5 Easy Ways to Boost Body Confidence

The way we talk, sit, and stand carries a lot of meaning. Our unconscious gestures and body posture convey thoughts and feelings even more than the words that we speak. When confronted with conflicting signals (e.g. we speak confidently but our shoulders round and we slouch), others may rely on our non-verbal cues.

What do people see when you walk into a room? Hopefully, they see a confident, successful, happy individual. But if we’re not careful, what we communicate through our body posture, may not be the image we wish to convey.

Our body movements, gestures, alignment (posture), eye contact, skin flushing, breathing, and even perspiration all add to the words that we speak. When I was younger, I blushed easily, and it intensified when people commented on my flushed cheeks. I still blush as an adult, but now I can laugh it off without feeling horribly embarrassed.

The way we talk, sit, and stand carries a lot of meaning. Our unconscious gestures and body posture convey thoughts and feelings even more than the words that we speak. When confronted with conflicting signals (e.g., we speak confidently but our shoulders round and we slouch), others may rely on our non-verbal cues.

Check for inconsistencies. Our gestures should be consistent with what we are saying. For example, if a person speaks as if she is confident but fidgets with her hands when she communicates, she conveys conflicting signals. Unfortunately, the overarching message will usually default to our body language.

Be observant but don’t overanalyze every single gesture. Avoiding eye contact, for example, does not have to mean that a person is lying, insincere or nervous. It is possible someone may look away to recall better or narrate things when not looking directly at you. Trust what your instincts are saying about someone’s non-verbal communication. If you sense that a person is nervous or insincere, you are probably right.

Communication is the foundation of any successful relationship, whether it is personal or professional. If you want to communicate body confidence, power, and authority, practice these 5 communication cues:

1. Maintain assertive body posture.

The key to coming off poised and confident is in the way we hold ourselves. Forward head posture, neck hump, round shoulders and slouching, look less attractive to an observer than an upright, symmetrically aligned body. To stand confidently, stand with your feet approximately four to six inches apart. Distribute your weight equally on both legs, avoid swaying, stand long and tall and face the person/s you are speaking to.

Further Resources: Forward Head Posture – Cause and Cure

When was the last time you met a confident person who slouches? Exactly! When we sit or stand with expansive power postures, we boost our testosterone levels, and testosterone is associated with success and the winner effect.

2. Watch your hands

Placing your hands on your hips is a posture many people use, but this can give off an air of arrogance or impatience, just as crossing your arms can. If you tend to play with your hair, touch your lips, or jiggle coins in your pocket when you’re with a group of people, remember that our body gestures communicate more than the words we say.

3. Don’t cross your legs

Not only is crossing your legs bad for your circulation because it increases the pressure on your veins, but it also makes you take up less space and can look less confident. Don’t spread your legs to China – I recently suggested that a friend of mine sit beside me on the Go Train – and equally, don’t wrap yourself up into a corkscrew either. Imagine what this is doing to your pelvic posture. Yikes!

4. Pay attention to your face

Do you know what your face looks like when you are looking at, listening to, or talking to other people? Some people’s standard facial expressions can be stern, grumpy, angry, and sometimes nice and smiley. I love those people who look like they are smiling, even when they are not.

Mike Budenholzer, coach of the Milwaukee Bucks

This was Mike Budenholzer’s expression through the entire game against the Toronto Raptors this week. Fair enough, the Buck’s did lose (go Raptors!), but even when the Bucks were well ahead, this was his typical appearance. Hilarious! Kind of.

If you have a rather severe standard facial expression, people may avoid you, think you are mad at them, or get defensive around you. These are not good outcomes if you want to connect with people.

What can you do? Please pay attention to the comments your friends and colleagues make when you’re listening to them. Do people often think you’re upset because of your furrowed brow? Do strangers tell you to smile or cheer up? If this is the case, practice smiling in front of your bathroom mirror. And by the way, practicing this will probably make you smile for real. Apparently, it also helps – when listening to others – to keep your lips slightly parted, so you are less likely to interrupt. Try it!

5. Make eye contact

Confident, assertive people can hold a gaze. Too much eye contact may feel intrusive, rude, and dominant. We need to strike a balance. You know that feeling when you are at a business event and speaking to someone who is scanning the room for someone better? It doesn’t feel very good. Don’t be that person! Learn to listen with your eyes. People instinctively like people who listen to them.

