The Power of Postural Thinking

Posture is a reflection of the state of health of your body, which is also a state of how you care for yourself,” says Ian Horseman, a chiropractor in Toronto.

Each time we walk out the door in the morning, we are being judged. Experts say that nonverbal messages such as eye contact, facial expression and body language account for 50% of interpersonal communication, so before we even say a word, people already have a preconceived notion of what we’re all about.

Yet because so many of us put an emphasis on what we wear and say, we don’t take the time to examine our body language — specifically our posture.

Roz Usheroff, a Toronto-based communications and image consultant, says it’s a mistake to underestimate the power of good posture. “When you stand tall you feel good, it’s like getting a new outfit,” she says. “From a physiological perspective, your whole mental outlook is impacted when your chin is up.”

Fortunately, it is never too late to improve your posture through a chiropractic program. As Usheroff suggests, the effort will pay off in positive first impressions, not to mention a career boost and even better health.

How can poor posture affect your life?

Posture largely defines image and conveys how we feel about ourselves. Those with exceptional posture express confidence. They often have a high energy level and project an image of professionalism.

A person with poor posture, on the other hand:

  • May have less energy
  • Have problems concentrating
  • And may even show signs of depression.

People with poor posture also tend to look down, which implies shyness, insecurity and a lack of confidence.

Poor posture, your health, and your career

Poor posture can further undermine your personal success by causing physical problems such as:

  • Influences on the nervous system
  • Back pain
  • Changes in spinal curvature

These are all things that affect your quality of life, and can affect every hour of every day.

According to Horseman, who is also managing editor of Canadian Chiropractor, studies suggest that leaving the body in an unnatural position actually uses 60% to 70% more energy than keeping it in proper alignment.

If you’re using all that energy for keeping your body upright all day long, you’re more fatigued, you’re more prone to depression, but also, you’re more prone to getting sick,” he says.

Now, if you’re looking at the workplace, and you’re getting sick all the time, well guess what, you don’t get the promotion.” In fact, spinal-related disorders are the second most common reason, next to the common cold, for being absent from work.

What a Chiropractor can do for you

Chiropractors can care for postural abnormalities using a variety of techniques and numerous rehabilitation programs. Horseman is certified to provide the Pettibon Spinal Rehabilitation Program, a program that focuses on postural correction.

He says he can almost guarantee that after patients get through the three-month Pettibon process they will be healthier and have a better-aligned spine. “Their posture is definitely going to be improved and they’re going to be stronger,” he says.

The program combines rehabilitative exercises, massage therapy and specific chiropractic adjustments to correct postural imbalances, stabilize the spine and relieve pain. “When we’re treating people, we not only do the traditional adjustment, we combine that with rehab and we also retrain the person so they’ll stand up straight,” Horseman says.

Patients who are involved with this program will also participate in spinal care classes. These classes will educate patients on proper sleeping positions, preventive techniques, specific exercises, nutrition and ergonomics.

Will my life improve after chiropractic treatment?

The ultimate goal is to have patients gain greater control over their bodies. That, in turn, will give them a greater sense of control in their lives. “It makes you face something head-on instead of trying to avoid it,” Usheroff says. Once her clients improve their posture, people begin to listen to them and they are taken more seriously. Overall, they feel more respected.

Some people even notice their clothes fit better and that they look more professional. That’s partly because business clothes are designed with good posture in mind. “When women who have poor posture wear shoulder pads, those shoulder pads look weird,” Horseman says. “The shoulder pads flop forward or they flop posterior, they don’t sit right.”

The same theory applies to men. “If a man is wearing a suit, I’ll see one arm hang lower than the other because they’re actually leaning to the left or leaning to the right. You can see their hand sticking out,” he says.

The bottom line? When it comes to posture, looking good and feeling good go hand-in-hand. And when your head is up and your shoulders are back, the sky’s the limit.

If you are not currently seeing a chiropractor call Summit Chiropractic at 407-203-6745 and Dr. Fike and Dr. Warner will help you get to the best health for your everyday living.

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