Have you ever noticed how a change in your state of mind is often accompanied by a change in your posture? If you are feeling great with energy and you are proud of yourself for a special accomplishment or you heard great news, you will naturally stand taller with your shoulders back, your chest filled with air, your chin up and you are just breathing in all that happiness. Your body is in tune with the way you feel.
The reverse is also true. When you feel depressed, your body curls up on itself, your head goes down, shoulders tucked in and it feels like there is no room for your chest to expand fully.
The good news is that you can change the way you feel by changing your posture.
Posture is more powerful than previously thought. Not only does a bad posture create pain and discomfort and influences lung function, but it also influences thoughts, feelings and actions.
Poor posture can affect our physical body, but it’s also been shown to affect our mood, self-perception and how others see us.
This following study, along with many others, actually shows the power of someone’s posture and how it changes the way we feel.
“When sitting in a collapsed position and looking downward, participants in a study found it much easier to recall hopeless, helpless, powerless and negative memories, than empowering, positive memories.
When sitting upright and looking upward, it was difficult, and for many of the participants nearly impossible, to recall hopeless, helpless, powerless and negative memories, and easier to recall empowering, positive memories.
Sitting up straight helps increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain and, according to some accounts, by up to 40%.
Many patients, on their first visit, report that it is impossible to stay in a correct posture without feeling pain. Their number one concern with posture is that they are developing a hunchback posture. That is where the neck and head are moved forward, the shoulders tucked in and the upper back curve is accentuated (hunchback).
It is not surprising, considering the way people use computers, cell phones and tablets, that more and more people are consulting us complaining of cervical, thoracic and lower back pain.
Everyone needs to be reminded about their posture. Working hunched over at your computer all day, cradling the phone between your ear and your shoulder, driving in the car for long periods of time or sloughing on the couch may cause you to suffer needlessly.
Most people don’t know that there are solutions to correct bad posture and don’t realize the impact it has on their health and quality of life. Not only does it lead to chronic pains but also predisposes to arthrosis, which is a premature degeneration of the spine.
There are many things you can do on a daily basis to care for your posture. Here are a few tips that will help you and your family to adapt better postural habits.
▪ Correct your posture by sitting up straight with your head well positioned with the opening to your ear centred over your shoulder.
▪ Get up frequently, at least every 30 minutes and walk around if you have a job that requires you to sit for many hours.
▪ Sleep on your back or on your side with a pillow under your head and one under or between your knees.
To avoid and reduce postural problems and make sure your spine is moving properly and that it is flexible and adaptable, you should consult a chiropractor. If you have vertebral subluxations or blockages in your spine, it is more difficult to adapt to a proper posture.
Chiropractic care is proven to be effective in helping to reverse forward head posture while reducing pain and preventing spinal degeneration. It helps the body to return to its natural homeostasis state. This is a great way to maintain your body full of vitality.
In all areas of your life, striving for proper posture can enhance your self confidence, your style and your health.
By Sandra Genest-Boudreau | Christophe O. Alves
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Sandra Genest-Boudreau is French-Canadian, who graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 1990 before coming to the Algarve in 2002. She is passionate about adjusting all her patients, particularly children. Christophe Alves graduated from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) UK, and has a special interest in Sport Chiropractic. Algarve Quiroprática clinic: EN125 in Pêra | 282 312 853 | 969 397 375