The way we hold ourselves is often a reflection of how we feel about ourselves, so being more self-aware and maintaining good body posture (it helps when we practice daily posturecise) improves our confidence. Not only do we look more attractive with upright, symmetrical posture, but studies on posture are beginning to show us that our brains are actually more capable of positivity when the body is in an upright stance.

The Three Pillars of Posture Motivation | Posture Doctor

The way we hold ourselves is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. Not only do we look more attractive with upright posture, but science is beginning to show us that our brains are more capable of positivity when the body is in an upright stance.

What motivates you?

Are you driven by reward or punishment – carrot or stick?

The Carrot and Stick theory of motivation was given to us by philosopher Jeremy Bentham, and is derived from the old story of a donkey. The story goes that the best way to move a donkey is to put a carrot out in front and jab it with a stick from behind. It’s not really a very nice story. The carrot is the reward for action (moving forward for our stubborn donkey) while the stick is the punishment for inaction or not moving.

I’m definitely a carrot kinda gal. I spent last weekend training for my CSIA Level 1 certification. The CSIA or Canadian Ski Instructor’s Alliance, enables me to teach downhill skiing (which I delight in) to beginners and intermediates.

The stick was clear – the grueling impact on my body skiing hard for 16 hours over three days. On average, I was 25-30 years older than the majority of students on the course. Although it feels good to look back and think wow that was torture and I did it, that wasn’t my main motivation.

I would never run a marathon, or participate in a Tough Mudder competition. That just doesn’t do it for me. I’m a carrot kinda gal as I said. I don’t get up each morning to Posturecise, to avoid a stiff body, although I love that benefit; I Posturecise daily because I like what I see when I look in the mirror. Carrot, carrot, carrot!

Further Resources: Posturecise Crash Course

Does that sound awful? It’s not that I’m entirely vain – although I am a Leo! It’s that looking (and feeling) youthful signifies to me, that I get to do what I want to do, well into my senior years. I want to ski when I’m 70 and hike the Pyrenees Mountains when I’m 80. Nature is everything to me. That is my motivation. I love a good carrot!

Why do we want to correct our posture?


Over the years, many of you have become committed posture students. You enroll and actively participate in courses at Posture School, you email to ask questions about your posture and health and some of you work 1-2-1 with me over many months. Underlying each of these decisions was some kind of motivation.

Three pillars of posture motivation


It occurred to me fairly recently that the factors driving our motivation to correct our posture, can be summarized into three main categories or pillars of motivation.

Three Pillars of Posture Motivation

Pain


Pain is a wonderful motivator. It creates immediate need for action. At some point in our lives, most of us have been motivated by this stick. The problem for most of us who use this to drive our ongoing motivation, is that when the pain is gone, so is our motivation to take action.

Lack of pain does not equate lack of problem.

We can learn to thank our pain, because pain is a part of life and getting rid of the pain shouldn’t be the main goal. If we place our hand near a hot stove, pain very quickly makes us move our hand away. Without pain, we’d leave our hand in the hot flame and get badly burned.

I like to think of pain, as one of the body’s great communication tools. We can learn not to be fearful of pain but instead, become fascinated by our wonderfully working bodies. What is that headache telling us – are we dehydrated, are our muscles tense, do we need to eat?

Appearance


You’d be surprised how often I hear from you about posture and appearance.

  • I have been struggling with neck hump since my early 20s.
  • How do I stand up straight without flaring my rib cage?
  • I sort of slump forward and this does not look good.
  • When I pose for photos, my upper body always leans far backward.
  • I thought I was standing straight but in reality my upper body always leaned far backward.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to look attractive. In fact there has been a lot of research into body posture and attractiveness.  The science suggests that our posture not only reflects our feelings, but also influences them.

One particular factor of attractiveness that has been extensively researched (including this study) is that of symmetry. You can think of symmetry as good posture and asymmetry as bad posture.

Symmetry (good posture)
Asymmetry (bad posture)

Deviations from bilateral symmetry may be linked to various stressors in pre-natal development … The extent of these deviations may reflect the inability of an individual to cope with environmental and genetic stressors. Fluctuating asymmetry is related with various genetic diseases and chromosomal abnormalities, such as scoliosis … Superior symmetry (ideal posture), therefore, signals the quality of genes that are more resistant to biological and environmental stressors such as disease, pathogens, and parasitic infection.

Wow! Now, you understand why attractiveness is such a huge motivation for so many of us.

