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How’s Your Posture?

Posture – we’ve all heard about it, and yes it’s important.

But did you know that there are two components to posture?  One that is controlled by you and one that is controlled for you!

Our nervous systems have two main offices.  The first is one that we consciously control and the second is controlled internally for us by our autonomic (think automatic) nervous system.

To understand this, think about digestion.  Let’s say that you decide to eat an apple.  You control which apple you chose, the process of picking it up and also taking a bite and swallowing it.  But after that, you’re done.

Digestion is one of those automated functions in your body.  You don’t get to control what part of the apple is digested and you don’t control the ability to use that energy in your body.  It’s automatic.

Other automated functions in the body include heart rate, blood flow, elimination, absorption, repair of tissues etc etc.  The list is nearly endless.

Posture also has an automatic control.  Don’t believe me?  Well, could you please then, just slightly turn your 5th thoracic vertebra to the left without letting any other parts of the spine move?

You can’t, because the base position of your spine is controlled for you just like digestion.  Every day when you get out of bed and stand up, you go to your base position which is set by your autonomic nervous system.

One of the problems is that people have with posture, is that their base position that is not actually balanced!

You can consciously move your spine, but you can’t consciously change your spine’s base position.

Both components of posture are important but if you have an imbalanced base position, it’s going to need some additional help to be corrected.

That’s where NUCCA comes in.  Your automatic posture functions are controlled by the sensory information that comes into your brain.  Your eyes, the balance centres of the inner ears and the proprioceptive feedback from the muscles of the upper neck are MAJOR players in setting the stage for balance and posture.

This is why your head position in relationship to your neck is so important.  If you are obviously struggling with posture, regardless of your efforts to work on it, you’re likely dealing with an issues that needs to be addressed directly at the structure of your spine.

Come in for a consultation and we’ll see if we can help.  Your body will thank you for it.

Helpful?  Questions?

drkittleson@uclife.ca

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