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I Changed My Posture & Here's What Happened

I Changed My Posture & Here's What Happened

GUEST POST BY KARA FROULA FOR fourwellness.co

Good posture goes way beyond the old “stand up straight” advice.

Your posture is your musculoskeletal system. This includes your bones, muscles joints and other tissues that connect parts of your body and help you move. This gives you stability, support and form. Posture is also connected to our balance. 

The average American spends about three and half hours looking down at their phone every day. So where does that leave us?! With a severe case of “tech neck!” Not only is the forward head posture and rounded shoulders probably not a look you’re going for, but it also leaves you with pain in the upper back, neck, and shoulders, along with restricted mobility.

Aside from health problems like heartburn, constipation and slowed digestion, poor posture drains our life force energy. When your spine is imbalanced and out of alignment, it puts undue tension and strain on other areas that aren’t meant to carry the same load. Your pelvis, hips, sacrum, and our 24 movable vertebrae all need to be in alignment to use energy efficiently. Even a relatively minor imbalance can lead to a lot of wasted energy throughout the years.

THE EFFECTS OF POOR POSTURE

I started feeling the painful effects of poor posture about five years ago when I was working long hours in front of the computer. (Anyone else do that? 🙋‍♀️)

After a long workday I felt depleted and irritable from the pain caused by sitting so much. (Sitting long hours each day is not ideal for your health anyway, and adding poor posture to it certainly doesn’t help!)

I went to massage therapists and chiropractors, but only received temporary relief. I tried posture supports designed to compensate for “computer hunch,” but they were bulky, uncomfortable, irritating to the skin—and not something I wanted to wear in public.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

In trying several different devices, I realized that when my shoulders were back in proper alignment, all of the tension in my upper back, neck, and shoulders was alleviated. I was more energized and I looked (and felt!) taller and more confident. I learned the importance of alignment and became more conscious of how I carried myself on a daily basis.

I couldn’t find a suitable solution, so I created my own called BackEmbrace. It’s an effective orthopedic device—it just doesn’t look like one. It’s super soft and doesn’t pinch under the arms the way so many others do. Most importantly, it gently encourages proper alignment so that your body feels what it’s like to be properly aligned. With repetition of proper alignment, your body starts to build muscle memory and before you know it, good posture becomes your new norm. 

Integrating this consciousness around posture has made a tremendous difference in my mood and the way I feel in my body. Whatever remedy or practice you choose to embrace, don’t underestimate the impact your posture can have on your overall health and how much it can change the way you look and feel. Tension and strain are no longer a part of daily life, which leaves me with more energy to focus on what’s important to me—helping other people break free from the painful effects of poor posture, so that they too, can have more energy to focus on what matters most to them.

TIPS FOR GOOD POSTURE

Correct standing posture and good sitting posture allow your body to function more efficiently. Being aware of your posture is the first step to breaking old (not-so-good) postural habits and reducing stress and strain on your spine.

THE BENEFITS OF GOOD POSTURE

Proper posture has many physical benefits throughout your body:

  • Allows your body to function more efficiently: when bones and joints are in correct alignment, muscles are properly engaged

  • Increased levels of energy: when the body is in correct alignment, energy isn’t spent fighting strain and fatigue

  • Prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions

  • Decreases stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together

  • Prevents backaches and muscular pain

  • Contributes to a healthier, more vibrant appearance

TIPS FOR CORRECT STANDING POSTURE

  • Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet.

  • Keep your knees slightly bent.

  • Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart.

  • Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of the body.

  • Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward.

  • Tuck your stomach in.

  • Keep your head level-your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders. Do not push your head forward, backward, or to the side.

  • Shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or one foot to the other, if you have to stand for a long time.

 TIPS FOR BEST SITTING POSTURE

  • Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if they don't reach the floor.

  • Don't cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees.

  • Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.

  • Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips.

  • Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support.

  • Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.

  • Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.

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