Confidence


The way we hold ourselves is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. Not only do we look more attractive with upright posture, but science is beginning to show us that our brains are more capable of positivity when the body is in an upright stance.

I have always been struggling with my curved shoulders and this is because of my low self esteem and lack of confidence I suffered as a teenager.

In one study researchers found that people who were told to sit up straight were more likely to believe the thoughts they wrote down while in that posture, about whether or not they were qualified for a job.

Richard Petty (co-author of the study) said that: “Most of us were taught that sitting up straight gives a good impression to other people. But it turns out that our posture can also affect the way we think about ourselves.”

The end result of this study was that when students wrote positive thoughts about themselves, they rated themselves more highly when sitting in an upright posture because the upright posture led to confidence in their positive thoughts.

However, when students wrote negative thoughts about themselves, they rated themselves more negatively when in the upright position (vs. slouched position) because the upright posture led to more confidence in their thoughts, even though they were negative.

That suggests our thoughts are influenced by our posture, even though we don’t realize that is what’s happening. In other words good posture leads to less self doubt. Very cool!

From my experience, a desire to correct our posture stems from one of three motivations, that I call the Three Pillars of Posture Motivation:

  1. Pain
  2. Attractiveness
  3. Confidence

Motivation isn’t black and white, it’s black, white and shades of grey. There is of course great overlap, but it is highly likely that you are primarily motivated by one of these three pillars.

So, are you driven by carrot or stick? I’d love to read your comments on this one. Pop your thoughts below.

What Causes Forward Head Posture & How Severe Is Yours?

Understand the specific cause of Forward Head Posture; use that knowledge to begin the appropriate mirror-image exercises and know when to seek treatment and/or further medical investigation.

Understand the specific cause of Forward Head Posture; use that knowledge to begin the appropriate mirror-image exercises and know when to seek treatment and/or further medical investigation.

Further Learning: Forward Head Posture: Cause & Cure



5 Fitness Ideas to Create an Amazing Body

Embrace your fatness. What ever you do this year, please do not take on the goal of weight loss. When losing weight is the goal, you are declaring that your body is not good enough and I don’t know how anyone can achieve success in fitness and health when starting out telling themselves they are fat and then make themselves wrong for being this way.

Today is day one of a brand New Year and that means you get a fresh start on fitness and health.

I began day one of 2015 with a gorgeous Florida grapefruit, followed by a swim and then ate breakfast while contemplating my fresh start – my plan for 2015.

As with any New Year, musings of financial security, weight loss, gym memberships, falling in love and dream jobs may fill your early 2015 thoughts. I want to actually help some of you create success in the area of fitness and health this year and I have 5 winning ideas for you.

First of all, I’d just like to say that I do not make New Year resolutions. Most resolutions are doomed from the beginning because they lack planning and come with huge expectations – two sure ways to guarantee failure.

I am someone who gets things done and it’s NOT because I have super powers . I’m actually JUST LIKE YOU, except I’ve mastered the habit of daily exercise. For some of you, this habit isn’t yet consistent, but I’m here to teach you just how to achieve success in the area of fitness and health so you can have an AMAZING body for 2015.

Ideas for a fabulous body


If you follow these ideas for the next year, I believe you’ll fall in love with YOU!

Embrace your fatness. What ever you do this year, please do not take on the goal of weight loss. When losing weight is the goal, you are declaring that your body is not good enough and I don’t know how anyone can achieve success in fitness and health when starting out telling themselves they are fat and then make themselves wrong for being this way.

Some of you who desire to lose weight have subcutaneous fat (big bum fat) but not the dangerous fat (visceral – i.e. organ fat). People with subcutaneous fat live longer than skinny girls like me!

Sugar


If you don’t believe me, make sure you read Dr Robert Lustig’s book Fat Chance. Lustig will convince you that sugar is the real poison and get you embracing your subcutaneous fat.

If you really want to trim your body, cut out sugar and go back to fat. Dr Lustig tells us that sugar drives fat storage and makes the brain think it’s hungry. Choose fat not sugar!  

What’s your why?


Find the real reason. Over 20 years ago I was working for The Sports Clubs of Canada in membership. I only worked there for one year but broke all of their sales records. My first month I sold 140% of my target sales.

Why was I so successful? At the time I thought it was luck. I just couldn’t really figure out why I won all their sales awards. I know now, the reason I sold so successfully is that I helped a perspective new gym member find the real reason they wanted to join the gym – their why – and it was never really to lose weight.

