Just like some podiatrists do not want people to know of the great benefits of reflexology or foot massages, there are chiropractors that virtually hide the utmost importance of proper body posture, the main culprit for most neck and back pains.
We are literally hurting ourselves with our poor body posture. Extending our gut out, compressing our shoulders and applying unnecessary pressure on the middle and tender lower back areas, is certainly not the path to live without pain. When the body is in pain we resort to painkillers instead of trying to find out the source of the pain. Why our bodies are in pain? Ancient holistic practices now renewed with the influx of occidental markets, propose an integral approach, via yoga (several intrinsic body postures) and meditation, and refer to underlying reasons for most of our ailments (especially spinal or organs related) with some emotional event from our past or a current stressful situation.
Let’s take neck pain, for example. If we were to approach neck pain through traditional methods, besides the self-prescribed painkiller, which in turn endangers our liver and overall system, especially when taking indiscriminately, the doctor would concentrate on the neck. We went to the doctor because of our neck so, logically, he should be checking the neck. Right? He would require X-rays that also purport another risk of excessive radiation. As a sideline, although the FDA and the American Cancer Association vouch for the safety of X-rays, and say they pose no risk for pregnant women, the lower the dose the better.
When we start practicing a better body posture, that is, aligning our body or placing strain in our body in such a way that our internal organs be tucked in, our shoulders relaxed backward, our head slightly or naturally up, aligned with our heart and not over it, it can work wonders with the intricate body connections alongside our spine. What if we can also lower the amount of pain medications, artificial chemicals that not only add to our body imbalance but are far from healing us, while we gain a greater control of our very selves, asserting our true nature and focusing in the root of the problem (it could be a strained ligament or a stressful family issue) instead of ringing around the symptoms, we might be walking tall into a freedom from medications altogether.
That is a lot better than great abs, and it all starts with proper posture. Put your shoulders back and practice standing tall. Studies show that others perceive us in a brighter mood when we walk up to them “heart first” instead of “head first”, which is the position we wrongly assume on a daily basis, think Notre dame. When we stand up straight we are contracting your gut by default. Is almost an involuntary movement. If you add to that a voluntary contraction, you could be doing situps throughout the day as we speak, without ever going to the floor, unless you want to add some of that good old Yoga to the healthy cocktail mix!
Traditional medicine view the spine as 33 vertebrae, 24 presacral (which allow movement), seven cervical, twelve thoracic and five lumbar (Basic Human Anatomy, O’Rahilly, Müller, Carpenter and Swanson). Holistic perspective talks about seven chakras or energy centers, each located alongside the spine, and each overseeing different aspects of our humanity. From the bottom up, the first three deal with emotional issues (Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus) survival, sexuality and self worth, the heart reigns in the center, and then the upper three chakras (Throat, Third Eye and Crown) deal with our self expression, our self worth, and our divine connection with the greater self made by the collective conscience. Mind you, this is not a religion. Although in order to properly align ourselves with good health it is imperative that we grow in our ability and practice of making our thinking, talking and doing one and one thing only. Such dysfunctional behavior parallels with improper posture and is a main cause of an unaligned chakra.
Practice proper body posture for better health in your life. Consider including some yoga in order to help you improve your posture even more and gain a greater level of fitness and personal awareness. If all else fails, let´s put those shoulders back and contract!