Can Posture Affect Your Health and Well Being?Heidi Hadley
In todays’ blog we are going to look at how posture can have a detrimental and also a powerful effect on our physical, emotional and mental health. We will also explore how we can make changes to increase the quality of our life by considering our posture.
According to Harvard Medical School, a healthy posture is important for maintaining good balance. When you have a good posture either standing or sitting, your weight transfer is even through your body and directly over the mid-line or centre of your body. When we consider the importance of weight transfer through our feet and pelvis, we realise how crucial this is towards maintaining good health and biomechanics, or the way we move.
As you read this blog, are you slumping? Before your correct your posture with this prompt, stop and notice, where is your weight transfer? Is it in front of your sit bones? Are you loading on to one bum cheek more than the other side? Are you loading behind your sit bones?
Did you know that a slumped or slouched posture can affect the function of your internal organs? When you slump forward, a very strong muscle which connects from the bottom of your breastbone and runs through the front of your body to your pubic bone becomes tighter and tighter. As a result, your ribcage becomes depressed and draws your chest down and forward. As a result of this depressed ribcage, it compresses your internal organs such as your digestive system. This will affect your metabolism and the efficiency of food being broken down and absorbed fully in your digestive system. It restricts movement through your diaphragm which in turn limits fresh oxygen to flood your bloodstream and nourish your cells and tissues.
Have you notice how many people, including children walk around with their head jutting forward? Once again this is from habitual behaviours and poses, usually looking at mobile devices and playing on electronic games. If you hold your body for periods of time in a set pose, your brain with adjust your muscle tone to meet it. Then your joints move into their new place and before you know it you are suffering with jaw pain, head aches, neck and shoulder discomfort.
Poor posture has been linked to many common health conditions. For example Professor Erik Peper from San Francisco State University conducted a study on Posture and found links to depression. He found that walking with a slouched or despondent posture created feelings of lethargy, anxiety and depression. When these individuals altered their posture to becoming upright and purposeful, their mood improved and their energy levels increased.
Professor Erik Peper has the same conclusion that Somatic Educators around the world have believed for decades. Professor Peper concluded “We tend to think the brain and body relationship goes one way. In fact, the passages go both ways. When you choose to put your body in a different mode, it is harder to drop into depression.” He feels that when people integrate body movements in to their daily routine, their energy levels will stay higher and their quality of life improves. He continues to say, “It is very similar to the expression ‘fake it until you make it’ - you can convince your body to have more energy.”
If you have joined The Total Somatics Approach to Health and Wellness Online program (www.TotalSomatics.com), you will know that my video tutorials, podcasts, audios and the somatic movements agree 100% with Professor Peper’s comments. He along with Pain Scientists around the world are now identifying movement to be much more effective than stretching for our muscle and joint health.
Other common symptoms or health issues associated with poor posture are:
Muscle pain and fatigue
If you have poor posture, your muscles have to work twice as hard to hold you in an unnatural pose. As a result you use energy up in your body which could be used for other functions. A poor seated or standing posture uses the same amount as energy as someone who is moving! Prolonged poor posture leads to degeneration of your joints and osteoarthritis. Posture is easy to rectify if we have the knowledge and skills to deal with the issue. The Total Somatics Approach to Health and Wellness Online program (www.TotalSomatics.com) will teach your these skills. Would you like to live a life with reduced pain and able to move freely? Allow Total Somatics to teach you these skills.
Stress and hormones
As we know in the animal kingdom, posture is important to show power and importance. This still applies to us. Notice the following Ted Talk with Amy Cuddy and how she enlightens us on the way our posture affects our hormones, stress and confidence.
Isn’t that video fascinating?
Interestingly research was conducted at Columbia and Harvard Universities which revealed how our posture affects our sub-conscious mind and our decision making skills. They asked participants to stand in power poses and also in fear, anxious, slumped over poses. The power pose group were 45% more likely to take on a risk and felt more confident, in control and less overwhelmed.
Interestingly enough, they took saliva samples from the participants. The power pose group had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and higher levels of testosterone. This combination of low cortisol and high testosterone are consistently linked with people exhibiting leadership abilities and also resistant to diseases associated with stress and anxiety on the mind and body.
So once again this research reiterates what Somatics educators have been saying and teaching for years. When we alter our posture, body language, increase movement and become mindful in our daily activities, we subconsciously influence our thinking, decision making and decide to care for our health and well being. We take decisive action to CREATE a life which will help us to reduce pain, move freely, create a better posture and improve our quality of life.
That is why I created The Total Somatics Approach to Health and Wellness Online program. Thousands from around the world have already benefited greatly from the structured program. I teach you skills, mindset and mindfulness practices and provide information to educate and empower you to take control of your health and well being. In the comfort of your own home and at a pace which suits you, you can learn Mindful Somatic Movements to reduce pain, improve posture, increase mobility so you can move freely and return to the activities you love to do.
Join me today at www.TotalSomatics.com and notice on my website the before and after photos of clients who have used The Total Somatics Approach to Health and Wellness to improve their posture, mobility, confidence, energy levels, sleep patterns and stopped the re-occurrence of sports injuries.
I look forward to being part of your focus towards an improved level of health and wellness.
Heidi Hadley xx