05 Nov Posture: Beyond just the Look
Melbourne Chiropractor Discusses Posture: Beyond just the Look
What is Posture?
Posture is defined as a particular physical position a person holds their body in, as well as a particular mental approach or attitude a person can take. Your posture also contributes to and reflects your inner wellbeing and state of mind, as well as how you may be perceived by others too.
Accordingly, your posture is more than just your outer appearance; it’s actually much more, including a representation of your inner health both physically and mentally.
What is the ‘Diskin Life’ approach to posture?
Your posture, as with all your attributes in our whole-person approach, is considered in context as part of your multi-faceted system, known as your body and life.
Our chiropractors integrate what we can notice, learn and discern from your posture, to determine what your body is expressing, and how we may work with you to improve your health outcomes.
Consider the following: Your posture is supported by your spine, and your spine, when functioning optimally, protects the spinal cord and nerves that carry messages between your brain and body organs and limbs. It stands to reason, if your spine is not functioning optimally, your nerve system could be affected, and this could result in loss of your health potential.
Your spinal cord can be compared to a (now old fashioned) television or radio antenna. Change the antenna’s shape or position, and notice the change in signal transmission and reception, and the resultant loss of effective signal communication.
Your spine functions similarly, so the shape, position, tone and tension of your spine, represents and is reflected in the shape, position, tone and tension of your life.
What are the signs that your posture is negatively impacting you?
Let’s consider looking at two signs, beyond the obvious visual physical distortions and imbalances.
According to the American Journal of Pain Management, “Posture affects and moderates every physiologic function from breathing to hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse, and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture.” Knowing this, the obvious signs to look out for would begin with at least pain, moods and breathing challenges.
According to Dr. Roger Sperry, a Nobel Prize recipient for brain research; “90% of the energy output of the brain is used in relating our posture to gravity. Only 10% has to do with thinking, healing and metabolism!”
With this knowledge, your posture could be a source of your lack (or wasting of) energy, so also look out for fatigue as a sign your posture could be part of your health challenges.
2 common misconceptions regarding posture
- If you tell (nag) somebody enough to straighten up, they will. Generally the more nagging, the more a person will tend repel and resist.
- Try harder and force yourself to be straight. When you realise your body’s innate intelligence is always striving to right itself, it makes more sense to address why your body’s has created your posture. Look for the underlying causative issues instead of just trying to fix the effects.
5 simple ways to you can improve your posture
- Use furniture for its design. Its sounds too simple, yet how many times have you slept in a chair or propped yourself up awkwardly in bed, maybe to read or watch television? So sit in your chairs correctly, and lie in bed, ideally on your back.
- Reorganise your environment to suit you. Instead of twisting and trying to adapt your body to fit into a poorly designed work space, change it to suit your ergonomic needs.
- When upright sitting or standing, keep your head up, looking straight ahead and consciously breathe into your upper chest. Be very careful to never force your head or neck where you think they belong against your body’s innate natural protective resistance.
- Learn to listen to your body’s attempts to gain your attention via mindfulness and Somato Respiratory Integration to learn and develop better body self-awareness.
- Most importantly, make sure your spine and nerve system are working at their best, otherwise your body won’t be able to even recognise and discern right from wrong. This means find a Doctor of Chiropractic who will look after you and support your whole health care needs.
Dr. Ari Diskin is a US trained Healthy Life Doctor of Chiropractic, with over 34 years professional experience, having cared for over 15,000 people. He uses Network Care as part of his 3 Step Vitality Process, in Melbourne Australia.