If you dig deep enough, you will discover your why. Maybe you want to be an amazing mum who is physically active with her children, or perhaps your parents died young and you literally want to live to see your kids grow up and have families.

If you don’t feel good in your body, you don’t feel good in life.

When I do not exercise daily, I feel gloomy. My ideas dry up and I become a total grump. I exercise because it makes me love life. Find the real reason you desire a healthy body. 

Make it ridiculously simply


Make it ridiculously simple. I was in the gym last week (I rarely work out in a gym) and a man came in, got on the treadmill for under 10 minutes and then got off, turned to the man on the bike and said, “see you tomorrow.”

If commitment and exercise has always been a challenge, start so  simple, you can not fail! I love that this man only did 10 minutes of exercise. At least he went to the gym and did something. Now that he took action, his motivation will grow and maybe tomorrow he’ll do 15 minutes!

Stop with the mega boot-camp goals and make it totally simple. Be ridiculous! If you are reading this now and haven’t exercised in a long time, I want you to do this right now: Stand up and march on the spot as fast as you can for 60 seconds (count out loud).

Did you do it? What ridiculously simple goal could you set for this week? 

Permission to play


Give yourself permission to play. I remember one time talking to a friend of mine who lives in New York. I told him I don’t go to the gym and he looked dumb-founded. How do you exercise he asked. Hilarious!

Have we really become so uninspired that we can’t even think how to move our bodies without an expensive gym membership?

Several years ago I bought a Kickbike (City G4) and I love it. Think, scooter for big kids and that’s a Kickbike. If you’ve forgotten how to play, ask your kids for ideas; or better yet, play with them!

Further Resources: Balance Exercise for Beginners (full of playful exercises)

Failure


Allow failure. Let yourself off the hook. I’ve been helping my mum move out of her 4 story town-house into a condo and it has completely exhausted me. I’ve told her she better love the condo because she’s NEVER moving again (nice Paula)!

I also agreed to drive her to Florida – 24 hours later. I rolled into January 1st quite exhausted. No exercise for several days and I just allowed the laze of – I don’t feel like it – to take me over because I trust myself to stay on track with my exercise.

I’ve created a habit out of daily exercise and when I do take a day or two off, I know it won’t be long again, before I begin. I understand that my body  occasionally needs to crash.

Further Resources: Posturecise (Level 1) – How to create a healthy posture habit for life

I allow myself to not be perfect and not have six pack abs! My fitness goals are more to do with thriving than vanity. Be kind to yourself.

Let your love handles be sexy and understand the real reason (your why) you exercise. Make it ridiculously simple, allow failure and remember to play!

Fun ways to exercise 


Rocker Board – brilliant for balance and regaining excellent pelvic posture
Street Strider – I’m saving up for this one!
Pogo Stick – I bounced so much, I broke the spring on the one I owned as a child.
Hacky Sack – not easy, but lots of great how-to videos on Youtube.
Unicycle – How cool would it be to learn this?!

Can you suggest any others? I’m always looking for new toys!

Assertive or Rude? Avoid These 5 Confidence Faux Pas!

If I could remove one word from the English language, it would be sorry. This word is way overused by women. When we cannot stop apologizing for everything and everyone, what we are really saying is: “I’m sorry for being me.”

This morning I had a business meeting with my bank manager. As bank managers go, she is lovely. Having shared with her that my mother just sold her house and how stressful that has been, she asked me how much my mother got for her house and then she asked me how much she paid for the new place. And then (wait for it) she asked how my mum was going to invest the money she made. Really?! When does chasing the business become downright rude? I felt she crossed the line. 

Post updated September, 2018


Tomorrow I am speaking at the Entrepreneurial Women’s Cafe in Toronto on the topic of confidence. Specifically,  5 Ways to Instantly Appear Confident and Win More Clients.

So naturally, I’ve been thinking a lot about executive behavior and what makes someone appear confident. The more that I read, the more that I realize there is a fine line between assertive behavior, confidence and being rude.

There is another issue here – What I perceive as assertive confidence, may appear utterly rude to someone else. I suppose it is subjective to a degree. Is it possible to be assertive and humble at the same time?

con·fi·dence

noun

a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.

as·ser·tive

adjective

assertiveness is the quality of being confident without being aggressive.


Confidence is an inner knowing that we are good enough. 


