I am here to day as your posture expert to tackle a serious problem that is plaguing our society. See there are two healthcare models that currently exist.
One model tells us to wait until we are sick to seek care for our symptoms. The other healthcare model says, “Why wait until you have pain and are suffering?” Let’s prevent it from ever happening in the first place by keeping you in good health.
I want you to imagine your future. If I had a crystal ball, what would you wish for, what would you want your future to hold? Think about that for just a second. Do you have that image in their mind? In that image, what do you look like and what does your family look like? Are you all healthy and full of life? Keep thinking about that image as you think about that image, think about what it takes to get there. What steps do you need to take to achieve your dream? Think of one action step and bring that image into your consciousness.
Now imagine trying to achieve that action step, working toward your life’s goal with a splitting headache, the type of headache where you feel like your head is pounding and you have horrible neck pain. You feel tension from your scalp to your shoulders.
Did that action step just go from possible to impossible? It did for me. Did it seem almost like it wasn’t worth it to even try to tackle that one step necessary to move closer to your dream? It’s difficult to work in pain, it’s much easier to lay there and relax when you have a headache. Even just the thought of living with pain is demotivating. What’s the point? If I achieve what I wanted I can’t even enjoy it if I have a splitting headache right?
Now let me ask you this. If we rub the shoulders, but don’t correct the posture of the head and neck will it help? Sure, it will feel better momentarily, who doesn’t like a massage. But if the underlying cause is still there, it will just be moments before the pain returns. What if we take an Advil, will that help? Again, the pain will go away for a few minutes, but without correcting the head and neck posture that’s causing the pain, do we expect that the pain will return? Yes we do. What about putting heat or ice on it? Same concept, what we really need to do is fix the posture so you can live better, right? If not, the pain will keep coming back again.
I’m glad we all agree. Now, let’s look at what we are doing in our daily lives that is causing our number one postural dysfunction – the head forward head posture.
We need to know what activities are causing forward head posture, so we can change our postural habits and learn how to overcome these stressors.
What do we do every time we check our phones to see if we have a notification? We look down at our phone, pulling the head forward in relation to the shoulders. And then continue to look down as we check our text messages, emails, and Facebook newsfeed.
So, for 2 to 4 hours per day that we are on our cell phones, we are causing debilitating strain to the neck. This condition is such an epidemic that there is now a medical diagnosis for it, called “Text Neck.” So many people have forward head posture due to our interactions with technology. As the smart phone gets smarter, our posture gets weaker.
Some quick things you can do to offset for forward head posture is to start being more mindful of your posture while texting, while sitting at your desk or using a computer, and while laying on a pillow.
You want a pillow that is more functional that it is fluffy. Again, you want to support the neck in a nice neutral position. These are good habits to implement. In addition, you can start doing neck retraction exercises to build postural fitness of the neck muscles.
My hope for you is that you each walk out of there thinking a little different than you did when you walked in. My hope is that you are mindful of your posture so you don’t end up to miserable to pursue your goals and desires.
Licensed Massage Therapist, MA #75533
190 Treemonte Dr., Orange City, FL 32763