It starts with understanding the power of a small postural shift.

The most common misperception about posture that I constantly hear from my new patients is that it is completely within their control and they just need to be more aware and focus on standing up straight. AAAAhhhhhh! If it were only that easy every one would just do it and no one would have Forward head posture. And yet the overwhelming prevalence that exist s in the modern population suggests that it is not under control. Just because it is common does not mean its normal. Just because obesity is common, does not mean its normal either.

Having good posture or any posture for that matter is an automatic acquired structural state. It is a reflection of long term acquired spinal alignment, muscle tone, proprioception and balance. The brain conducts thousands of impulses from the cerebellum through the nervous system to thousands of muscle spindles regulating muscle length and tone needed to configure the spine to an upright balanced position. These impulses become eventually facilitated and hardwired from constant steady repetition so that posture becomes an automatized function just like breathing and walking.

The confusion arises because people believe that just because they have momentary control over their muscles, they can alert themselves to stand up straight and then contort their bodies into a perceived upright, rigid position. But this is merely a momentary exercise that will not be sustainable because it requires recruiting the higher neocortex part of the brain to decide to rigidly straighten up. This higher level brain is required for conscious decision making and task solving and requires intentional focus . It is highly specific and is easily prone to distraction from our many thought processes and choices in a given day. If we were expected to abandon all those thoughts in in favour of concentrating on straightening our posture, we would never get anything else done!

So the correct approach must come from a small, steady and consistent postural shift.t postural shift. ( And by that I am talking about only a couple of inches!)

Let me explain with a personal example. I love to cross country ski but do not get enough practice because  there has been an insufficient quality of snow where I live in the last few seasons. (And I’m from Canada). Recently I went skiing and the first downward slope I faced was met with me crashing headfirst into a tree. After I got up, I tried to account for why I didn’t successfully dodge the tree. After all, It wasn’t that steep and I|wasn’t going downhill faster than any other prior experience. I concluded that the reason was because my balance was favouring my left side and my focal point was on the tree. Once the fear of crashing set in, my primitive amygdalian brain’s survival instinct took over and my response was to curl my body forward to protect itself and brace for an impact. Not a helpful instinct because I ended up with a mild concussion.

So what lesson did I learn? All it took was the slightest  2 inch shift in balance and I was able to maintain my posture in the necessary equilibrium needed to go down that hill and not get hurt. So the next time I approached that hill a few weeks later, I made the subtle shift, changed my focal point and went down the hill with elation and not fear.

This concept can be applied to the daily approach to correcting forward head posture. It only takes a few inches of movement in the counter extended direction to offset the taxing effects of gravity on the neck and upper back muscles. Every inch forward of the head causes 15 additional pounds of stress to be loaded though the upper column. If the average person has 2 inches of FHP due to the gravitational pull of hours of daily texting, driving and web surfing on smart phones and laptops, then the effort should be made on targeting the reversal of those 2 inches. The answer to successful reversal of those two inches lies in the strategic approach. The shift needs to be ever so slight, but it needs to be learned, and automatized through a relaxed,consistent, structured, and corrective  habitual routine. Once practised and easily mastered, it can be as maintained as easily as making a bed. For more information on my postural program , stay tuned for upcoming blogs or you can contact me directly with your questions about the method at this site

Can you imagine now how much more additional energy, less muscle pain and reduced fatigue can be attained from a simple reversal shift in posture?  Please share your experiences