Technology is a wonderful thing but it happened far too quickly and the human body isn’t ready for it. Working with computers and handling many other e-devices every single day of your life is slowly helping you cultivate poor postural habits. If those are not understood and addressed early enough they will cause you a lot of discomforts and may well bring along many ailments, conditions and even diseases.
I want to state it clearly from the beginning that the solution to poor posture is not to stop using e-devices (maybe a bit less) but to understand how the body is designed to work. Once you know this then you can apply that to the way you use your e-devices and help yourself to be off pain and maintain good posture. This is the basis of my work.
The rolling forwards of the shoulders are something you notice in a lot of people. Now, this might not sound like much but in reality, a lot is going on when your shoulders are not where they are designed to be.
It’s not only the shoulders rolling forwards. With this action, you cannot but collapse the chest and the head too will move forward – next time you are surrounded by people have a good look around and observe where they have their shoulders and head. So now the problem is not only on the shoulders but the weight of the head too. Where does the weight go? Mostly on your chest and as a consequence it misaligns and squashes your internal organs – read this if you haven’t yet.
The way the body is designed to hold the shoulders is to keep them directly above the hip joints and the head directly above the spine – the ears nicely in line with the shoulders. We are often told ‘keep your shoulders back’. It isn’t so much about shoulders back or forwards but keeping them on top of the hip joints.
For clarification, the internal organs do benefit from being gently squeezed and twisted. When you go to your yoga class you might hear the teacher talk about massaging the internal organs with twists. That is all good stuff if you do it correctly i.e. you keep the length of the spine and don’t twist with a collapsed chest and hold it just for a few breaths. Think about this, when you have a massage, it feels good to be twisted, squeezed and stretched but you don’t want to stay in any of those positions for longer than it is necessary, do you? The same goes for your internal organs, they like a good squeeze but they need to bounce back to their neutral state soon after.
One simple exercise you can do to help you with this is to clasp your hands behind your buttocks, stretch your arms and squeeze your shoulder blades together, stay for five slow, long breaths (be sure not to stick your buttocks out or tuck the tail bone under). This should feel so good. Repeat several times a day. Also if you have the tendency to cross your arms, stop it because it emphasizes the shoulders forward. Instead, cross the arms behind your back – cultivate this new habit to help you.
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Help your body to help you.