Understanding the Importance of Posture

Posted on: March 5th, 2019

Posture, the position of our bodies when we sit or stand, is something we’ve all heard about and know is important.  So many of us have been told at some point “stand up straight” or “put your shoulders back. ”

But why is posture so important?

Your health totally depends on your posture.

One of the big reasons our posture is so important starts in our brains. Our brains control all functions in our bodies and it does so through energy it sends down your spinal cord. This could be known as a “river of energy.”

The energy comes down the spine, out the nerves, and then to every organ in the body.

Posture distortions usually happen from changes that started a long time ago. A lot of times it’s from trauma, accident, or injury, many times as far back as childhood. It could have been a fall down the stairs, falling off a swing or slide, or even trauma that happened during birth.

Throughout life, we experience many stressors, whether they occur suddenly or over time.

Whatever it is, it is putting added stress into your system; you’re not working efficiently and your body is breaking down against the force of gravity.

These stressors wind up shifting individual segments or regions of your spine out of place. This ends up dimming the energy going down those nerves and as the energy gets dimmed, less of it goes to the organs. The organs then weaken, degenerate, and become diseased.

When one area has dimmed, it ends up causing other areas to weaken and cause postural distortions. These postural distortions put stress in other areas of your spine, causing the energy going down your spine to get blocked off there as well, keeping it from going to those organs.

This not only affects the organs but also blood vessels and muscles.

When the muscles are affected and then we sit and stand in certain postures, gravity is 100 percent working on us by continuing to pull our bodies down toward the ground.

For most people, their organs are affected without even experiencing any pain. This is why it’s important to address your posture before the nerves that are affected end up getting inflamed and cause pain.

Therefore, posture is absolutely essential to overall health and wellness.

If you or someone you know struggles with correct posture, you may think that standing up straight can help it improve. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Since posture controls so much of our bodies, if it’s not working nor keeping you upright, the messages from the brain through the spine that hold up your posture are not coming through clearly.

Postural distortions, even though possibly caused by an old trauma, wind-up affecting our current lifestyles, like playing with our kids, training for a 5-K run, taking care of the house, or just getting through the day.

If you or someone you know has concerns about how you’re sitting, working at a computer, holding a smartphone, etc., check out our videos for more information on this. You also may need to work with a posture expert.

In addition to watching our videos, there is a test you can do at home to check your posture and see if you need an expert.

This test looks at posture from two directions, straight on and from the side. It involves two people, so you’ll need someone else to assist you.

To check for posture straight on:

  1. You will march in place, close your eyes, nod your head, shrug your shoulders.
  2. Keeping your eyes closed, come to a stop. What this does is take out the visual proprioception, and it gets into your brain and what your brain perceives neutral should wind up being.
  3. The other person then places their hands on the top of your hips to see if one side is higher than the other.
  4. Then they place their hands on your shoulders to see if one side is higher there as well.
  5. They then do the same with your ears to see if one is higher than the other.

It should be the same at all levels and if it’s not, the areas between must be tilted, turned, shifted, or your posture must be off.

Any tilt or shift means that your spine is stressed and it could be affecting your health.

To check your posture from the side:

  1. Begin as you did with the first test. March in place, eyes closed, nod your head, shrug your shoulders.
  2. Keeping your eyes closed, come to a stop.
  3. From the side, the other person will compare:
  • Your ankle to hip
  • Your hip to shoulder
  • Your shoulder to ear

Each of these comparisons should go straight up vertically. If there’s any shift, this indicates something is off. It could be that you lost some of the curves or your torso may be shifted forward or backward.

If you determine you have a problem with posture but aren’t ready to go see a specialist quite yet, here are some things you can try:

There are wearable gadgets out there that claim they may be able to help with posture:

  • A wearable chip you put on the middle of your back. This supposedly measures any activity across your shoulders. It is connected to an app and vibrates to let you know when you change your posture or end up slouching.

However, according to some of the people who’ve tried it, it becomes annoying. It also doesn’t fix the cause. It’s more of a behavior modification that doesn’t solve the problem.

  • Wearable strap/harness. These pull your shoulders back for you.

The problem with these is that once you take them off, you wind up going right back to where you were.

These also cause a lack of engagement with the muscles that are already weaned and will further distort the posture when the device is removed.

When these tools are worn they actually wind up preventing the body from doing the job it needs to do.

Also, at home, it can be tough to work on posture from both the front and the side since you can’t really see yourself from the side.

But if you happen to notice you have a high shoulder, your head shifts, or one ear is higher than the other, or even if you notice your glasses tilt when you lie them on a table, here is an exercise you can do to balance out your spine:

Stand in front of a mirror and shift your position to the opposite of what you see. For example, if your right shoulder is higher than the left one, bring your right one down and bring up the left one. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat this 10-20 times a day.

Check out the video on this to see it done and please share it with someone you now that may need to see it.

It’s important to mention that exercises like this one are only one piece of the puzzle, and won’t correct any real problems going on that you may not see.

Here at Align Wellness Center, we are trained in detecting and correcting changes in your posture. We also look to find the cause of the problem so it can be corrected properly.

If you want help understanding what’s going on with your posture on the inside, contact us and we can help figure that out for you.

What can we do to help you?

We can figure out if your posture is distorted and what’s causing the distortion.

We’ll look at you visually from the front and from the side to see how you line up; if you’re straight up and down, or if there are tilts, shifts, and twists in all of the regions from the hips to the feet, torso to hips, and head to the torso.

Then we typically do x-rays to understand what’s going on with your body on the inside. Someone can look straight up and down from the outside, but on the inside, they can have bends, twists, and tilts that wind up causing distention and stress within the spinal cord. Because of this, posture may be off and head may be forward or shoulders off balance. All of this effects what’s going on in your body.

A problem with your neck could be affecting your hands, arms, sleep cycle, immune system, snoring, sleep apnea, and energy levels.

A lower back problem may affect the legs, hips, digestive system, and reproductive system.

We are able to understand biochemically and three-dimensionally just how you stack up. This helps to understand the potential causes of deviation that are presenting you in a position of postural distortion.

Here in our office, we specialize in a process known as spinal remodeling, which restores the curves of your spine.

One of the common problems we see is called anterior head carriage and happens when the head shifts forward and you cannot move it back. This happens due to structural changes that have occurred.

One of the tools we use is called the Denneroll, which is only prescribed in appropriate cases.

There was a recent dual controlled study done in which both groups received therapy, but only one group received an adjustment and Denneroll as well as the therapy.

The study took place over a 12-week period. Both groups showed improvement with posture but after two years, the group that did not use the Denneroll wound up back in the same position.  The group that did use it with therapy still had at least 85 percent of the correction still there.

For more challenging cases, we take a look on the inside and develop protocols unique to the patient that finds the right way to strain, stress, correct, adjust, exercise, and traction the spine back to a more ideal position.

With our practice, patients see better and quicker results that last longer than with any other treatment they’ve experienced.

If you or anyone you know thinks they may have problems with posture, contact us to see what we can do for you.

Also, check out our videos for a visual on this topic.

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