Alive Blog

POSTURE

The language of the body

Posture is a word that comes from Latin ponere, which literally means “to put”. It is related to how we position, or collocate our bodies in space. Subconsciously, we all know that good posture is somehow better, healthier than “bad” posture. We do not know exactly why, but instinctively we know that a certain body symmetry when comparing left to right, paired with standing upright (chin up and shoulders back!) is definitely…better.
 
However, what is it that affects our posture and why do some people have better posture than others? Does it affect how the body works or is it merely an aesthetic aspect of our bodies? What does someone’s posture SAY about that person, and why?
 
 

Posture and its meaning

Human posture is an expression of a series of important internal processes (both physiological and psychological). It tells the world around us if we are in touch with ourselves or if we have lost touch with ourselves; it tells the world how well we are coping with life’s daily stressors; it communicates a state of mind, a feeling in a much more direct way than actual language. It is the modality through which the body communicates outside what’s going on inside.

Moreover, if we want to consider posture as a language, it would be by far the most direct form of language; communication experts know that “saying” with the body is way more relevant than what we say with actual words. Just imagine a man saying he’s very excited and very happy, with the best tone of voice but while looking down, head forward, shoulders inward, slouched upperback. What he is actually saying wouldn’t sound true, right?

By looking at someone’s posture we are looking at their biography, their physical and emotional history. It is the present expression of their past and – to a certain extent – of their future. Why their future? Simply because “bad posture” is an adaptation which will inevitably lead to unpleasant consequences.
The body itself is designed by nature in a certain way, respecting certain structural laws and proportions. And not for aesthetic reasons. The link between physiology (how the body works) and structure (how the body looks) is a very straightforward one. With poor posture, the body works poorly. Full stop. 
With poor posture, breathing functions are reduced, digestive functions could be affected; migraines, low back pain, neck pain, numbness, thoracic pain: all of these could be simply the way your body is telling you (or rather screaming at you) your posture is not good.

Posture

What is it then that leads people to have poor posture?

First, our bodies are not designed to sit 8 hours a day. That will modify our posture on its own, and not in a good way. The consequences of sitting for too long are dramatic: reduced disc spaces, glutes weakness, upper cross syndrome, and so on. We are also not designed to drive for long hours, to eat the food we eat, both in quality and quantities. We are not designed to travel in airplanes, trains, to walk on concrete and so on.
We are not designed to be constantly bombarded by social media, news, mobile phones, pollution. All of this plays a role in how our body works.

A brief history of homo sapiens

Our bodies nowadays are constantly trying to adapt to different stressors. Remember: structurally and physiologically our bodies do not differ very much from the homo sapiens of 5000 years ago. But what about the world around us? What about the air we breathe, the food we eat, the lifestyle we have? While the basic physiological characteristics of human beings have remained relatively consistent over the past 5000 years, there have been some changes and adaptations that have occurred due to various factors, including changes in lifestyle, environment, and culture. Here are some of them:

There is evidence to suggest that average human height has changed over time. In many populations, especially in regions with better nutrition and healthcare, people tend to be taller today than they were several thousand years ago. This change is largely attributed to improved nutrition during early childhood and adolescence. Exposure to diseases and natural selection over time may also have influenced certain aspects of human immune systems. Populations that experienced high disease prevalence might have developed some degree of genetic resistance or adaptation to specific diseases.

Moreover, changes in diet and agriculture have influenced human digestive systems. The shift from a primarily hunter-gatherer diet to a diet based on cultivated crops and domesticated animals likely led to some adaptations in the way our bodies process certain nutrients.

Another example of the most well-known examples of recent human evolution is the development of lactose tolerance in certain populations. Many adults today can digest lactose (the sugar in milk) due to genetic changes that occurred in response to the practice of dairy farming.

While there hasn’t been a drastic change in overall brain size over the past 5000 years, the ways in which our brains are utilized and the cognitive demands placed on us have certainly evolved. Modern lifestyles require different cognitive skills, such as literacy, numeracy, and complex problem-solving. We are literally bombarded every single day with thousands of stimuli.

The shift from an active hunter-gatherer lifestyle to more sedentary, urbanized living has likely influenced our physical fitness and overall muscle mass. Modern technology and changes in occupations have led to different patterns of physical activity.

Human populations living in different geographic regions have likely developed specific adaptations to their environments over time. For instance, populations living at high altitudes have developed physiological adaptations to cope with lower oxygen levels. Over thousands of years, populations have migrated, intermixed, and separated, leading to changes in the genetic makeup of different groups. Genetic diversity and adaptations can vary significantly between different human populations.

