Posture, not as important as you think
Chiropractors in general are big fans of posture. It makes sense, doesn’t it? When you think about a chiropractor, helping to adjust the spine, it makes you stand up straighter and feel better, right? When I meet people and they find out I’m a chiropractor, they almost immediately stand up straighter. And seeing someone with poor posture immediately makes one think it should be improved.
But standing up straighter is not as important as you think. Or rather, it’s important, but not for the reasons you think. You see, when you have poor posture, there can be any number of reasons why it is the way it is. But all of those reasons are simply that your it is a reflection of your health, in the same way that your level of pain, your mood, your skin, and your biomarkers might be a reflection of your health. It is a response to the sum total of all of the experiences that have led to where you’re at, right now. It’s like a window into your health, rather than a problem all on its own. It can be, if you’re not mindful, but usually not.
Sometimes we see bad posture and we think we have to work on it. So we find exercises to strengthen the muscles of the spine, to relax the ones in front, and hopefully that will improve posture. But often times that can simply add more stress to an already stressed system. You don’t want that.
So what is it that we’re looking at? It’s simply the position your body is comfortable holding, a reflection of your health. Think about this, if you have a disc issue, and it’s forcing you to lean to the side, (that’s called an antalgic lean, by the way) then you don’t want to stand up straight! It hurts, doesn’t it? That’s an extreme example of the same process by which your body figures out its own posture. It’s not necessarily because the muscles are weak or tight, though sometimes it can be.
I’m not saying postural exercises can’t be helpful. They can. But you want to make sure your system is clear of interference, and that those exercises really do help. Often times, when someone gets adjusted, their posture improves because the problems or issues that are affecting it are removed, and they naturally stand or sit up straighter more comfortably.
When you are clear, and your health is improving, and you’re doing general functional exercise and eating well, then your posture will get better. Not because we worked on your posture, but because we improved your health from the inside out. And it starts with Chiropractic.
Don’t work on your posture, improve your health, and your the shape of your body will express that.