Poor posture

What is good posture and why do we want it?

Good posture is all to do with gravity and forces through your body, not just a sexy hip hike.

Let’s start with the spine.

Poor posture

poor alignment

The spine is the lynch pin around which the bones and soft tissue are assembled. It should have natural curves, front to back but not side to side. The spine is a shock absorber and the curves help to reduce any impact and protect the brain. Sideways curves are ok if it’s intentional, such as a side bend, but if muscles have tightened in an unnatural pattern then postural compensation problems set in and the spine no longer acts as an effective shock absorber.

 

balanced posture

balanced posture

 

 

 

The goal is to have even weight distribution throughout the body. Children do this naturally when they learn to stand. Roughly speaking, the ear, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle should be aligned. When this is achieved we have the capacity to stand for longer periods of time as our bodies are in balance.

 

 

 

Centre of Gravity & Body Systems

Centre of Gravity is the point on a body or system, where, if pressure equal to the weight of the object is applied, forces acting on the object will be in equilibrium. The point around which the mass is centred and the location of centre of gravity in an adult human, in the anatomic position, is just in front of the second sacral vertebra. http://medical-dictionary.   This means that a vertical line just in front of your tail bone is where the centre of gravity lies.

 

Integrity is the essence of everything successful.”

R. Buckminster Fuller

tensegrity in balance

tensegrity in balance

The tensegrity model is an example of equally balanced parts. The word ‘tensegrity’ was coined by Buckminster Fuller, it combines ‘tensional integrity’. The elastic bands need to have equal tension throughout the structure, in order to keep the wooden sticks in position.

tensegrity out of balance

tensegrity out of balance

 

Tighten one band, as in the second image, and the whole structural shape changes to accommodate the new tensioned alignment.

 

 

There’s a also combination of bodily systems that work harmoniously together to create perfect posture. Visual, vestibular (hearing), muscular, proprioception (3D spacial awareness) and pressure receptors throughout the body. These all contribute to creating balance, fine tuning balance and maintaining posture.

The next time someone asks you to “sit up” or tells you “not to slouch”, think about the tensegrity model. If there is tension elsewhere in the body it may be impossible to maintain the new position for long periods of time.

Why do we need good posture?

Perfect posture helps us to move more effectively, safely, reduces the risk of injury and keeps us pain free.

What next?

Book in for a quick body check to find out about your posture, 07917 410770.

 

 

teenage slump posture with computer

What does your posture say about you?

computer-posture

We all do it…. every now and again, we change our posture and slouch. When we feel anxious and want to retreat from the world, when we’re concentrating in front of a computer, or when we slide into that extra-large comfy sofa to relax after a hard day to read the latest magazine or book.

“A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind” Morihei Ueshiba

 

But what does your posture really say about you?

 

Here are a few examples of postures we adopt

Always rushing – if your chin is jutting forward you may be rushing around. It’s not always a good idea to be first; sometimes it pays to slow down, regain composure, then move forward. As your head weights approximately 5kg (11lbs) you can imagine the strain that must be exerting on the neck and upper back. The muscles at the front of the neck shorten, keeping the head forward. This causes the head to tilt up and the back of the neck compresses. This may pinch nerves causing headache and neck or shoulder pain.

Texting neck – the latest technology is causing people to slump the upper body forward then lift their head in order to see the phone. The back of the neck compresses. Ouch!

Weighted down – the next part to move maybe the shoulders. If you constantly carry heavy weights on one side, such as a brief case or handback, the shoulder can either drop from over stretching or lift due to excessive use of those particular muscles in an attempt to keep the bag in place. It also used to occur in telephonists when they hold a phone to their ears using the shoulder. This can be surprisingly painful!

Teenage grumpy slump – we now have the teenage ‘slump’. This has been prevalent for an eternity. The shoulders roll forward and the upper back curves. When seated and supported by a chair, this posture isn’t too bad, but when this posture is maintained it puts huge pressure on the neck and back. The chest muscles contract into a shortened position and the back muscles stretch in an attempt to balance the body. This can happen to people sitting at a desk without stabilizing their shoulders in position.  It encourages shallow breathing and reduces the ability to breath effectively.

Tubby tummy & wine waist – excess weight on the stomach can destabilise the hips and lower back. The hips tilt forward which shortens muscles at the top of the hips and lower back. The size of the stomach may prevent correction until the weight is lost and a normal size is restored.

Bow legs – this is created by a nutrition deficiency, playing football and, more recently, wearing trousers below the hips. The buttocks clench and knees flare out in an attempt to keep the trousers up. This fashion statement is likely to create problems in later life.

Killer heels – as gorgeous as they look, they can wreak havoc on posture. Calf muscles tighten, shin muscles become longer, hips are thrown out of alignment and the shape of the foot may adapt to fit the shoe. Some shoes can create bunions by pushing the big toe inwards. This painful condition is usually corrected by an operation.

Do any of these apply to you?

If so, and you’d like to change, book yourself in for a free initial consultation or join me on my next Body Breath & Balance Workshop.

Let’s talk to find out how I may be able to help you.  Call 07917 410770

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