Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Good Head and Shoulder Posture?........... No? Then read on.........

Here's an additional "lecture" after many of my Monday evening class arrived nursing their necks! You will find a simple corrective exercise at the end.

"Forward Head Posture" - or "Head Poke" or even "Turkey Neck" - how you hold your head in relation to your shoulders affects not just the comfort of your neck and shoulders, but also has repercussions on the rest of your spine, can tighten your hamstrings, and even your achilles tendons.. The "backline" of your body is put out of alignment by the tightness of the muscles which attach your head to your neck and upper back.

Think about a perfectly positioned tent pole, and its relationship to the guy ropes which keep it there - now push the tent pole from the top, even just half an inch and what happens to the guy ropes? The tent pole is your head and spine, and those guy ropes are your muscles and tendons, and they suffer!

Your (average) head weighs between 10 and 14lbs, and it should be centred over your ribs and shoulders. Say it weighs 10lbs - for every inch you carry it forward, it weighs an extra 10lbs to your neck and shoulders. No wonder they ache! Combine that with a tendency tilt your head to one side.? or slightly rotated?....... (To replicate this try holding 10lbs of potatoes close to you, then a few inches way, then slightly to the right.......all day.......).......and the problem is compounded.

So your posture is fundamental to your health. People often think that it is difficult to maintain good posture, that it's hard work .....but when we have poor posture, energy drains away from us in pain and tiredness. Good posture is an energy efficient way of preventing the energy-draining (not to mention money draining) consequences of bad health.
So use the muscles at the back of your neck to bring your head back over your rib cage and into good alignment!

The Exercise
A good and simple corrective seated exercise is to sit up on your sit-bones, lace your hands behind your head, and press your head back into your hands - 3x30 secs every half hour or so if you are sitting at a desk all day. And be aware of your posture when you are driving.

If you come to class, then ask me if you are not sure if you are doing it correctly.

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