The more upright you hold your body, the healthier you are said to be. But why is that? Besides the fact that research has shown that people with a forward head posture die earlier than those with an upright posture by 40%. Research has also proven that breathing capacity is increased as well as the amount of blood the heart pumps out of the left ventricle per heartbeat.
The body is seen by the medical profession as an interrelated self-healing organism that on its own, strives to treat the cause of the body’s problems, which then reduces the stress in that area and allows the body to heal itself. A person’s posture therefore tells the state of one’s health. Whether they are in their optimal state of health or not.
Have you ever seen an Olympic sprinter with a forward leaning head? On the other hand, have you ever seen an unfit, obese person with heart disease and diabetes with perfect posture? Both is highly unlikely, which demonstrates how we can see how someone’s posture affects them in the everyday functioning. There is a reason why very unwell people tend to slump and have bad posture. This is the same reason why strong and fit athletes have excellent posture. Ones body alignment says it all.
One might think its weak muscles that lead to bad posture. This is not so. From the day that we are born, our bodies are under stress, which stops the body from being able to heal itself. So, while you may be straightening your shoulders and doing core exercises and other forms of exercise, this is not enough. This will not result in complete structural correction at a consistent rate, which is necessary for optimal health.
Stress that we are talking about here includes both the physical, as well as mental and emotional stress. The physical stress is the habitual ways of sitting, moving, standing and exercise that we do. The mental or emotional stress has an impact on the physical structure of the body that can exacerbate existing postural difficulties that lead to pain and imbalance. This can be seen in the study on body language. When a person is depressed or stressed, they will not have a straight posture compared to a confident man.
One’s mind also has a great part to play in one’s body’s ability to adapt. The mind can help us push our bodies beyond what seems possible. Take athletes that can train hard for 6 to 8 hours a day, every day and their bodies cope with this excessive training. Another example is that of a mother that manages to get through more than most people on less sleep. It’s the innate drive of the human mind that helps us do this.
There are two opposing forces that needs to be worked with for healing the body, which are regeneration (adaptability) and stress. For most people, the daily stress of life that comes from extended sitting times, sports injuries and just injuries from daily life. This is the body adapting to the stress of life. The older one gets though, the more the body loses its ability to adapt. When the body has not healed itself, then you start to experience symptoms of neck ache, back ache and headaches. This usually starts between twenty and thirty years of age when real-world issues start to make an appearance. Big decisions need to be made during that stage of life, which puts stress on our bodies and minds. At this age and state of health most people compensate and adapt to this stress on the body, and issues seem to resolve on their own. While this is happening, problems are growing below the surface, which stack up and build on each other. Each niggle becomes the catalyst for another, until together they become a single, complex problem.
The way we look after our bodies has a huge impact on our ability to adapt. Our diet, our environment, our culture and our emotional stress have a huge effect on when and how our bodies cope with stress. Our ability to cope or compensate for negative forces reduces the older we get. Between the ages of thirty and forty years, you start to see signs of chronic pain, a lack of energy and the general feeling of not living up to one’s full potential.
This is why we love what we do at Bay Life Centre. We know that we are not just helping to alleviate various pain issues, but we’re also contributing to our client’s overall health and wellbeing. We take spinal health very seriously and you should too.
Dr. Hooman Zahedi addresses the issue of how forward posture affects your health, and he gives various ways on how to fix it too. We suggest that you read his book for more detailed explanations.