We are assertive when we aren’t afraid to wear our confidence. The difficultly seems to be in one’s definition of aggression.

ag·gres·sion

noun

forceful and sometimes overly assertive pursuit of one’s aims and interests.

If I use this definition of aggression, then my bank manager was indeed rude, as her assertive behavior was solely in the pursuit of her own aims and business objectives to score another client – my mother!

5 Confidence Faux Pas


  1. Handshake: There is nothing worse than a limp-wristed handshake. I attend a lot of business events and I’m always amazed by the number of executives who shake hands with only the tips of their please don’t bit me fingers. If this is you, STOP the spaghetti handshake!
  2. Apologising: If I could remove one word from the English language, it would be sorry. This word is way overused – especially by women; Canadian women even more, I’m sorry to say (hee). When we cannot stop apologizing for everything and everyone, what we are really saying is: I’m sorry for being me. Observe how frequently you apologize for just existing and challenge yourself to 7 days without using the word sorry. If you are truly sorry for a wrong, then beef up your sorry, and apologize.
  3. Eye Contact: Confident assertive people can hold a gaze. Too much eye contact may feel intrusive, rude or creepy. We need to strike a balance. You know that feeling when you are at party and the person you are speaking to is scanning the room for someone better? It feels awful doesn’t it? Don’t be that person – Learn to listen with your body and use your eyes to connect. People instinctively like those who listen.
  4. Strengths: I was speaking recently to a group of female execs on how to be successful with business video. I asked them what they could teach me – what they were really good at – and you know what happened? SILENCE! It was like pulling teeth. Why is it so difficult to share our strengths? Confident people know what they are good at. Take five minutes right now and write down ten things you are really good at. Anything counts – ironing, baking, laughter, motherhood, cleaning, writing. Go for it!
  5. Posture: Of course this has to be on my list. When was the last time you met a confident person who slouched? Exactly! When we sit or stand with expansive power postures, we boost our testosterone levels and testosterone is associated with success and the winner effect.

I don’t think the subject of assertive behavior is quite as clear-cut and simple as I’ve presented in this post; and do please let me know your own personal thoughts on this in the comments below, but I hope it stimulates some good conversation and debate.

Lump On Back Of Neck – What is This Ugly Hump?

If this structural deviation has been there long enough, the vertebral discs may begin to thin, the bony vertebrae may begin to develop spurs and the joints may hypertrophy (grow larger). These are all signs of osteoarthritis.

Do you wear high collars to hide the unattractive lump on the back of your neck? What is this ugly fatty neck lump? How did you get it and how can you get rid of it?

Post updated September, 2018


In this post I am discussing the fatty neck lump that develops due to Forward Head Posture (fhp). Fhp is best described as the forward position of the head, relative to the shoulders.

Neck lumps


There are many other possible causes of neck lumps that I am not making reference to here: The fatty lipoma, the goitre, lymph nodes and cysts, to name but a few. 



Cervical kyphosis


If you know your head leans too far forward and you also have a lump of fatty tissue on the back on your neck, you may benefit from x-ray investigation, to rule out a reversed spinal neck curve, called as cervical kyphosis.

When the neck curve kinks the wrong way, it pushes the head forward. When the head is pushed forward, the lower neck (and spine) become more prominent and vulnerable and the body may lay down fat, in an effort to protect this region – or at least that’s the way I like to simplify and explain a complicated process.

Resources: 2nd Opinion For X-Rays

Some people with a fatty neck hump, notice a hard bony feel underneath the fat. What they are feeling, is the kinked region of the neck – the bony vertebra that are more prominent and closer to the surface.

If this structural deviation has been there long enough, the vertebral discs may begin to thin, the bony vertebrae may begin to develop spurs and the joints may hypertrophy (grow larger). These are all signs of osteoarthritis.

Signs & symptoms


If you’ve suffered long term symptoms that may include: headaches, stiff and/or painful neck, dizziness, arm and hand tingling or numbness, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, round shoulders, teeth clenching, TMJ dysfunction or anxiety, and you’ve had any sort of past trauma that might have affected your neck – car accident, fall from a height, off a horse, a tumble in the playground, off your bicycle, physical violence, fall down a flight of stairs etc., you may find this video relevant:



Further Resources: Fatty Neck Hump: How to get rid of the fat at the top of your back

5 Ways to Get People to Say Yes

The best way to be likable is to find something you have in common. Build rapport. This isn’t always easy but the best way to find out what you have in common is to ask questions

I attended a speaker training workshop recently. There were about 30 of us on the course who regularly do speaking engagements and were keen to fine tune our skills.