It’s important to note that these changes are relatively subtle and occur over long periods of time, often involving multiple generations. Additionally, while certain adaptations might have occurred, the fundamental human physiology has remained largely consistent. The rapid changes in technology and environment that have occurred in recent history (past few centuries) have likely had more profound effects on lifestyle and health than changes over the past 5000 years.

Postural defects

What this has to do with chiropractic?

The link between posture and chiropractic is really straight forward. Our spine and skull enclose the brain and spinal cord. This is why posture is so important. The 31 pairs of spinal nerves exiting from each vertebra constitute the connection between the control centre and the organs, muscles, glands of our body. Bad posture means impairing the correct functioning of those nerves. 
This is not a new concept or a chiropractic innovation. Moreover, you do not need to experience severe lower back pain to visit a chiropractic care clinic. 

Eastern medicine does not describe the nervous system in the same way as modern Western medicine. Instead, it emphasizes the flow of vital energy or life force called “Qi” (pronounced “chee”) through meridians or pathways in the body. While traditional chinese medicine doesn’t directly correlate to the anatomical nervous system, there are similarities in the sense that these meridians can influence the body’s functioning, including sensations, emotions, and internal organ health. Certain acupuncture points, located along the meridians, are believed to influence the flow of Qi and can have effects on pain, inflammation, and other conditions that might be associated with the nervous system.

With the advancement of Western medicine and science – especially in anatomy – we now can identify each nerve and its function.

Ancient yoga texts also do mention the concept of the nerves and nervous system, albeit in a different context and language compared to modern medical understanding. In traditional yoga philosophy, the concept of energy channels and centers is discussed, which can be related to the nervous system in some ways. Two key components in yoga philosophy related to energy channels are “nadis” and “chakras.” According to Ayurveda, the Nadis are subtle energy channels through which prana (life force energy) is said to flow. While nadis are not directly analogous to the anatomical nerves recognized in modern biology, they are often referred to in yoga texts. There are said to be thousands of nadis, but three main nadis are emphasized: Sushumna, Ida, and Pingala. Sushumna is often associated with the spinal column and is considered the central channel through which energy flows.

It’s important to note that the descriptions of nadis and chakras in ancient yoga texts are part of a spiritual and energetic framework, rather than a direct reference to the anatomical nervous system. These concepts are intertwined with broader ideas about the flow of energy, consciousness, and spiritual development.

In conclusion

Posture does not only affect how you “look”, but how your body is working, how it’s “performing”. Generally speaking, having good posture means allowing your body to perform at its best. Posture could also be an expression of a range of internal feelings sometimes suppressed by the conscious mind: anger, being overwhelmed, depression, narcissism, sadness, etc. The most common example is muscle tension accumulated on the upper trapezius muscles, above the shoulders. What can we do then?

The first step is to become aware of our posture, and a mirror won’t be enough. What everybody else says, won’t be enough either.
Get yourself checked by a posture specialist who will be able to advise on how to improve and correct bad habits which lead to bad posture.
At Alive Chiropractic – our Dorchester chiropractic clinic – we can offer a thorough postural assessment, even if you are not experiencing any symptoms. Chiropractic care is great to regain contact with your body, and to re-establish a healthy connection between your body and your mind. 

Visit our Facebook page, click here!

 

Edoardo Elisei DC

Alive Chiropractic LTD
alivechiropractic.co.uk
1C Crown Gate Square
POUNDBURY

“The beauty about chiropractic is the fact that it works with natural means. It puts nothing new into the body nor does it take away any natural gland or organ. Chiropractic simply releases life forces within the body, and lets nature do her work in a normal manner”.


Chiropractic care has been proven to be effective in managing a long list of conditions. Get in touch if you have any question and we will reply within one day.

