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