By Tom Ward
Whether I’m staging a golf clinic or working with players one-on-one I’ve always taken extra time to stress the importance of having good overall posture to all my students. It’s an important component that is often overlooked and it’s critical to the success of having a solid repeatable golf swing that will hold up round after round. I can help any golfer to have the correct stance, posture and alignment based upon their body type; however, after I leave them I can only hope that the players maintain those proper positions and they don’t drift back into bad habits. As a golf professional who’s had his share of injuries over the years, I know that when the body starts breaking down it will affect your golf swing. So I can’t tell you how excited I was when I was introduced to Mr. Bill Schultz, President and Founder of AlignMed, Inc. based in Southern California. Bill is such a great guy that he actually gave me the shirt off his back, and this was no ordinary shirt I promise. The AlignMed’s Posture Shirt™ technology is the use of specific elastic touch and tensions mounted in a garment as a therapy system to facilitate muscle balance and joint alignment and to reduce pain. The garment simultaneously augments movement bio-mechanics and provides biofeedback, which can dynamically assist whole body posture. Schultz is a true visionary; anyone who performs athletics, labors at a desk or warehouse, uses a computer, or simply wishes to get their form back and lessen pain can benefit from his breakthrough garments.
“If my career and issues with my own back have taught me anything, it’s that walking upright on two legs should not be taken for granted. Mobility is precious and we need to nurture and care for it in all stages of life. A simple solution for preserving one’s physical alignment throughout life has never been presented before. My goal is to have a big, positive impact on the way posture is viewed by youth and the aging. I want to create the awareness that poor posture should not be looked upon as an acceptable inconvenience to the aging. We can help you correct and maintain good body alignment. Finally, we have a prescription for healing that you don’t have to swallow,” said Schultz.
Recently, I spoke with Bill Schultz to give him an update about my experience wearing the Posture Shirt™ over the past 2 months. I told him that I found wearing the Posture Shirt™ immediately made me aware when I started to hunch forward after a long day out on the course or the driving range. It was the ultimate wake up call, helping me to snap back into good posture. The shirt helped me maintain great posture throughout the day, allowing me to stand taller than I have in the past. This seemed to help me maintain a greater energy level. As a golf professional who does a lot of teaching, I know I can make a difference in a player’s game with hands on instruction, correcting any swing flaw that may be affecting them and getting them back on track quickly. Having such a valuable tool like the AlignMed Posture Shirt™ in my arsenal is like having an extra club in my bag and it’s the ultimate support guidance system in helping golfers maintain better posture. Like I told Bill, it gave me immediate feedback when I started to slouch and it awakened my senses, allowing me to re-adjust my body posture, thus giving me better overall balance immediately. Plus, no one knows that I’m wearing this special garment under my golf shirt unless I show them and I like that it’s so lightweight.
“The use of the Posture Shirt™ as a support system and awareness tool for practicing good posture should be considered as important as practicing good nutrition,” stated Schultz. “Unfortunately, the awkward and repetitive movements of sports, work and devices of modern technology create micro-trauma that the musculoskeletal systems can’t hold up against. The burden of musculoskeletal disease and chronic pain is pandemic and it’s time to help the body fight back.” He continued, “With athletes and trainers I have to preface this one. They always say, ‘Great I’ll get it to the guy (athlete) when he works out or in the game when he’s playing.’ I tell them that I could care less if you do that because quite frankly it’s the body before and after the game that we are concerned about because that’s when the injuries take place. The game is what it is. What did the body look like before and after?”
After my most recent golf event earlier this week, I put the shirt back on after I showered because I knew that I would be very sore. I found that it helped to curtail the normal pain I would usually be feeling, especially in my lower back region. “I believe there is potential to use what we know at AlignMed about stimulating muscles and nerves with elasticity in garments that can really make a difference with how you teach people to play golf. Posture is a life lesson and the Posture Shirt™ can help,” Schultz said.
During my discussion with Bill I asked him to tell me how he came up with the idea of the Posture Shirt™. “The idea came from watching people get skin-taped,” he said. “I got myself skin-taped and low and behold it took a lot of pressure off my spine. I started scratching my head thinking, ‘Can it be this easy?’ So I went and rounded up a couple of my egg-head professors and we sat there saying, ‘You know, maybe we could stimulate the muscles with just a simple garment’ and that’s where it was born. We started looking at it very seriously and I remember our first breakthrough at the University of Kentucky with a big-time physician from Lexington. We started shooting X-rays of people where we would put on various strapping of bands. We shot X-rays looking at the shoulders, neck and scapula. We started calling it the ‘fly on the hand’ effect. The slightest touch creates a physiological change. If a fly lands on your hand which weighs a fraction of an ounce you’ll still feel it and this will cause you to make a movement. If you can apply the proper tension on the muscles it can make a huge difference. If you get the muscles firing correctly your cognizant thought process opens up. We’re on the forefront of this movement we call ‘Touch Tension’. We call our taping technique ‘NeuroBands’ which adapt to your body’s form and improve muscle activity and provide biofeedback that helps correct and maintain good posture alignment. Unlike braces that restrict natural movement or compression garments that use tight-fitting fabrics to compress skin, AlignMed multi-functional innovation is a construction matrix of strategic fabric panels called ‘NeuroBands’ shown to fire muscles and align joints. Also, our shirt is approved by the FDA as a medical device and it’s a one of kind.” I think their company mission statement says it all: “To actively promote posture, body alignment, minimize pain and increase quality of life.”
“Bill is a dreamer, but when it comes to the make-up of the human body, he’s a very nuts-and-bolts guy,” says in-house attorney Jim Daily, the person in charge of protecting the intellectual property behind AlignMed’s apparel. All I know is I’m a believer in how this incredible 21st century technology has helped me both on and off the golf course. You heard it first from me that I think in the next few years golfers will be flocking to the AlignMed Posture Shirt™. That’s because I can tell a golfer to stay bent over from their waist to have the proper spinal tilt in their setup and to stop slouching over the ball, but when you’re wearing the AlignMed Posture Shirt™ it will make you do it automatically and it strengthens your core at the same time. That’s a pretty potent combination,creating some dynamic and powerful energy.
To learn more about a company that is becoming a real game-changer to improve the quality of people’s lives, checkout their comprehensive website at www. http://www.alignmed.com.
Tom Ward can be reached at www.teetimewithtom.com