Does posture matter? Can it be changed, even after many years of poor posture?
The answer, from my perspective, is a resounding YES to both these questions. Posture is at the core of our wellbeing. Correct alignment of our skeletal structure allows EVERYTHING in our bodies to work as it should. Circulation is unimpeded, electrical signals from our brains to the rest of the body via the nervous system are transmitted efficiently, organs and glands function optimally, mood is improved, digestion is effective, sleep is restorative – in short, we are well!
Many clients have presented at my studio lately with obvious posture issues – but in fact, almost all conditions people arrive with a associated with posture problems. Poor posture is becoming endemic in our society, but not for the reasons we commonly believe. There is much literature and discussion currently about how we have bad posture because we sit too much (I was guilty of this one too, in one of my recent posts) or because we are too sedentary, with many of us sitting at computers for hours every day. Yes, these do cause problems, but I am now convinced that the problem is more HOW we sit, bend, stand, not just that we do them so much.
I have learned from Esther Gokhale’s excellent book and website (www.gokhalemethod.com and see my Resources page) that much of what we are told today about posture is wrong.
Have you been told to
- tuck your pelvis,
- support your lumbar curve,
- maintain an ‘S’ curve in your spine, or
- sit up straight by pulling your shoulders back?
All of these are actually incorrect because they oppose our natural or ‘primal’ posture, as Esther Gokhale calls it. This fits with everything I know about our bodies’ natural alignment from my years of Ortho-Bionomy work. In fact our spines should be mostly straight except for a sharp angle at L5/S1, where our butt should stick out behind us forming a ‘J’ curve with the straight spine above it. This structure is common amongst children, non-industrialised populations and our ancestors (up to 100 years ago). In the populations where this primal posture is common, there is little or no back pain.
Our loss of this primal posture is responsible for the epidemic of back pain (and hip, neck, knee pain etc) in our society. Fortunately, we can restore our posture to its original alignment if we are prepared to leave our old habits behind and use some simple exercises. Ortho-Bionomy provides the perfect combination with these exercises by quickly and effectively releasing the pain and tension in the musculature from our poor posture habits, leaving us free to create new habits using the Gokhale Method exercises.
View this video of Esther’s presentation for an in-depth understanding of primal posture (56 mins):
If you don’t have 56mins (but I urge you to make the time soon!), watch this 6min Ted Talk given by Esther, to get a quick tip for sitting correctly to improve your spine health:
If you would like help with undoing your old posture habits and creating new ones, book an Ortho-Bionomy session today. I also have copies of Esther’s excellent and practical book for sale at my studio.