Our Definition of Posture is Wrong…and Why it Matters.

Hi, I’m Dr. Steph with Stay Mobile Chiropractic in Kansas City. I’m excited to talk to you today about posture: 3 reasons why posture is more important than you might think, how our definition of posture is completely wrong and why your bad posture is not your fault.

Did you know that there are healthcare professionals that believe posture has very little to do with quality of life or with pain? I’ll bet you this woman believes there’s a big correlation between posture and quality of life?

When we’re young it’s easy to dismiss the importance of postureon our quality of life, but as we get older into our 30s, 40s and 50s, that poor posture starts translating into nagging aches and pains and also the tendency to have injuries during normal everyday activities like getting into and out of your car. A second way posture is important is that it affects how others perceive us. If you look at this picture what’s your impression of what’s your impression of how she carries herself?

What’s your impression of how she may feel about herself?

A third way posture is important is that, well, as soon as I say the word posture, people sit up straight, they get this guilty look on their face and they say, “I know I should do something about my posture. I know I should sit up straighter, I should probably do some exercises or stretches” … I should, I should, I should, but the reality is, we can’t “should” ourselves into better posture and exercises are NOT the answer.

Our posture is made up of bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Now, the only part of that that we have conscious control over is our muscles. That’s the only part that we can send a message from our brain to our body to change our posture is through our muscles. So no wonder we’ve blamed muscles for our poor posture for all these years. We can do exercises that support our posture or to correct our posture, but that only lasts as long as we are doing the exercises. As soon as we stop doing those exercises, our posture reverts back to the way it was because we haven’t treated the underlying problem.

The long overlooked and forgotten piece of this posture puzzle is the bones. And when you understand how structure works and how to bring that structure back into alignment, then that posture can actually be corrected.

Let’s look at this before picture again. When I took this picture the instructions were to breathe in, breathe out and let your body relax or slump. Then I took 20 minutes or so to identify exactly which segments of the skeleton needed to be treated and I moved those segments backward not forward, but backward towards the back of the body. And if you’re familiar with chiropractic care, you know that that’s different from what usually happens. So I moved those segments backwards and at the end of that 20 minutes, I gave the same instructions again and here’s the picture I took: breathe in breathe out and let your body relax or slump.

This was achieved over the course in about 20 minutes with no stretches, no exercises. I simply corrected the structure.

Now, let’s look at that first picture I showed you along with the follow up pictures. This is my favorite. The younger we are, the less trauma we’ve had, the faster our posture will respond. But this series of photos shows that it’s never too late. Each of these pictures represents 8 visits, so this represents 40 treatments (the first two photos are before and after the first adjustment). But imagine the difference in the quality of life, looking at these later pictures as compared to the first one. If we can make changes like this, isn’t the investment of time, money and effort worthwhile?

To recap: posture is important. It’s increasingly important the older we get. It affects our quality of life and it affects how others see us and perceive us. It’s not the result of weak muscles or laziness, because posture, or GOOD posture, is not the result of us using muscles: sending signals from our brains to our muscles to pull our bodies into alignment. Good posture is when your posture is well aligned and your muscles can relax and your body stays up without a lot of effort.

I’m Dr. Steph and I’m looking forward to seeing you again next time.

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