Once we have IRB approval we will open the application for our second year of participants.
Year Two of The Montana Postural Care Project is going to focus in on children and teenagers working with Family Support Specialists from across our state. Do you know someone between 6 months and 17 years old who could benefit from postural care? Let them and their families know about this project!
Special thanks to The Montana Council on Developmental Disabilities for their funding and support…. without them this project would not exist. Stay tuned for more information…. The application process for Year Two will be opening up soon!