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by Katherine Hartsell, PTA

spinal alignmentBoston Sports Medicine plays an active role in the dynamic and ever-evolving field of physical therapy. As committed healthcare providers we constantly pursue learning opportunities, and we seek discoveries that help advance our practice. Alongside our personal development, we also hunt for valuable resources to extend to patients so that the community is strengthened and supported by knowledge.

While engaging in my own self-development, I came across the work of natural movement educator, Katy Bowman, MS. Katy is the director of the Restorative Exercise Institute, creator of Aligned and Well DVD series, author of two books, mother of two children, and an all around good person to learn from (her children are very lucky). Over the past few years, I have followed her writing, studied her videos and been a student of her courses. She is a brilliant, creative and sincere (as well as sincerely funny) teacher of optimal alignment and biomechanics. The way she approaches movement inspires the way I approach movement, which I hope inspires the way my patients approach movement!

Alignment Matters, Katy’s more recent publication, is a compilation of the first five years of a blog (thousands of readers strong) that she originally started as a resource for her students at the Restorative Exercise Institute. Because I have personally and professionally benefited from Katy’s unique ability to illustrate and address the issues that we grapple with as modern-day human beings, I was thrilled to see her essays published as an informative, organized and entertaining book. Created for men and women of all ages and movement backgrounds, Alignment Matters contains short and witty evidence-based tidbits of information on all subjects head to toe.  My favorite sections include Feet and Shoes, Getting to the Core of it, Your body-the Big Picture and Mind Mechanics, but nearly all the pages of my copy are yellow with highlighter.

After reading Alignment Matters, I immediately sent a copy to my mom as an early holiday gift. Pages have been shared with patients, my husband and my yoga students. This is the kind of cheer worth spreading! If you are looking for a meaningful gift to give a loved one (or yourself) this holiday, I can’t recommend this book enough.  It’s guaranteed to make you laugh, and sure to help you learn. Alignment Matters is the voice of an honest best friend, a devil’s advocate, a patient teacher and an enthusiastic cheerleader (sorry Katy, I think I just called you a cheerleader – but not the annoying kind;) Most importantly, it is a voice of reason in the health and wellness circle, which has been clogged with misinformation, Band-Aid solutions, gimmicks and trends for much too long.

If I could assign reading to all my patients at Boston Sports Medicine, it would be the entire book of Alignment Matters. Ask us about this resourceful read at the clinic, or order your copy here.

Note: No compensation was given for this review. This is my honest enthusiasm for Alignment Matters, shared for the sole purpose of distributing its goodness.

Kathy Hartsell is a Physical Therapy Assistant at Boston Sports Medicine