What You’re Not Told About Good Posture

It was hard to find a good image of “good” Posture on the web. There are a lot of erroneous perceptions of correct sitting and standing posture.

Here are some things to consider about good posture:

  1. It should be EASY! My clients use these descriptors after a treatment or class; light, gliding, flowing, connected, effortless….
  2. It should not involve effort that leaves a person sore or achey.
  3.  It is DYNAMIC. Posture is somewhat of a static image or word. We imagine someone still when we think of the word. In reality we are in constant motion. Even when we think we are still, there are constant micromovements (not to mention movement in your breathing) to maintain balance. Moshe Feldenkrais coined the term “acture”. It could be interpreted as “posture in action”.

These are the signs that you are “off kilter” (that’s a technical term… heehee) and your skeleton is not supporting you:

  1. sore areas such as the neck, shoulders, and lower back
  2. shortness in breath or having to work at getting a satisfying breath
  3. generalized fatigue and tightness after activities, such as walking

What you can do to alleviate the effects of being off kilter:

  1. Lie down! By resting flat on the floor the tension releases along the spine, decompressing tight areas. Make sure you are comfortable. Grab a cushion if you need support under your head. Take 5 to let this happen. Your spine will thank you.
  2. Avoid the slow decline of a sedantary life. If you don’t move it, you loose it. Over time the hip joints and spine become stiff and getting around becomes more challenging. Go out dancing, join a yogapilates, or Feldenkrais class in your area. If you are new to exercise, start with a personal trainer so you don’t kill yourself at the gym.
  3.  Avoid stupid chairs. Yup, we all know chairs are not our friends at the best of times. If you have to sit in a stupid chair bring a support, cushion, back rest with you, or sit on the edge of the seat.

If you are not curled up on the sofa or lazyboy (which tends to allow the whole spine to round and rest on a supported surface), finding a more upright position for sitting and a flat or foward tilting seat surface is a better option for an even pressure on your discs. key rules: feet are flat on the floor, knees are lower then your hips, straight backrest for mid-back support.

Get some help. There are practitioners out there that may specialize in “functional integration” (Me!), alignment support, and/or alleviating muscular imbalances.

Please do not wait for the pain to go away on its own. If there is a problem deal with it instead of ignoring it. Otherwise, the chronic issue becomes a nasty problem, such as a slipped disc, nerve compression, or “frozen” joint. Yikes! No thanks!

IF you think you have a disc issue go to a reputable physiotherapist or chiropractor in your area.