"Does poor posture position contribute to digestion issues?" A patient recently asked me.
Often when I get asked questions, I impress upon myself to research the topic to provide the best answer. It is been known that slouching is counterproductive to good posture, but did you know that slouching also contributes to reduced oxygen and shallow breathing?That's because when we hunch forward, it closes the ribcage in the front and doesn't allow for a full breath of air. This leads to a weaker diaphragm, which is needed to not only give us richly oxygenated blood through that deep breath, but provides the rhythmic motion that our intestines need to passively move stuff through to exit our bodies (that's a nice way of saying poop).
In my updated search, I found a few interesting articles that link poor posture to more than just shallow breathing and constipation. A Harvard Study confirms constipation, but adds incontinence and heartburn to the list.
"Slouching increases abdominal pressure, which puts pressure on the bladder. The position also decreases the ability of the pelvic floor muscles to hold against that pressure," notes Markowski, who specializes in helping people overcome bladder, bowel, and pelvic floor problems
Yet another article talks about how posture can not only be a cause of physical stress, but mental stress as well. This piece on posture and the mind notes the position of the lungs reduces oxygen intake by 30%, which can contribute to fatigue and reduce focus. Psychologically, it notes that a slouched position is considered a protective position and subconsciously makes us feel we are in danger, which can leave us less confident and less productive.
People who sat upright reported a higher self-esteem, a higher level of alertness, a better mood and less fear than those who slouched.
These are just more reason why knowing what is good posture for YOU is so important to your health, not only physically, but mentally as well.
What I wish these articles would include is how effective chiropractic is in restoring your proper posture. The hard truth is that good posture isn't the same for everyone... you can't just hike your head up and scrunch your shoulders back and assume you are exhibiting "good posture." The chiropractic field has done many studies to find what is the actual normal structure for your spine, which is literally the backbone of your posture. There are even ways to account for anatomical differences in individuals. We have the most knowledge on the nature of normalcy in posture and how to correct and restore what is ideal for each person on an individual basis based off of the latest research. In order to do that, it's imperative to get properly examined, with x rays if necessary.
If you think that you could benefit from proper posture, appreciate a hands on, natural, long lasting approach to your health, then come get evaluated by a reputable chiropractic office that has the training and equipment to help you (like us!).