I am constantly coming across information that supports either active use of muscles or the need for constant stretching, in order to maintain good posture.
The theories seem to make sense: If you’re body isn’t in the position you want it to be, why not push or pull it into place?
The issue with this is that it by-passes the body’s own intelligence.
Your posture is bad not for lack of you “doing” something. Your body is in this position because your body is responding intelligently to the bad habits, positions and activities you are requiring it to do.
This is called compensation.
Your body is simply compensating the best way it can for weakness or inefficiencies due to long-term bad habits, traumas, etc., which slowly become imbedded in the nervous system and connective tissue.
In MELT we call this “Auto-Pilot Inefficiencies” or “Stuck Stress”, which show up physiologically as Dehydration in our Neurofascial System.
If you don’t give your body the alternative of healthier, more functional movement patterns, and if you don’t offer hydrating and healing to your connective tissue, then stretching, pushing and pulling will only make things worse in the long run.
You’ll end up trading one problem for another.
- You have poor posture.
- So you pull your shoulders back and tuck your pelvis under.
- GREAT! So maybe your “look” better, or maybe your neck gets some relief (but most likely not),
- … but your shoulder blades become stiff and sore, and your pelvic motion is restricted.
- Your diaphragm gets restricted in the back, which limits your Core stability, and restricts your breathing.
- Your nervous system tone is increased, increasing stress on the system, and reducing digestive capacity.
- You become more inflamed…
- You are in more pain than when you started!
All this effort to get your shoulders back behind you… and for what purpose?
Take the focus off your posture, and onto function.
Many cutting edge therapists are beginning to pay more attention to the posture phenomenon and even the harm that it can do. Take this article for example: