How To Fix Poor Posture

Posted on 29. May, 2011 by in Mental Strength & Life, Physiology

How to Fix Poor Posture

Believe it or not, our thoughts affect our bodies.

Don’t believe me?

Do this simple experiment for me.  Right now, wherever you are, at your laptop, PC or smart phone, take a minute and remember the worst day of your life.  Whatever it was.  It could be the day your first dog died, or the day your first real girlfriend dumped you.  Maybe it’s worse.  Maybe it’s the day you lost your best friend or a parent.

Hold that memory in your mind for a minute.

Now take an inventory of you body.  How’s your posture?  Are you slumped a little bit?  Is there some part of you that hurts or aches?

Now, I want you to imagine the best day of your life.  It might be the day you met some goal, or the day she said, “Yes.”  The day your team won the championship or when you were recognized for an achievement.  Whatever it is, hold it in your mind for a moment.

Okay, take that same inventory now.

How does your body feel?  Are you sitting straighter?  Are you breathing better?  Is that ache still there?

Clearly, the only thing that changed in the last few moments was your thoughts.

Yet, I’ll bet you’ll have to admit that your body went through some noticeable change.

Imagine then the cumulative effect of negative thoughts and feelings over time.

One of the most chronic postural ailments that we see, particularly in Western culture, is kyphosis or a kyphotic posture.

Kyphosis is an excessive rounding of the upper back.  It’s that round shouldered, sunken chest slump that my grandmother worked so hard to beat out of me.  “Stand up straight!”  “Don’t slouch, it makes you look like a bum.”

You can search my videos and find several different stretches and physical “cures” for this condition.

Basically they involve stretching the tight muscles that are concaved in the front; pec, pec minor, serratus, and strengthening the overstretched muscles of the upper back; traps and rhomboids.

But what if you’re doing these?  What if they’ve become a religious part of your training regimen but you’re still not seeing the results you expect?

Consider your mental and emotional state.

Your brain is the connection point between your thoughts and feelings and your body.  It is in the brain that you experience thoughts and feelings and it is from the brain that the body gets its orders.

In addition to your brain there are several nerve vortexes or clusters along the spinal column.  It is in these bundles that the nerves for certain general areas of the body get their origin.  As such, those general areas are connected.

One of the most common symptoms associated with a heart attack is a numbness or tingling down the left arm.

Why?  How is the left arm connected to the heart?

Both the heart and the left arm a controlled by nerves that branch off the spinal column at the brachial plexus.  That means they are part of the same visceral somatic loop.

Based on our previous experiment we can see how our body is affected by our thoughts and feelings.

Certain thoughts are associated with certain areas of the body and certain vortexes along the spinal column.

Don’t believe me?

Take a second and Google image a picture of some hot babe (**Don’t be a dumb ass and get yourself in trouble at work.  Have sense about the image you choose.**).

Now, notice your—er, reaction.  Pretty specific to a certain part of your body, right?

Now that was just a picture on your computer, not even a real human being.

So you can see that certain mental perceptions can create physical responses in different specific areas of the body.

As far as kyphosis is concerned there are two major vortexes to consider.

The first is the brachial plexus at the base of the neck.  This area controls the neck, ears, upper trapezius and mouth.  It is associated with communication.

Ever been shushed when trying to express your self?  How did you respond?

Odds are your jaw tightened and your shoulders hunched as you tried to pull your head in turtle style.

Ever been nagged?  Has someone ever gotten so thoroughly on your case that you just didn’t want to hear it?

How did you respond?  Probably in a similar fashion to when you were hushed.

Both of these responses are protective responses associated with thwarted and/or unwanted communication.

When these conditions become chronic and happen over and over again that unconscious physical response also becomes chronic and thus becomes your general posture.

The second vortex is your solar plexus.  It sits just under your rib cage and affects your lungs, upper abs, and the muscles associated with breathing.  It is associated with your self esteem, your personal power and your will.

Your breath is how you take in energy from the outside world–no air, no power.

Ever notice how the “sad sack” stands?  You know, the guy that nobody, not even himself, considers worth a shit and everybody expects to fail?

He slumps, bent over like there’s something broken or missing from his middle.

How does the hero stand?  The guy who’s got everything and expects to succeed at whatever he chooses?

He stands ram rod tall with his chest out.

Your attitude affects your body and conversely your body affects your attitude.

Now, none of this is meant to suggest that it’s all in your head.  But it does point out that what’s in your head affects how you are and that you can’t just ignore that aspect.

If you apply the mental to the physical and the physical to the mental you’ll find you are much more successful at combating chronic conditions, like posture, that you haven’t been able to conquer focusing on just one side alone.

So, do the stretches and exercises I teach, but also pay attention to the mental chatter that goes on in your daily life.  Notice both how you talk to yourself and how others talk to you.  Take steps to remove the negative either by actively changing your own internal dialogue and how you allow what others say to and about you affect you.

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