Posture improvement
Ok ,so here is where 25 years of clinical training and practice pay off. As a chiropractor, I have devoted the past decade to studying, correcting and re-evaluating the effect of poor posture on the human frame. When it comes to positive structural change, this is a keystone habit worth investing in because it is linked with so many other aspects of health. From elevated mood, balanced nerve transmission, increased immune response, pain and stress reduction, better breathing to even aesthetic confidence in appearance. I’m often reminded of this when I recall Christopher Reeve in the 1978 Superman movie. The reference point is the scene where he contemplates revealing his secret identity to Lois Lane. As the shy, introverted and clumsy Clark Kent, he decides to remove his glasses and announce his alter persona to her. In that brief moment, he does one distinguishing shift. He straightens out his posture, stands tall and projects his confident aura. He is still dressed in his Clark Kent attire but in that moment you know he is in fact Superman.

Lets shift back to posture and how it impacts on energy levels. Balanced upright posture is energy efficient because when your center of gravity falls evenly throughout your spinal column, less muscle contraction is needed to support it. When the head protrudes forward from progressively extended texting and computer usage, the muscles in the neck and upper back have to work and contract 4x more to support the head in this badly leveraged forward position. These leads to fatigue and oxygen depletion. Muscles that continue to contract in the absence of oxygen , produce lactic acid in the muscles which is palpable as painful trigger points. The chronically compromised spinal alignment produces subluxations which impinge on the spinal nerves and disrupt the normal signals. This leads to increased stress, physical pains, muscle tension and impaired nerve function.

Finally, posture has a direct impact on breathing. Try this experiment. Stick your head forward, slouch your shoulders and drop your chest. Now in this position , try to take a deep breath. Now lift your head upright and pull your shoulders back and take another deep breath. Notice how much more air you draw in. All that extra oxygen flowing into your lungs makes its way to the circulation and is used as fuel for muscle contraction. 30% more vital air is supplied to the body with every breath when posture is optimized. That’s like adding 20 minutes a day on a treadmill and all you have to do is breath.

Now that you understand why posture is so important, I hope you will stay tuned when I next uncover all the myths and realities of how to sustainably correct your posture.

Do you notice your children or family member with distinct forward head posture? Try this test. Have them turn themselves to the side. Standing in front of them, put one hand(thumbs up) on their shoulder and one hand(thumbs up) on the center of their ear. If the space between your hands is greater than 2 inches, FHP could be having a negative impact on their health.