The Importance of Proper Posture
Poor posture has been widely associated with causing tightness and decrease motion of the spinal joints leading to adhesions to build up in the joints. Those adhesions lead to pain and degenerative changes in the spine, known as arthritis. For that reason alone, it is important to maintain a healthy posture, but scientists are discovering poor posture has a wide variety of health problems, far beyond pain and degeneration.
Take a moment and sit up tall in a chair with your back straight and take a deep breath. Now slump forward and perform the same action. What you will notice is that your breathing now becomes much more difficult. This is because your body is no longer at a mechanical advantage to function efficiently.
The integrity of your structural framework directly relates to proper function as well as your overall health. Not only does poor posture put excess stress on bones, ligaments, and muscles but can also reduce lung capacity by as much as 30% resulting in a decrease in oxygenating cells. This can have a profound effect on your health leading to tissue acidity leaving you more vulnerable to infection, gastrointestinal problems. Lowered oxygen states also decrease endorphins, causing an increase in pain sensation.
Your posture is an essential component of optimal performance. Proper posture not only helps maintain mechanical efficiency but also provides insight into spinal misalignments known as subluxations. A study published in 2005 in Practical Pain Management concluded that correction of postural distortions decreased fatigue and improved mental performance.
As early as 1921, Dr. Henry Winsor, a medical doctor at the University of Pennsylvania concluded through his research a connection between minor distortions of the spinal bones (subluxations) and diseased organs. In his study of 221 diseased organs, there was a 96% correlation with the subluxated spinal bone and the nerves that supplied the diseased organ. What this means for you is, if you have a spinal misalignment, the nerve at that level going to an organ will not function properly. These subluxations cause irritation to the nerves, like stepping on a garden hose, reducing the signal from the brain, and slowing down vital life force.
To assess your posture, first, put on form-fitting clothes so you can see your alignment. Stand barefoot, and close your eyes. Now march slowly in place a few times and stop without readjusting your posture. This will allow you to an honest assessment of your normal posture. Have a friend take a full body picture of you from the back and the side. Proper posture when viewed from the side should align your earlobe, the middle of your shoulder, your hip, the middle of your knee and ankle. The pelvis and spine should be in a neutral position without excessive curvatures of the spine.
The most common postural fault identified from the side is forward head posture. Forward head posture can have serious consequences on your health by adding up to an additional 30 pounds of abnormal leverage on the spine. Scientists have discovered a correlation between the muscles of your neck, and your heart rate and blood pressure. Another study published in the Journal of Gerontology in 2005 showed that people with forward head posture and rounded shoulders live shorter lives than those with normal posture.
From behind, look for a level head, shoulders, and hips. Additionally, knees should not buckle inward and feet should be facing forward without a breakdown of the arch of the foot.
By correcting postural faults in the body, you enhance your body’s overall function, efficiency, and ability to heal.
If you discover your posture is not optimal, consult a postural specialist in your area for a full examination. Only through proper postural alignment will you have the capacity to achieve optimal human performance.
Check out these postural exercises you can do at home to improve your posture. Click on the image and watch the video on YouTube. Don’t forget to like and subscribe to our channel to receive instant updates everytime we have a new content! Remember, life is better when you are healthier!