How Osteopathy Can Improve Your Posture and Health
As a kid I bet you were told by your parents to “stand straight!” and “don’t slouch!”
Guess what… they were right…
Posture has a lot to do with how you feel. The obvious relationship is between your physical body and the discomfort or pain you feel. But also your personality and how you feel emotionally affects your posture.
The physical symptoms that come with bad posture affect the balance of your fascial, muscular and skeletal systems. Ideally, we want our soft tissue and bony structures to be in balance so we can take on all the demands life brings.
Posture is a fancy term for the resting position of your spine and limbs. In order to move well and pain free, you want your resting position at a neutral point where you can move in all directions around that point.
When your resting position deviates too far in one direction, it makes it harder to move in the opposite direction. When you don’t pay attention to your posture and you are in a chronically shortened or lengthened position, over time, you may develop compensation patterns which may lead to injury and pain.
Working on and maintain your posture on a daily basis will prevent you from deviating too far from your neutral position. If you make poor posture a habit, your tissues will adapt to that position, restricting your ability to move well in all directions.
Restrictions in your body have a direct influence on your health and wellbeing. Your blood and lymph flow will be reduced which affect supply and drainage to your organs and cells. Nutrients and oxygen won’t be able to get to your cells and waste products and carbon dioxide will linger, bathing the cells in a toxic environment.
The result is disease and the reason for your pain, headaches, tightness, and poor health… the list goes on.
Osteopathic techniques and exercises work together to reduce restrictions in your body and teach you how to activate the muscles to improve your posture. Tight restricted areas are released first to allow the body move more freely, and then corrective exercises are done to stabilize and strengthen your muscles to create lasting change in the body.
Releasing restricted fascia and stretching muscles alone won’t have as good of a change as adding corrective exercise as well. You have to train your muscles to move within the new range of motion. As you increase your range of motion. you should also improve your motor control because your mind needs to connect to the body’s new ability to move within a wider range.
One thing you may not be aware of is the idea that your mental and emotional state can affect your posture. Likewise, your posture and how you carry yourself can affect your mental and emotional state.
We’ve all had times of happiness and sadness and your posture reflects that in the moment. When you’re happy, you stand up straight and have a more inviting posture; and when you’re sad, you tend to slouch or curl into a fetal-like position.
If you develop poor postural habits that resemble a sadden state, chances are you’re going to feel that way as well.
Think about how you feel, how you want to feel, and how that feeling might look in your posture. If you choose to be happy, confident and positive, I bet you’ll stand straight and have a better posture.
October 11, 2021
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