How Your Posture Affects Your Health
Most of us can recall being told to stand up straight as children because slouching “looked bad.” But bad posture isn’t just an aesthetic issue; it affects the health of your whole body.
Slouching for prolonged periods while standing or sitting puts pressure on the lower structures of your spine - including your disks, ligaments, and muscles- causing lower back pain. Slouching can also compress your lungs by giving them less space to expand, making it harder to breathe. Poor posture compresses other vital organs, as well, causing internal problems such as poor circulation and digestion. Bad posture takes your body out of alignment, so it can affect your balance as you stand or walk, lead to injuries while exercising, and even cause headaches.
Good posture doesn’t mean keeping your back as straight and stiff as a board, either; instead good posture means to hold a neutral spine that maintains the natural curves from the base of your head to your shoulders and from your upper back to the base of your spine. To maintain good posture while standing, keep a slight bend in your knees- rather than locking them into place- and your abdominal muscles braced with your hips and knees even and pointing straight ahead. Your chin should be parallel to the floor with your shoulders even and relaxed (to achieve this roll your shoulders up, back, and down) and your arms at your side with your elbows even. Your weight should be evenly distributed on both feet.
Maintaining good posture while sitting is similar: keep your shoulders, hips and knees at even heights and your chin parallel to the floor. Your feet should both be flat on the floor and your feet and knees should point forward. Brace your abdominal muscles and keep your weight evenly distributed on your hips with your pelvis slightly tilted forward.
By improving your posture, you’ll allow your body to function properly and reverse the problems mentioned earlier as well as see a ton of other health benefits like reduced pain and wear on your joints, increased muscle strength in your core and back, and even increased energy and improved mental health. You’ll not only appear taller and more confident to others, but you’ll also feel more confident in your own thoughts.
Massage therapy can provide multiple solutions for your posture. Regular massage therapy can help relax and loosen the tense muscles that can contribute to bad posture, allowing your body to position itself into a healthy, neutral alignment. Massage can also help to relieve the pain associated with slouching. Massage can even help you achieve better posture by helping your muscles and spine go back into alignment.
At Mindful Touch, we are committed to helping you achieve total body health. Schedule a massage therapy session so we can help improve your posture and your life.