Posture affects your health on many levels. The brain uses the spinal cord as a getaway of communication that controls everything your body does. So where your body is positioned directly affects your health. Tension on the spinal cord and or nerve will lead to decreased nervous system function this is called subluxation. This can lead to symptoms which include; tension, headaches, back pain, shoulder pain, digestive problems, high blood pressure, anxiety, just to name a few. There are times where the person does not feel anything at all and they still have subluxation. Feeling symptoms when you need to is actually a useful thing on the contrary belief that symptoms should never happen and is bad all the time. You are only able to feel between 5-10% of what is happening in your body. Which is why an individual can completely feel fine and still have cancer, heart disease, or even slipped disc. Poor posture affects the way you breathe, makes you more tired, and in some studies suggest shorter life expectancy.
There are many things that can give you poor posture which most people maybe aware of. These things are; sitting in at your desk for several hours everyday, bending forward while looking at your phone, or sleeping in positions that cause you to have poor posture. The thing most people do not know that causes their posture to be poor is the brain and the position of the first bone in your neck. This bone is called the Atlas. It sits right below the skull and your brainstem goes through it. Your brainstem has many functions but its most important is normal organ function. When the atlas is subluxated, there is tension on the brainstem, which forces your posture to bend forward most of the time to take pressure off the brainstem.
There is another part of the brain called the limbic system that is located in the center of the brain, which is sometimes called the mammalian brain. This part of the brain is associated with emotion. This emotional center of our brain is also responsible for our posture. When we are feeling stress, angry, joy, empathy, sadness, fear, resentment, our posture will move in a specific way depending on what type of emotion we are experiencing. In my clinical experience, I would have to say that this part of people’s lives affects their posture the most. The children that have high self-esteem in my practice normally have better posture than those that have lower self-esteem. In the working class people that I see in my practice the ones that have forward bending posture usually have higher stress levels.
Whether you are coming in for a job interview, going out on a date, or running a marathon, having a upright posture pattern will make you do your things better.
Ways of Improving Your Posture
If you already have poor posture then Chiropractic care is the best option. Chiropractors deal with the neural spinal system by adjusting the neck and the rest of the spine. There is a specific type of Chiropractic care called Upper Cervical Care that specializes on adjusting the Atlas (C1). This method corrects the atlas in a specific way allowing your body to adjust itself even after going to the Chiropractor.
If your posture is already good then exercise and doing things that empower your life are very effective. Yoga, Pilates, weight training or any other various hybrid exercising are excellent methods of maintaining posture. If you prefer dynamic movement then sports that involve running will force your body to maintain posture. For most people I recommend swimming freestyle if all you have is 30 minutes per day for physical activity.
There are various ways of empowering your life. It can be a variety of things such as:
- Community work
- Reading books on self-improvement
- Making friends that can enhance the quality of your life
- Making friends whom you can improve the quality of their lives
- Auditing your life to recognize what you have
- Being real to yourself and looking at what you need to work on
- Taking care of others, this can either be done by earning money or spending time with them
When it comes to your well being, it takes a lot more than just going on a brisk walk a few days a week. It takes a variety of physical activity over 3-5 days a week for at least 30-60 minutes per day. Improving your relationships, having balance emotionally and mentally is just as important and even more important than exercise. This will not only help with your posture but most importantly it will enhance your life. All of these things will require time but everything that has great value in life will take time.