One man, whose business card looked like it had been printed at the local dollar store, approached me (and everyone else on the course) and thrust his card toward my chest, pitching his unsolicited credentials as a speaking coach. Yikes!

I formed somewhat of an aversion to this man fairly quickly. What created this powerful NO, and what could he have done differently to get people to say YES? Getting a yes is what psychologists call compliance.

Compliance strategies you can use


1. Smile 

When you’re smiling the whole world smiles with you. Louis Armstrong

A smile is contagious. It improves our mood and can make us appear more attractive to others. One study (1) published in the journal Neuropsychologia reported that an attractive face activated the medial orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in the brain and that this region processes sensory reward. Responses in the OFC were enhanced by smiling and this suggests that you actually feel rewarded when you see another person smile

2. Reciprocation – Giving people something for free. If a smile creates a sense of reward for those experiencing your smile, you have in a sense, created a gift. And people like to reciprocate. Whoever is on the receiving end of your gift is then in your debt. I know that sounds cold, but it isn’t meant to. Dean Rieck (author of Copy Blogger) describes this as the Rule of Reciprocity that says: We are all bound — even driven — to repay debts of all kinds.

It doesn’t take much to activate the rule of reciprocation, just a genuine act of giving. Here are three that I like to use:

  1. email – Following a networking event, I like to email an article I think would be of interest or use to someone I’ve met.
  2. Compliment – Be authentic here. I love to notice unique qualities in another. Often, this is something they aren’t even aware of:  An ability to include other people in a conversation; or a terrific sense of style or how they smile using their whole face.  I’m also really good at noticing when someone I know has had a haircut. Men love this, because it’s usually women whose hair gets noticed.
  3. Download – If you are giving away something to download, make sure it’s really valuable. I offer a really well written ebook on my website when people subscribe: The 7 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Correcting Their Posture. It took me a good number of weeks to write this and I even hired a designer to do the illustrations. Don’t skimp on your free gifts. Your customers will assume if your free gifts are fabulous, then your paid services and products must be amazing!

3. Be likable – Remember the man – the speaking coach – that showed up at my training day? I’d suggest, he wasn’t very likable. He came across as abrupt, pushy and self-interested. Be personable and curious about the people you meet. Ask questions – not with an agenda – but because you are genuinely interested. 

The best way to be likable is to find something you have in common. Build rapport. This isn’t always easy but the best way to find out what you have in common is to ask questions:

  • So tell me, how on earth did you ever decide to launch such a creative business? Notice, I did two things here – I used a compliment AND asked a question, in order to find out what we have in common.
  • Wow, you really you have four children? Do any of them share your love of business?
  • How often do you run? I’ve never been a very successful jogger myself.

4. Stories and social proof – Whether we like it or not, we care a lot about what other people think. What would you do? What do you think? Did it help you? Then we act accordingly, all thanks to the impact of social proof.

This is how stories can be effective:

When I was 43, I decided to leave a successful private practice as a chiropractor and took my posture tips online in the form of Posture Videos on Youtube. In less than 12 months I had a million views and now, many millions more and growing fast.

People love this story (I love it too) because it’s true. It tells the story of an ordinary person who did something extraordinary. Perhaps most important, it provides social proof. When people see that what you offer is valued by other people, they are more inclined to trust you.

5. Open posture – No discussion on compliance strategies would be complete, if we didn’t talk about the power of posture. Your posture speaks volumes about you. What is your posture saying about you?

  • Folded arms – cold, on guard and defensive
  • Fidgeting – nervous
  • Slouching round shoulders – lacks confidence

Open upright posture looks attractive and confident, and attractive confident people get more yeses. If you don’t know how to stand tall, with open posture, perhaps this will help you:



References:
1. Neuropsychologia. 2003;41(2):147-55.

Healthy Chiropractors have These 5 Traits in Common

The one thing that drew me to the chiropractic profession in my mid twenties (other than for treatment of my chronic headaches) was that I kept meeting so healthy chiropractors and their equally healthy children. They weren’t just healthy, they were vital, thriving and generally happy people to be around.

Were you born to be healthy? Being successful in health requires a mix of attributes that are both innate and learned. There are a few attributes however, that many chiropractors seem to have in common, and we may gain some useful insight, if we study and learn from these. 

