Requested by our Twitter followers this month’s article is a guide that aims to be much more than the standard chair adjustment advice that you get from HR at your office. The intention is to give you practical tips that will increase your body awareness so that you can monitor your posture.
At Backs To Basics Osteopaths in Rickmansworth we believe prevention is the best cure. By getting your alignment right you will see a dramatic transformation not only in your gait, but in how people respond to you. An upright gait sends a message of confidence, good health and a positive outlook. Here’s how to do it.
5 minutes in the morning
When you wake up in the morning make it a habit to go through a warm up routine. It can be as little as 5 minutes. Here’s a 5 minute video that you can use to accompany you tomorrow morning.
The best way to make sure you do it is to make this the first thing you do. If you turn on the kettle you’ll probably lose the motivation by the time the water is ready. It’s important to remember to take deep breaths so to enliven and oxygenate your muscles.
It cannot be avoided; a good posture will simply eliminate the potential of mechanical (or Boi-tensegral) problems occurring. Your body is an immensely sophisticated apparatus, after many thousands of years of walking the planet our bodies have evolved perfectly to distribute our weight evenly. Flexible and capable of re-balancing weight in a dynamic and ever changing way it is safe to say that the intelligence of your body is working perfectly and it is, in fact; doing its best.
Having said all that, remembering to keep an upright frame is not easy! So create some visual cues. For example; each time you walk through a door remind yourself to raise your sternum, roll your shoulders back and create length in your neck by brining your chin backwards towards the neck. You’ll be amazed by how many doors you walk through each day. Or create another cue, for example every time you use your mobile phone use it to remind yourself to line up your shoulders, back and neck.
Throughout the day
Keep hydrated. Lower back pain is very common, but it might be that it’s a symptom of dehydration. A case of your kidneys trying to tell you that they need water. Interestingly, the National Hydration Council points out; men need to drink more water than women. Today many people in the UK are chronically dehydrated and do not know it.
Another reason to be well hydrated is that it will make you taller. Yes, it’s true. The vertebrae in the spine of well hydrated person will be spongier and the extra moisture will actually create length in their spine.
A dictionary definition reads “A branch of psychology that deals with the relationship between physical stimuli and the resulting sensations and mental states”
Another way of describing pain is to say that it is an alert. Your body’s way of telling you that something needs addressing. If you have back pain but you feel mentally fine, consider if your body is manifesting your stresses in a physical way. Perhaps you work in a high pressured environment, or you are constantly in a rush. It’s well worth looking at areas of your life that you might be able to ease off in. Pressure has become a normal part of everyday life, see if you can find a few minutes in the middle of a busy schedule to stretch, mediate, sit quietly or take a few deep breaths. Taking your health as the starting point and looking at your day with a wider perspective is sure to reveal moments when you can create “me time.”
What if I already have back pain?
Consider the wonderful and truly amazing healing power of touch. Get a loved one to give you a rub on the area where you feel most discomfort. Research shows that simple human contact increases blood flow and releases dopamine levels. Those are the feel good chemicals in the brain.
For a long term problem (more than a week) an Osteopath can certainly help because the chances are that there is a misalignment occurring somewhere. An Osteopath will understand your particular lifestyle habits and be able to offer insight based on years of experience.
Please share 🙂
So there you have our five fabulous tips, if you have found just one piece of advice that helps you out of pain then we feel our work is done. Please leave a comment, ask a question, share via Twitter, Google Plus and make us smile.
By Sunil Kalsi