A Different Way

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Your Mama Was Right: Posture Matters!

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on March 19, 2007

Almost everyone has a memory of their mom (or dad) constantly reminding them to “Stand up straight! You don’t want to grow up with bad posture. Do you?” Or as one of my friends puts it, “Stand up straight and act like somebody!” While most parents dutifully admonish their kids to stand tall, they may not realize just how important that advice really is. There are many reasons why good posture matters, including self-esteem, career performance, even significant health considerations.

Let’s talk about how your posture affects several aspects of your life. At the end of the article, we’ll offer some tips on how you can start today to improve your posture and your life.

How you approach the world has a tremendous impact on how you feel about yourself. What’s the first impression you have of someone with slumped shoulders or their head drooping down? Honestly, that person is giving the impression that they’re beaten, sad or hopeless.

Life can be tough. Things happen to everyone that can hurt in so many ways. One way to respond to life’s calamities is to withdraw and become inward. When this happens and a person’s confidence is shaken they look defensive and passive. A slumped posture is almost like curling up in a fetal position while standing, hoping that no one will bother you. Unfortunately, most folks won’t bother with you in that posture.

On the other hand, good posture with your head up and shoulders back is a strong indicator of inner strength and self-confidence. A strong, self-confident person tells the world “Here I come. Give me all you’ve got!” When you stand tall, you tell yourself “I can! I will! I must!” From the standpoint of building and maintaining a strong self-image, one of the most important habits a parent can teach their child is to stand tall, keep your head up and your shoulders back. It will help that child withstand many of life’s challenges throughout his/her life.

There are many ways that an employer, customer or potential client will decide how you fit into their plans. One of the most important, yet subtle, ways others evaluate you is your body language. Let’s say you’re competing for a promotion to a management position with an equally qualified competitor. If the only difference between the two candidates is that one has poor posture and the other looks like a Marine, who wins? The Marine always wins. Every employer wants managers that are confident and show confidence in every way. And in some ways, poor posture communicates the same message as when someone won’t make eye contact. People wonder if you have something to hide. Good posture is like a good handshake. People make judgments about you based on their first impression. Make a good first impression. Stand tall. Head up. Shoulders back. Stomach in. It will pay you great dividends. Posture affects your health in several ways. From a purely mechanical standpoint, if things aren’t lined up the way they were designed, they simply wear out faster. People with arthritis in the joints or spine in their forties and fifties have generally had posture problems their whole life. Any good mechanic will tell you that poor wheel alignment will eventually cause all kinds of structural and mechanical problems with your car. It’s the same with your body. Structure affects function.

As a chiropractor, I see sick and hurting people all the time. One thing they all seem to share is some sort of posture problem. Sometimes, they come to me with pains in the neck and shoulders from driving or sitting at the computer for long hours at a time. Or, maybe a hip, leg or low back problem caused by sitting on a too thick wallet. Probably the most subtle, yet more important, effects of poor posture are neurological problems that can result. Often, people come in with strange problems from migraine headaches to high blood pressure corrected after adjustments to the upper neck. Everyone knows the plight of Christopher Reeves, the former star of the Superman movies. He was thrown from his horse and broke his neck and damaged his spinal cord. The actor was not only paralyzed from the neck down, but also unable to have normal bodily functions without the aid of machines until his eventual death. Postural problems can indicate similar, yet much more subtle spinal misalignments and neurological problems.

Many people have postural problems that may have resulted at birth that only become apparent later in life. Others may have had other trauma caused by injuries from sports, fall or auto accidents. Unless corrected, these problems only get worse with eventual health implications. Because these subtle misalignments and the posture problems they cause don’t involve broken bones, they’re generally not identified with medical diagnoses. For the most part, only chiropractors are trained to identify, locate and correct these misalignments.

So if you find yourself slumping and slouching, do something about it. Practice standing up straight with your head held high and eyes looking forward, not down toward the ground. Pull your shoulders back while tightening your stomach muscles and tucking your butt in. If you find that your posture problem is hard to correct and might also be related to other health problems, find a wellness-oriented chiropractor or e-mail me and I’ll help you find one in your area.

Stand up straight and tall. Let the world know you’re strong, confident and healthy!

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4 Responses to “Your Mama Was Right: Posture Matters!”

  1. David said

    it does , i know this because i have experienced it.
    good posture work wonders.

  2. jamie said

    true.

  3. Eugene said

    I am experiencing that right now, I’ve had a heart pain, now when i’ve straighten up my posture and use deep breathing i don’t have any heart ache or anything of that kind. I feel great, thanks to deep breathing + good posture!

    try deep breathing it helps to straighten you out.
    Deep breathing requires stomach breathing causing you to straighten out your back so you can breath properly.

  4. Reblogged this on A Different Way and commented:

    From an old post. But always relevant!

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