“Poor posture can have ill effects that radiate throughout the body, causing back and neck pain, muscle fatigue, breathing limitations, arthritic joints, digestive problems and mood disturbances. It can alos create a bad impression when applying for a job, starting a relationship or making new friends.
Thanks to the recent New York Times article cited above Posture has made it to the big time. A careful reading and some reflection on the contents of the article brings some provocative notions, some quite obvious and others more less apparent, how our posture impacts the quality of our lives. Fascinating stuff but it is only a part of the picture, of course.
Information is power, and more information on how posture impacts our well-being can be the missing piece for many in their work on themselves. As described in the article our posture is important because it defines our relationship to gravity 24 hours per day. The negative impact of deviating from proper postural alignment is long term and impacts ourselves across many dimensions of self. Addressing these issues once they have become intractable and destructive often requires a new approach to fitness and new thoughts on what it means to be well.
This way of treating the whole body as a unit to restore postural balance and resolve dysfunctional movement patterns invites a deeper understanding of the incredible and truly miraculous design of our bodies and ourselves. We are born with magnificent systems to maintain our health, meet the challenges we face and achieve the great things of which we are capable. When there are problems we can develop mechanisms in the short term to adjust and respond to the limitations they present.
Ergonomics and the habit changes described in the article an be helpful adjuncts to a therapeutic approach, but their impact on their is often palliative and temporary when the habits of poor movement are ingrained.
Ultimately, the most complete solution to the problems posture imbalances create involve relieving the stress these imbalance place on ourselves in a fundamental way; through a systematic re-balancing the alignment and movement patterns of the body systematically.
As Physiotherapist Nick Sinfield concurs when he states in the article, “improving posture requires conscious effort and often strengthening and flexibility exercises.”. Just how to put together these exercises in a systematic and effective program so clear and consistent benefits are achieved is the question that posture therapy addresses.
More information to fill in some of the details and about how one particular targeted therapeutic posture therapy approach can work to help resolve the deeper causes of postural imbalances can be found in the “How Posture Therapy Works” article you can read here.