So I always get a lot of questions about 2 things in particular;
- How can I change my posture?
- How can I support my adjustments better?
And this super simple, but powerful “hack” is a great way to be able to help both of those things!
We know that the position of our bones or our structure is dependent on 2 things – our muscle tone and our neurological feedback mechanism. I know that sounds complex but it is not really…
The neurological feedback mechanism is based around the part of our nerve system which is our proprioception, so our awareness of our position in space. It is why we know where our nose is without having to look at it, or we can touch our elbow with our eyes closed – (you just tried it, didn’t you?;)
So this mechanism works on a feedback loop messages from the bones and joints travel along our nerves to our spine and then up to the brain for processing and then back down the spinal cord along the nerves to the joint and this is stimulated from movement and different sensations.
This means it is actually our brain and nerve system that controls where our joints are relative to each other and our position in space, which is why we can get things like “sea legs” when we have been on a boat because when the ground constantly moves underneath us, our brain has trouble with that feedback loop.
The other thing is our muscles, so the really amazing thing about muscles is that after a period of time they either grow or shrink, in actual fact it is rare that a muscle stays exactly the same, it is constantly remodelling to adapt to the amount of stress that gets put onto it. Now I know that we are all aware from this in the Arnie sense, in that if you ‘pump iron’ regularly you see muscle hypertrophy or where when the muscle fibre remodels it grows back thicker and stronger to adapt to the stress, but also a muscle physically changes in length in a period of 4-6 weeks. Meaning that a muscle will literally become longer or shorter depending on how much you stretch or contract it.
This is super important in posture because if we sit at a desk all day then our big, strong hip flexor muscles literally shorten over a 4-6 week period changing our standing posture unless we take action to stretch and release them regularly to stop that.
So “how can I help myself then?”
Retrain our nerve system and our muscles!
We retrain our nerve system in 2 ways – by doing things differently and by getting adjusted. The amazing thing that your chiropractor does is stimulate your nerves with the adjustment providing movement and input for change. By doing things differently we also stimulate our nerves out of our normal patterns.
Now in terms of retraining our muscles this is with specific exercises and stretching to reverse our most common postures if that is sitting for example getting up from the desk regularly and take a look at our “Yes I sit, what should I do about it?” blog.
With doing things differently, one of the easiest things I find is to simply stand on your own 2 feet….what I mean by this is that often when we are standing around talking to people we put our weight on one foot or the other, we lean against a wall or the like…simply try when you are standing to stand even on both feet upright…you will immediately feel better and the even out the weight distribution through your spine and your legs which will help a bunch to stop patterns of rotation or tilt occur in your pelvis or spine.
Because of the amount of time we spend in these habitual postures you will be amazed how these simple ‘hacks’ can make such a huge impact on looking after our spine and posture!
By Miles Upfold.