The chiropractic approach to health involves restoring your body’s ability to self-heal. This is the definition of chiropractic that I most like to use. How many of these characteristics do you have – and how many would you like to acquire?

1. Morning exercisers


Many successful chiropractors that I know (and I know a lot of them) exercise on waking. It really doesn’t matter when you ultimately decide to exercise. In fact our body’s temperature is lowest in the morning, which means this may be our most vulnerable time, in terms of injury. What matters most is that you exercise and that you aim to exercise daily.

My advice: I personally have been a morning Posturecise enthusiast for years and it isn’t because I’ve always been a natural morning person (I haven’t). If I didn’t exercise in the mornings, procrastination would creep in and convince me to put it off until the end of the day. It isn’t the time of day that matters most but the habit and routine. Make a commitment to a lifelong habit of exercise and one that you can learn to love.

Related: The 5 Things You Should Quit Doing With Your Body if You Want to be Successful

2. They don’t medicate


Many chiropractors avoid medication for day-to-day aches and pains. Their approach is to remove the nerve system interference (what we call a sub-lux-a-tion) that can restore your body’s ability to heal. Most successful healthy chiropractors will choose a spinal adjustment over pain medication. In the US (2010) there were four times more deaths among women from prescription painkiller overdoses than for cocaine and heroin combined.

Related: Three Workouts to Increase Pain Tolerance

3. They gain strength in numbers


The one thing that drew me to the chiropractic profession in my mid twenties (other than for treatment of my chronic headaches) was that I kept meeting so healthy chiropractors and their equally healthy children. They weren’t just healthy, they were vital, thriving and generally happy people to be around.

Their enthusiasm for well-being was infectious and I wanted to be around them. In the US, chiropractic is the third largest primary healthcare profession surpassed only by medicine and dentistry. People (like me) want to spend time with successful, happy, healthy people. Success breeds success.

My Advice: Professional speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. A chiropractor I once worked for as a young associate once said to me: Paula, weed your garden. It’s sounded harsh at the time but I knew what he meant. If there are people in your life who consistently drag you down, perhaps it is time to let them go.

4. They have good posture


There is something about today’s desk-based lifestyle that makes it difficult to have good posture and those of you with bad posture, worry about looking unattractive.

People with poor posture often develop early arthritis and premature aging and as a result, feel much older than their years. Chiropractors know this. We see it everyday in practice. It’s never too late to start improving your posture but you mustn’t wait for even one more day. Start today!

Related: Posturecise (Level 1) – How to create a healthy posture habit for life

5. They’re not afraid to be unpopular


The chiropractic profession began in the late 1800s. Our chiropractic pioneers lead the way and many went to jail fighting for their beliefs: That what they were doing was separate and distinct from medicine. Fighting the orthodoxy is something chiropractors have always had to do. Most of the chiropractors I know are quite used to defending the science and art to which they have devoted their lives. I think Tony Robins said it best:

To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.

The 3 Most Unattractive Postures and How to Avoid Them

Your health and body posture speak volumes about you. How symmetrical you are has been shown to affect perceived attractiveness. Not only do you look more attractive with upright posture but you feel more attractive.

Artists and architects have tried to measure attractiveness in terms of mathematical proportions. Science tells us that symmetry plays a vital role in our perceptions of attractiveness and perhaps this is because symmetry implies we are healthy.

Post updated September, 201

The position of your body (your posture) affects the position of your spine. Symmetry is crucial to good posture. When your body alignment begins to stray from our symmetrical ideal, there are uneven loads placed on your body. These stresses and strains can lead to pain, muscle strain, arthritis, ill-health and an unattractive appearance.

Symmetry


Good symmetry (good posture) allows your body tissues to respond well to stress from gravity and other daily activities. When you lose this symmetrical balance (bad posture), the stresses and strains lead to spinal degeneration, poor health and lost confidence.

Here are three of the most unattractive postures and what you should do to avoid them:

Forward Head 


Forward head posture is a problem associated with lifestyle and particularly, our desk-based mobile lives. If you jut your chin forward as far as you can and then try to take a deep breath in, you will find it very difficult.

It is very hard to breathe maximally with your head forward, and this forward head position reduced your vital lung capacity – your ability to take in oxygen. Over time, forward head posture causes neck pain, headaches, brain fog and for some, chronic fatigue.

If you suspect you have forward head posture, you might benefit from having having a Posture Analysis and learning to perform a basic chin tuck.



Slouching 


Slouching posture, aka iposture is all about habit and lifestyle – the bags we carry, the hours we spend sitting, our office ergonomics, video games and social media. Perhaps this is why standing desks are trending big time!

Slouching is often the direct result of prolonged sitting and as Martha Grogan, cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, warns: Sitting is the new smoking!

For me, a daily dose of Posturecise is the answer. Not into daily routines? Well you really need to be, because studies on sitting are beginning to show us that sitting more than 11 hours a day, increases risk of dying by 40% – Yikes!

Neck hump


I see a lot of this type of posture. The neck hump is the fatty lump of tissue found over the vertebrae located at the base of the neck. It is usually associated with feelings of self-consciousness, as the hump is often noticeable to others.

The causes of neck hump include trauma – particularly car accidents resulting in a reversed neck curve – obesity, some medications, hormones and forward head posture. 

Neck Hump

If you have a noticeable fatty neck hump, you should really make an appointment to see your healthcare provider and/or contact the Posture Doctor.

I have found the majority of neck hump that I have seen in private practice, are due to past traumas. When neck x-rays are available, the diagnosis becomes clear – often a reversed neck curve.

Don’t be afraid to ask for an x-ray. If you do have a reversed neck curve, you need to know! Unless you rehabilitate the underlying structural alignment, the neck hump will never go away.

Further Resources: Neck Hump – Get rid of the fat at the top of your back

Your health and body posture speak volumes about you. How symmetrical you are has been shown to affect perceived attractiveness. Not only do you look more attractive with upright posture but you feel more attractive.

It is never too late to start improving your posture but the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to make a significant change.

Don’t wait – start today!

7 Everyday Things That Can Wreck Your Posture

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 – and injury to our spinal discs – I like to practice active sitting.

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.

Post updated September, 2018


I have spent nearly two decades 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 body posture.

If you want good results that last, you must be willing to look at more than your physical lifestyle.Here is a list I made of simple, everyday things that can wreck your posture:

Dehydration


Incorrect sitting and standing posture, poor nutrition, injuries, athleticism and manual labor can all lead to worn spinal discs. Nutrition is probably the easiest of these to improve.

When you fail to drink enough water – dry skin, headaches and sluggish bowels – your body tissues become dehydrated. When the tissues in question, are your vertebral discs, this can lead to disc degeneration.

Disc degeneration may ultimately lead to a flatback appearance that is often associated with chronic low back pain.

Further Resources: How to Fix a Flat Back

Texting


Using your mobile device for extended periods of time can easily lead to neck strain, headaches, and chronic muscle knots. Texting causes our head to bend forward at rather extreme angles and this causes the supporting muscles to remain contracted, in order to hold up the weight of our ten pound 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.  Try bringing your phone up to eye level. 



Weight-lifting


Not all weight lifting is bad. I’m talking about the muscle men and women who are obsessed with their mirror muscles. The muscles you can see when you look (and pose) in the mirror – chest, abs, shoulders, upper traps, biceps and triceps.

The problem is, this type of vanity weight-lifting neglects weights for the opposing muscles on our backs –  lats, lower traps, posterior shoulders, upper or lower back. This can lead to an unattractive slouched appearance.

Sleeping


Because we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, it is important to give some real attention to your sleeping posture. Watch below for my sleeping dos and don’ts:



Sitting


Human beings are not designed for prolonged periods of sitting. 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 mobile 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 – and injury to our spinal discs – I like to practice active sitting.

Active sitting involves movement and frequent changes of position, while remaining seated. I believe that we can learn a thing or two from our children – Let’s all fidget, wiggle and stir!

Shyness


Bad posture develops over many years, from bad ergonomic habits. Learned body positions from desk-based occupations, weight gain, manual labor, sporting injuries, activities of daily living (reading, washing, vacuuming) and slouching due to shyness or low self esteem.

If you are shy and have developed bad posture for this reason, then lucky you! Yes, I do mean lucky, because being shy, unlike past accidents and injuries, is much easier to transform.

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 your confidence.

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 patient’s medical history, when they tell 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?

Studies confirm that road rage, is a leading cause of car accidents. All road traffic accidents create the possibility of spinal damage -particularly reversed neck curve.



I generally consider all accidents over 20mph significant. The injury is often not recognized until many years later, on a neck x-ray.

So the next time you get cut off on the highway (that was today for me), take a deep breath, instead of giving them the finger and riding up on their arse! I hear you; easier said, than done.