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Richard
Richard
12:52 03 May 24
Fantastic informative straightforward information looking forward to working with Edo
Linda Jukes
Linda Jukes
18:07 01 May 24
I have had back pain for many years and tried lots of different ways to ease it, with no success. From my first appointment at Alive Chiropractic Clinic, I could feel an improvement. I am so pleased with the results after a 12 week course. The clinic is superb and Edo is friendly and supportive. I will continue to visit the clinic and recommend to everyone!
Gary Rolls
Gary Rolls
19:48 24 Apr 24
I have been a patient of the Alive Chiropractor clinic for the last six weeks. Following a stroke in March 2022 I had been suffering with a walking imbalance and general lack of mobility. I would say that my improvement stands somewhere between 60-70% already. I would happily recommend the clinic to anyone that is suffering to book themselves an appointment.
Peter Waller
Peter Waller
11:29 15 Apr 24
After visiting Dr. Edoardo at the Alive chiropractic clinic, I booked a block booking of 12 sessions. From start to finish he made me feel very comfortable, and as each session went on i began to feel much better within myself.As well as the work he done with me in the clinic, he has taught me many different exercises to help me with the problems in which i suffer with, as well as explaining to me how my diet can also help me going forward.He has been a great help, and i shall continue to see him in the future so that he can help me maintain ( and improve) my well being.RegardsPeter
leonie macdonald
leonie macdonald
16:15 18 Mar 24
I was greeted by an interested and professional person. I was helped to deal with a recent trauma, not only with deep breathing techniques and compassion but also accurate chiropractic treatment. Every time I left my appointment I felt a profound sense of healing.
Emma Simmons
Emma Simmons
20:34 07 Jan 24
My experience from the very first consultation has been excellent! Edo is extremely knowledgeable and a great professional. His holistic outlook and advice brings benefits beyond his chiropractic adjustments, which is an added bonus! I would highly recommend his practice.
olly morency
olly morency
09:16 21 Nov 23
An excellent service; Edo helped me with corrections for my back, and advice on how to improve my health span with breath work and improved movement. Strong recommend!
Moira Priestley
Moira Priestley
20:18 15 Oct 23
I found the treatment I received very beneficial. My sciatica has eased a lot and I am sleeping much better. I would highly recommend Alive Chiropractic.
Ben Boughton-White
Ben Boughton-White
06:04 15 Oct 23
A fantastic chiropractic experience!Dr Edo provides a whole body approach to resolving chiropractic issues. His care plan to help solve your unique issues is fantastic, short and simple adjustments rather than long sessions of big adjustments has worked brilliantly for me. Communications are easy and booking ahead is brilliant for me and my schedule.I can’t recommend Alive highly enough!
Benny Clifford
Benny Clifford
15:53 25 Sep 23
Dr Edo has been a great help in getting me moving again, and he is a trustworthy pair of hands in his field of work. Top man!The reception is also very welcoming. I very much recommend this place!
Jane Bygraves
Jane Bygraves
12:30 14 Sep 23
I have a better range of movement and am moving more freely after a course of gentle, thorough treatment with Alive Chiropractic. My energy levels have improved.
Sarah Spadon
Sarah Spadon
18:48 10 Sep 23
I’ve been adjusted by Dr Edoardo for a number of years now, since I’ve been under care I’ve never had any problems but most importantly he helps me keep my nervous system healthy through maintenance care which allows me to be more in control in all of my day to day activities and keeps my mind healthy. His adjustments are gentle and precise and he is really kind and makes you feel at ease in any moment. Highly recommend!
Morgex
Morgex
11:05 10 Sep 23
This is my first experience with chiropractic ever, and it has been life changing! I have a slipped lumbar disc and I was in lots of pain and had very limited mobility. I saw Edo for a few appointments and not only did my back get better, it has stayed that way since! I am doing the exercises he prescribed and now I am only seeing him for maintenance and I feel better than ever, more relaxed and aware of my posture overall . He is a good listener, very informative, professional and communicative.
Isabella White
Isabella White
07:15 08 Sep 23
A wonderful experience so far with Dr Edo at his clinic in Poundbury. I have come away from my first six sessions feeling so much more aware and in tune with my body, and I have experienced noticeable changes in my body and mindset also.Dr Edo is professional, knowledge, and believes firmly in his work which he is clearly passionate about. I feel he has an empowering vision, cares deeply, and has a refreshing balance of western and eastern understanding. Because of this, Dr Edo has a deeper, holistic approach by taking into account all aspects of one's lifestyle (diet, exercise, mental/emotional state) in sessions. For someone like myself who values a holistic perspective on health, Dr Edo's approach is invaluable and helped me relax and feel at great ease. Sam in reception is lovely and you instantly feel welcomed when coming in for a session also. Thank you to you both. Highly recommend!
Chris Copeland
Chris Copeland
20:59 16 Aug 23
