Although some people have the mistaken idea that healthcare professionals like me are born clean-living and healthy, the truth is that I have achieved ideal posture as the only sustainable solution to my own health problems.

I learned how to heal my own stubborn posture and I have spent more than a decade helping people correct their posture and get lasting results where other approaches have failed. I believe the reason for this, is because I take a holistic approach to healing posture.

It’s no good looking only at your physical body. If you want good results and results that last, you must be willing to look at your everyday life. Here is a list I made of simple, EVERYDAY THINGS THAT CAN WRECK YOUR POSTURE:

1. Dehydration
Incorrect sitting and standing posture, poor nutrition, injuries, athleticism and manual labour can all lead to worn spinal discs. Nutrition is probably the easiest of these to change. When you fail to drink enough water – dry skin, headaches, sluggish bowels may all be signs – your body tissues become dehydrated. When the tissues in question, are your cartilagenous spinal discs, this can lead to disc degeneration and ultimately the flatback posture associated with chronic low back pain.

2. Texting
Using your mobile device for extended periods of time can easily lead to neck strain, headaches, and chronic muscular pain in the shoulders, as the supporting muscles remain contracted to hold up the weight of your now, very heavy head.

Anyone who has used a cellphone or tablet for an extended period of time has probably experienced the uncomfortable strain it puts on your upper body. These conditions have been coined: Text Neck. Try bringing your phone up to eye level. Even if you feel like a dweeb, at least you’ll be a pain free dweeb!

3. Weight Lifting
Not all weight lifting is bad. I’m talking about the muscle boys and girls who are obsessed with the mirror muscles that you can see while looking (and posing) in the mirror – chest, abs, shoulders, upper traps, biceps and triceps.

The problem is, they don’t do nearly as many exercises for the opposing muscles on the back—the lats, lower traps, rear shoulders, upper or lower back. This can lead to unattractive Slouchback Posture.

4. Sleeping
Because we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, it is important to give some real attention to your sleeping posture. Here are the dos and don’ts for sleeping posture:

5. Sitting
Human beings are certainly NOT meant to sit as long as most of us do each day. We should be out chasing wild boar and climbing trees. At the very least, we should be moving regularly, to reduce the impact of our sedentary, desk-based lives.

It is important to realise that ‘correct sitting posture’ does not mean ‘best permanent position’. To avoid prolonged flexion of the lumbar spine when seated (with resultant long-term injury to the discs) use active sitting. Active sitting involves movement and frequent changes of position. I believe that we can learn a thing or two from our children – Let’s all fidget, wiggle and stir!

6. Shyness
Bad posture develops over many years, from bad ergonomic habits: Desk-based occupations, manual labour, sporting injuries, slouching due to shyness or low self esteem, lack of exercise, weight gain, and the activities of daily living (reading, washing dishes, vacuuming, texting, etc.).

If shyness is the reason for your poor posture, then great! Yes, I do mean great, because shyness, unlike past accidents and injuries, is much easier to address. You can begin to address shyness by learning the body language of confident people. You can literally fake it, until you feel it! Here are 5 things you should quit doing if you want to be successful improving low self esteem.

7. Road Rage
In the late 90s, therapists in the United States were working to certify road rage as a medical condition. Although it isn’t listed as an official mental disorder, most of us experience aggressive driving from time to time.

How many times have I been taking a medical history, when a patient tells me they have chronic neck pain, headaches and muscle tension? One of my first questions is always: ‘How many car accidents have you been in?’

All road traffic accidents create the possibility of damage, whether or not you walked away. I generally consider all accidents over 20mph significant. The injury is often not recognised until many years later, by x-ray.

So the next time you get cut off on the highway (that was today for me), take a deep breath instead of flipping them the bird – I know, the bird just feels so darn good but trust me, it’s so not worth it!

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October 14, 2014 No comments

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