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Posture plays a key role in many aspects of everyday life. Ever wonder why you may be feeling a little run down lately? Have you been experiencing an increase in headaches? Not sleeping well?
Read on and find out why proper posture may benefit you in more than just avoiding looking like our dear friend the Hunchback.
Benefits of good posture
1. Decrease in Back Fatigue
Perhaps the most benefit anyone can gain from good posture is a relief in back fatigue, or back pain. Most jobs requiring long periods of sitting, will increase back tension from stress placed on back muscles.
In order for muscles to work and function to their full potential they must have adequate contraction and relaxation periods. Once you place a load under stress for long periods of time without proper support the forces exerted onto those muscles will start to strain and change. From this change your body will interpret this as pain or muscle strain.
2. Decrease in headaches
Is it dehydration? 90% probably not. Like I mentioned before, placing a muscle under load will eventually alter the muscle tone ie. will soften or harden (hypo versus hyper) not tighten it.
Once you enter into this vicious cycle of constant strain the muscles no longer have adequate relaxation periods therefore they are always being pulled or used. Due to the fact that our bodies are covered in dense connective tissues one part will always have some effect on another part.
Throughout the years I have seen clients come into my clinic with back pain to only feel pain in the head once actually working on the back.
Working the full length of a muscle to feel pain in a distant part usually indicates trigger points or referral patterns . Many back muscles actually insert into the base of the skull which can have pain patterns that mimic headaches.
3. Increase in mental alertness
Believe it or not, when your body doesn’t feel like it’s been run over by a bus you can actually learn to function without pain. (There is life without pain despite what the drug companies tell you.)
It is a matter of listening when your body whispers so it doesn’t end up screaming. Cliche enough for you?
When you don’t spend your whole day trying to avoid pain or anything that causes discomfort, you can devote your time to more important daily activities.
For example, no longer fidgeting in your seat at work which will lead to being more productive which in turn makes your boss happy which also makes you happy because you get to keep your job because you are actually being productive due to being mentally alert!
See what I did there? I made it all come back around, like a loop, same as your body. One thing leads into another. I did it again, I connected it for you…like a loop…
4. Added height
I have personally never had a problem with being tall enough to ride any rides at the amusement park but I have witnessed many try to add height by standing on their toes as to cheat the board height allowance (you know who you are).
I know many adults probably don’t need to ride those rides anymore but I know that lots of women still wear high heels to make themselves look taller and many more men that try to stand on their toes to make up the difference.
Regardless of high heels or not, make life simpler by actually standing up straight and not adding extra force to your spine.
Forward head flexion can also add stress to your cervical spine and all soft tissues as well. As I always say to my kids, “Bring that damn iPod to your face not your face to your iPod!”
5. Better sleep patterns
It’s quite simple you see. The better you feel during the day the better you sleep.
Your body will actually have time to get the rest it needs during the most crucial part of your recovery which happens during sleep.
During your 20’s it’s easy to live life on 4 hours of sleep under the table in your buddies house but when you start getting older, nothing is more inviting than your own bed.
Not to mention a full night’s rest during which time you can give your body ample time to recover from the day’s events.
For those who have trouble sleeping I highly recommend investing in a weighted blanket. These things are quite amazing when used nightly. I use mine every night and always get a good night’s sleep.
Creating good habits and giving your body the love and attention it deserves will keep you healthy in the long run. By creating these good habits, you allow your body to work the way it was meant to.
Take the time to listen and adjust as needed. Always make sure you pay attention when you feel your shoulders rise up to meet your neck, there is supposed to be space between the two.
meraki [may-rah-kee] (adjective) word used to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing, whatever it may be