Have you ever watched someone walk into the room with a commanding presence that captivated people before they even opened their mouth? We bet a lot of it had to do with their posture. Studies show that good posture is far more than something you should only mind at the dinner table. Good posture can go a long way toward improving many areas of your life, from success in your career to relieving chronic pain.
At Lifestyle Medical Center, we specialize in the human musculoskeletal structure, and we understand how keeping your body functionally properly can pay off in terms of your overall health. But we’re also fascinated by the role posture plays in other areas.
In an effort to help men and women in and around Tulsa, Oklahoma, reap the benefits of good posture, here’s a look at what your posture influences and how we can get you on the road to better health and happiness through better posture.
The foundation of your body’s musculoskeletal system lies in your spine — the 33 vertebrae that run from your head to your pelvis. When something affects the normal function of your spine, it can have a cascading effect throughout your body, causing various systems to malfunction.
For example, a lack of function in your lower spine can cause your hips to rest unevenly, which can affect how your knees, ankles, and feet function. Moving up, if you have problems in your upper spine, it can affect your head, shoulders, and arms.
Furthermore, your spine provides passage for your nervous system, and any problem with the nerve roots that originate in your spine can radiate outward, affecting your arms and legs.
Lastly, blockages in your spine can prevent valuable resources from flowing freely throughout your body. This can affect your intestinal and organ health, your ability to heal, and your circulatory system, among other things.
And the fix? Restoring proper function your spine, so that all of your systems are properly balanced for optimal function.
In 2012, social psychologist Amy Cuddy presented an eye-opening TED talk in which she explored how posture can boost your chances for success in the professional world. During her discussion, she described how assuming a “power posture,” which was as simple as standing up straight with your shoulders back, gave people more confidence, whether or not they actually felt confident.
Ms. Cuddy posits that great posture not only helps how others perceive you, it also helps how you perceive yourself. And this is due, in part, to the fact that when you stand straight and assume a more open stance, your testosterone levels increase, and your stress hormones decrease.
Psychology Today takes this theory one step further and suggests that good posture can offset depression by helping you feel more confident and in control, where as slumping only encourages feelings of defeat.
So, next time you head in to see the boss or meet a new client, try a power posture — even if you have to fake it — and set the stage for success.
Given what we’ve reviewed when it comes to the effects of a good posture on your professional life, it’s easy to transition these findings to your social world. Body language is important when you’re meeting new people, and if you’re standing or sitting straight with your shoulders and chest open, you’re inviting people in. Conversely, hunched shoulders and a caved-in chest may suggest that you’re not really interested in them.
So what exactly is good posture other than standing straight? Well, there’s a lot to it, which is why we offer posture screening at our practice. During our posture screenings, we perform a detailed assessment of the proper function of your spine, bones, and muscles while you sit, stand, and move. If we spot any potential problems, we may turn to diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays, to get a closer look at what’s going on inside.
Once we zero in on your posture problems, we’ll develop a customized plan that will have you sitting and standing for success in all areas of your life.
To get your posture in a good position, book an appointment online or over the phone with Lifestyle Medical Center today.