Dr. Edo has a very calm temperament and his knowledge aids in your own relaxation, which is a help when your own flexibility, mobility or posture are far from relaxed. Sam, the Chiropractic assistant, is the first person to greet you when you arrive and will explain the fundamentals of the practice. The practice is clean, modern and has ample road side parking. The whole experience has been a success and I am now able to move without pain, the new mobility gained will enable me to get on with life and have new experiences and adventures, for this I thank you.
Sonya Hendry
Sonya Hendry
18:21 16 Aug 23
I have been coming to see Ed at Alive Chiropractic since opening. Visiting regularly is enabling me to have a more comfortable and mobile life. The ambiance and warm welcome, along with total professionalism means so much.
Alison Michele Williams
Alison Michele Williams
20:49 30 Jul 23
A great, professional, friendly service. A whole rounded approach to better well being and healthy body.Thank you!
Tessa Aindow
Tessa Aindow
16:58 13 Jul 23
Brilliant experience. My back has improved so much and I don’t have the same aches and pains. Dr Edo is very professional and gives great advice and exercises to help alongside the adjustments at the clinic.
Malwina T
Malwina T
15:56 19 Jun 23
Great and unique treatment. Eased the lower back pain significantly! Changed my outlook on chiropractic treatments and self care. Highly recommend!!!
jill cheng
jill cheng
09:17 16 Jun 23
I visited the clinic after suffering with low back pain for nearly ten years. The chiropractor helped me regain functionality and quality of life. More importantly, he helped me understand and connect some aspects of my life to my body and how it works, strongly recommended 👍🏻
Chirosofia
Chirosofia
20:41 14 Jun 23
I have known Edoardo since day one at Chiropractic College, and I have witnessed his growing passion for this profession. His long time experience as a Yoga Instructor, combined to his deep knowledge into the Chiropractic art, science and philosophy, will make your journey towards healthy-living a very pleasant experience. Book that appointment and enjoy feeling better!
Paul Ansell
Paul Ansell
12:33 08 Feb 23
All my life I’ve had bad posture and bad back I’ve been to doctors specialists and always same outcome I’ve got to live with it. At the age of 58 I went to this practice and he has done wonders this is the best I have ever been since I can remember. Highly recommend
Zoe Ratcliffe
Zoe Ratcliffe
17:05 30 Jan 23
I attended Alive chiropractor after seeing a special offer they were offering and suffering from a bad back for a long time it felt like a good idea to go see what they said. Since this I have been attending twice a week and the improvements are happening. Edo is very knowledgeable and really wants the best for you he doesn't just care about the back or other pains you may be having but also acknowledges the impact these things can have on you emotionally and personally. I can't recommend this service enough.
Michelle Lambell
Michelle Lambell
21:55 24 Jan 23
Regular sessions with Dr Edo at Alive Chiropractic have made such a big difference to my posture, my way of working at my desk and taught me how to manage my breathing, all of which have led to a big shift in my mindset towards looking after myself and my body.I will happily recommend Alive Chiropractic to my friends.
Paul Nicol
Paul Nicol
08:22 30 Sep 22
I have just finished initial treatment for my back problem. Appointments with the NHS in the past have never resulted in a diagnosis let alone treatment. However at Alive I received a diagnosis and treatment plan on the initial consultation. This set out exactly how I was going to be treated and cost. Following the treatment I could not be healthier or happier. An exceptionally professional service in which Dr Edoardo Elisei seems passionate about what he does. It is more than just a hands on treatment on his 'couch', but a full lifestyle treatment ensuring exercises and diet are in balance to assist recovery and as a preventative for the future. I would be happy to recommend to anyone.
claudia marcela lopez gallardo
claudia marcela lopez gallardo
08:05 30 Jul 22
Edo is a great professional, very friendly and knowledgeable. He corrected my posture in only few months, he said this was going to happen and I couldn't believe it, it was so fast and happened, the changes not only I could feel them but also you can see them. He did the adjustments with a lot of care, with a lot of patience he took the time to give the advices and exercises that I could benefit my posture in the future. I totally recommend him.
TheLizwalker
TheLizwalker
10:18 18 Jul 22
When I first met Dr Ed I had problems bending, and worst of all I could hardly move my neck. I was a total painful wreck.Ed takes a very holistic approach, encouraging me to lose weight and work on different rehab exercises to reinforce the manipulations and adjustments he made.Here I am some three months on, I weigh a lot less, I have incredible flexibility in my lower back and can now touch my toes and, best of all. I have full flexibility of my neck.Eds holistic approach really works, he is very approachable and easy to chat about things with.One caveat, Ed knows when you haven't done your exercises so don't cheat. :)I cannot thank him enough for the massive improvements in my health and his encouraging me to make little changes for a healthier long term lifestyle.
Elaine Daniel
Elaine Daniel
13:05 07 Jul 22
I saw Edo in March and he was so informative regarding my spinal issues. I have had many treatments from him over the past few months and feel so much better and have more movement and less pain. He provides exercises for clients to help with strengthening muscles which is all part and parcel of chiropractic healing. I would recommend going to see him anytime.
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