As an Osteopath, I believe in whole body health. This encompasses the physical body, the mind and general systemic health. All of these components are vital to your well being and any imbalance can upset the balance in your life.
This blog aims to provide you with some simple tools to improve your everyday living. We’ll explore different stretching and strengthening methods, some general health facts, some exercise tips and some little tweaks you can add to your daily routine.
The most common complaints I see in practice, are invariably those related to poor posture. As a society, we spend a good majority of our time sitting – we sit in our cars/ on the train to get to work, we sit at work all day, we sit to eat our lunch, we sit to travel home again or to pick up the kids, then we get home we collapse into the couch and sit there all night. OK, it’s a generalization – but admit it, am I right?
Our bodies aren’t fit enough to sit for long periods of time. Biomechanically, we have this fantastic and intricate anatomy that was made to move. When we sit, we aren’t exercising our big postural muscles that run up and down our spine. We end up using a lot of the “accessory” muscles to hold ourselves up all day. The result is that we see this posture of the increased curve in the mid back, the rolling forward of our shoulders, the sticking out of the chin and our head’s centre of gravity moves back so that our head is almost resting on the back of our necks. Not to mention the rest!
So how can we help ourselves alleviate this situation? We have to work, right? We need to transport ourselves around and we need to have some break time at night after a long day. There are quite a few different little things that you can add into your day in order to battle this positional disorder.
Perhaps the most simple approach is to trick the body into thinking it is using your postural muscles to hold you up. When sitting at your desk or in your car, you can place a small pillow or rolled up towel in the small of your back. Go on, try it now. Try sitting up as straight as you can in your chair, your feet flat on the ground, without any support. Now go get a pillow/ towel/ jumper and place it in the small of your back. You should feel immediately, that your upper back straightens up and you can hold your neck higher.
I challenge you to do this simple exercise at work and in your car for the next week and see how you feel.