Tools for Better Posture and a Healthier Life!
Better Posture is Possible! There are many helpful hints below to help you improve alignment. Losing weight and exercise helps
Most people don’t connect poor alignment with poor health, but when the nerve and blood supply is affected – muscles are being over stressed. When each vertebra is lined up properly, then your body is in harmony with gravity, and is functioning the way it was designed to. Training is important to correcting bad stance as well as overall body posture!
Poor alignment and slouching puts stress on your lower back and contributes to low back problems. Between each pair of vertebrae are two small openings through which the left and right spinal nerves exit. Among other things, these nerves empower the muscles and give sensation to the skin. It is through the spinal nerves that you can move and can feel temperature, pressure and pain. So it is important to check for correct alignment often and look for resources available for correcting posture
Once again, special body and medical conditions may require advice from your doctor but many people loudly praise and suggest a good chiropractic evaluation and adjustment always before starting (and during) an exercise program for better function and alignment.
Your doctor can provide you with a chart that shows the affects of misalignment – often caused by weak back muscles – everything from indigestion to hearing loss, from sexual dysfunction to headaches, not to mention back aches and fatigue.
Most back pain programs actually support exercise programs that include aerobic conditioning and strengthening exercises to reduce the recurrence of low back pain and improve back muscle strength.
They recommend maintaining a healthy weight to avoid excess strain on your lower back; so, be sure to review the diet and exercise sections of this site. Guides to 'better back health' usually include exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the back as well as some other muscles that help to protect it and promote good body alignment.
(Here is a 15 minute routine that stretches and strengthens muscles associated with the back and good posture.)
For those times, when you have over stressed the back, get a therapeutic pack that works two ways. In the freezer, it becomes an ice pack. When heated in the microwave, it becomes a heating pad. Woodlock is also a product that works wonders – a deep heating rub that soaks in without feeling greasy.
Do not forget, prevent injury by using proper lifting techniques and back support, as well as, maintaining proper sitting and sleeping positions, and think – POSTURE! Do an alignment check as often as you can throughout the day. Working toward more perfect alignment will help you feel better in the long run.
If you were to drop a plumb line from the ceiling along the gravity axis, it should bisect you perfectly.
Turn sideways and ask someone to look at your body and back posture. Ideally your ear should line up with your shoulder bone, which lines up with your hipbone, which lines up with your anklebone.
From the front view, your head should be straight, not tilted or turned to one side. Shoulders should be even and hips even. Notice where your head is in relation to the rest of you. Its position is best predictor of posture imbalance. The heads weighs about 10-12 pounds. When the bones of your spine support your head, all is well. When your muscles hold it up, you're causing stress.
Holding your head just one inch forward of that plumb line puts 30 pounds more pressure on the back of your neck. You're asking those muscles to do more than they're supposed to. Over time those over-stressed muscles get sore.
Here's how to start reacquainting your body with alignment - a start to correcting posture.
To stand and walk
Begin by making sure your toes point forward, not out and not inward.
Next, lengthen the space between your navel and your collarbone by lifting your breastbone up toward the ceiling. This action lets your head naturally come back on top of your spine and gives you a natural curve in your lower back.
Keep your chin parallel with the floor, not tipped up. When you walk always put your heel down first, and imagine leading with your heart not your head.
Chair posture begins with: Sit in a chair that is low enough to let you place both feet flat on the floor. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor with both knees level with your hips. Your weight should be over your pelvic bones. If your chair or desk is too high, use a footrest to raise your knees.
When you sit, lift the breast bone to position your head and shoulders correctly, keeping a slight curve in your lower back, leaning slightly forward from the hips so that your feet are firmly planted on the ground, and the shoulders are back and relaxed.
When driving your car, move your seat forward to keep your knees level with your hips.
You should have a pillow to support your lower back only. Don't lean back. Leaning back stresses your neck and all the muscles of your back. If you must recline, use a reclining chair with proper support for your lower back and neck. That way you remain in alignment when resting. Don't try to work in a reclining position. Sitting actually puts more pressure on your back than standing does, so look for ways to stay in motion.
Remember posture support is important! Place a pillow between your knees when sleeping on your side so that your back is in a neutral position, keeping it in its natural three curves.
Use a towel roll to support your lower back or place a pillow under your knees when sleeping on you back.
To rise, roll onto your side and bend both knees. Drop your feet over the side of the bed as you push with both arms to sit up. Scoot to the edge of the bed and position your feet under your buttocks. Stand up, keeping your back in a neutral position.
Back posture support is crucial! Tighten your abdominal muscles and bend your knees while lifting.
“Good body posture is just one of the tools to a healthier life so check posture often to ensure you are on a “right track”. Add it to exercise, nutrition, emotional honesty, meditation, and prayer to find your balance in body, mind and spirit.” font>
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