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Your Posture and Your Health:
How Your Posture Affects Your Health

woman-on-yoga-matBy Jackie St.Cyr, D.C.

Chiropractic is a natural science, philosophy and art concerned with the relationship of the nervous system and the functional health of the body. Chiropractic teaches that within the body is an innate intelligence with “survival mechanisms” capable of maintaining a state of good health, provided it is not interfered with. Chiropractic doctors seek to correct the cause of the interference, not just medicate the symptoms. They are concerned with the structural, muscular and neurological aspects of the human body. The goal of the chiropractor is to keep you healthy by keeping your spine and nervous system healthy and preventing functional and structural health problems.

The chiropractic approach to well-being has always been based on “maintaining health” versus “treating disease” and that “being well” differs from “relieving symptoms.”

The normal spine is quite flexible, structurally strong and reflects the dynamic movement of the human body. It not only supports the body and all its organs it also protects the spinal cord and nerves that carry messages between your brain and the rest of the body. Every activity, even breathing, demands movement of the spine, ribs and attachments. A healthy spine can continue to support your weight and protect your nerves, while letting Innate messages travel freely from your brain to your body and allowing you to move easily throughout your day.

The human body, like a machine, is subject to balance, rhythm, timing and coordinated actions of all its components. For this reason, correct posture enables the body to function more efficiently, allowing for proper development. Because man has adapted as a “biped” (being able to stand erect on two legs), he has gained the advantages of agility, leverage, and mobility; however, this position also creates certain structural stresses. Your body must adapt to the constant stress of gravity in order to maintain its balance, and poor posture is a common result.

Poor posture can have adverse effects on your health. For example, poor posture compromises the movements of the rib cage and does not allow the lungs to function at maximum efficiency. This reduces incoming oxygen to the tissues and the elimination of carbon dioxide wastes. Poor posture also restricts other vital organs of the body, producing additional stress.

There are many reasons for poor posture and usually they are found in combination.

  • Emotional problems such as depression
  • Visual problems
  • Excessive weight
  • Foot problems or improper shoes
  • Weak muscles, muscle imbalance
  • Improper nutrition
  • Laziness
  • Poor sleep support or sleep position
  • Injury to muscles, ligaments, tendons or bones
  • Negative mental and physical attitudes
  • Recurrent occupational stress and position
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal and pelvic misalignment

If not corrected, poor posture can affect the health and well-being of an individual. Poor posture contributes to shallow breathing; a cramped chest cavity, faulty digestion, poor elimination; and poor venous return, each of which affects not only the functions of individual organs, but also the system.

Some benefits of correct posture are:

  • Improved health, appearance and coordination
  • Increased strength and stamina
  • Your clothes fit better
  • You have more confidence and better body balance
  • Reduced possibility of injury
  • Improved physical and mental development.

Good posture does more than just make you look good, it makes you feel good. When you stand tall, walk tall, and sit tall, your body works most efficiently. You have better balance and control over your limbs and you have a better outlook on life. Posture not only has a direct bearing on comfort and work efficiency, it also has a factor which determines resistance to disease and disability.

Doctors of chiropractic recognize the importance of spinal integrity and body mechanics for good health, and research has shown that chiropractic adjustments are highly effective. While the effects of poor posture can be serious, many problems can be corrected. If you or a member of your family has what appears to be a postural problem, you should seek advice of a doctor of chiropractic. Unless there is a structural deformity or disease-caused disturbance, the chances for correction are excellent.

Regular spinal adjustments are part of your body’s defense against illness. The effectiveness of chiropractic health care is measured by benefits realized for a lifetime. Today, the public has become more aware of the benefits of this approach to health care and millions are now maintaining their health with regular chiropractic adjustments.

It is important to maintain proper posture for general health, but also while performing different tasks throughout your day.

  • When lifting, bend from your knees, keep your back straight, feet shoulder-width apart, and one foot slightly forward for balance. Hold the load close to your body, then stand and lift with the strong muscles of your legs, not with your back muscles.
  • When standing, rest your foot on a stool, occasionally alternating your feet.
  • When sitting, raise your viewing surface (i.e. computer terminal) to eye level. Use a chair that provides good support for the curves in your back and neck. Take frequent breaks to stretch and revive.
  • When sleeping, use a firm mattress and sleep on your side or your back with a supportive pillow for your neck.

Your doctor of chiropractic is a spinal specialist who offers total health care. For the sake of your health and well-being, the American Chiropractic Association suggests that you watch your posture, and have periodic spinal examinations. With the sophisticated scientific knowledge and diagnostic equipment available today, researchers are confirming what Chiropractic Doctors have known all along. Also occurring is a greater appreciation for natural, conservative methods of care. People are tired of relying on a pill for this and a pill for that. We are now turning back to natural medicine and more and more millions of people are choosing chiropractic care.

I look forward to working with you in turning on your Innate Power to heal!

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