Dear OWH: What is the relationship between Posture and Health?
Posture plays an important role in our body’s need to constantly auto-regulate in order to achieve a stable state.7 min read
As you may have already presumed, at Ozar Wellness House we place a great deal of importance on helping our patients develop increasingly better postural habits. We do this with the intention of not only aiding to relieve acute musculoskeletal pain, but also due to the simple fact that posture has an immense impact on many other aspects of our physical and mental health.
According to numerous studies, posture plays an important role in our body’s need to constantly auto-regulate in order to achieve a stable state. The body self regulates via the autonomic nervous system, which is intimately connected with posture. While the most significant influences of posture are a result of our breathing patterns, oxygenation of the blood, and regulation of our stress response, there are many other aspects of health that you may have not previously realized could be related to your posture. A synopsis of the aforementioned research reveals some interesting facts about the connection between posture, physical and mental health.
Some of the key findings of this research include:
1. Different types of internal disease or health problems can be reflected in a person’s posture or the way they move. Conversely, inefficient posture and breathing patterns that result from this can eventually lead to pathological dysfunction.
2. Maintaining certain power postures can actually cause physiological changes to the nervous system and endocrine system (the chemical messenger system that includes hormones). These changes include elevations in testosterone and decreases in stress hormones. Among other benefits, this helps improve stress tolerance.
3. Postural changes can also influence blood flow, positively affecting heart rate, and regulating blood pressure.
4. The levels of dopamine and serotonin (the chemical messengers involved in mood, mental health, digestion, and sleep regulation) can cause postural changes. Because posture can also affect brain activity, posture reflects mind and body interaction.
5. There is a relationship between postural and movement patterns and the way emotions are processed.
6. Advanced stages of postural and breathing dysfunction are correlated with marked structural deviations impeding efficient air exchange, eliciting a sympathetic nervous system response (fight or flight stress response), and increasing musculoskeletal pain.
7. Postural respiratory balance and improved internal auto-regulation can be taught through gravity centered breathing exercises.
The connection between posture, internal health, and an individual’s mental state is quite profound when given further thought. Posture affects every aspect of human function, both consciously and subconsciously, from breathing to thinking, and even hormone production. At Ozar Wellness House we take a truly integrated approach to your health using chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, massage, exercise, and even nutritional counseling to help you with all aspects of your health and wellbeing.