Proper Posture Verses Poor Posture - Do you Have Einstein's Hunch?
The Einstein Hunch™
The Einstein Hunch™ is a term developed to help people visualize poor posture in a fun yet memorable manner. It is meant to highlight that we must be intelligent about not just our nutrition and our fitness but also our posture.
Poor posture is a common visual indicator of lack of muscle tone, but it is also a sign that we have not properly trained our children.
Yet all too often a hunch is also a visual reminder of our inefficient use of the body's muscles.
The world renown scientist, hailed as one of the world's most intelligent human being offers us the possibility of helping our health by reminding us that proper posture is an intelligent goal that all of us techies who work behind a computer, hunch over our laptops or PDAs need to be reminded that posture is just as important as exercise and nutrition. Read on to learn why. See for yourself and start looking for those who do exhibit proper posture.
Einstein and Exercise
The Einstein Hunch™
Who is Albert Einstein? Albert Einstein (March 14th 1879 – April 18, 1955) was a German theoretical physicist, philosopher and author who is widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists and intellectuals of all time. source: wikipedia.com
Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 Einstein became a citizen of Switzerland and worked in the patent office in Switzerland. Later he became a German citizen and immigrated to America. He renounced his German citzenship for political reasons. source: nobelprize.org
Poor Posture Verses Proper Posture
Chest Pop Exercise
Shoulder Exercises to Improve Posture
Upper Cross Mirror Exercise
Finding Pelvic Neutral - Pelvic Tilting
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Sedentary sickness and obesity plague the United States, but there is another widespread illness that no one is talking about - proper posture. The Einstein Hunch™ is harmful to our skeletal system as much as sedentary sickness obesity. Like sedentary sickness and obesity, there is something we can do about the Einstein Hunch, knowledge is power.
Stiff necks, shoulders, and backaches all can be attributed to not just stress but also lack of knowledge about what good posture really is. The book on the head from your parents or Grandparent is a great indicator to throw your shoulder back and level out your chin. Einstein is esteemed as one of the world's most intelligent men. Yet in his age, he was showing signs of poor posture from all that reading. This visual of an elderly man hunched over is what we must safeguard against.
What is Posture?
Posture is the alignment that you create with your body against gravity while standing, sitting, driving or lying down.
What is Proper Posture?
Good posture is kind to your spinal discs and cervical discs. Good posture makes the best use of your muscles to help protect your body whether you are reading, walking, exercising or sleeping. We need good posture at all times.
Benefits of Proper Posture
- Proper posture like diet management is a constant discipline. Like nutrition and weight management, knowledge of the benefits is the foundation to our discipline and follow-through.
- Proper posture ensures efficient use of muscles and energy.
- Proper posture helps prevent arthritis by protecting the joints which arthritis first attacks.
- Proper posture reduces stress and strain on ligaments that bind our joints to our knees and our spine and our neck.
- Proper posture prevent fatigue, increases endurance.
- Proper posture prevents backache and other muscular pain.
- Proper posture is good looking and attractive!
- Good posture adds to your height, adds to your overall appearance not to mention your self-confidence.
Proper Posture Sitting Standing
Learning about proper posture is complicated - it is a combination of education, visual and feel. As a visual person - that is my main mode of learning, the photos make it click. However, it many cases, and this is a big complaint from my clients too - it feels unnatural - only at first.
Envisioning a golden arrow is helpful to me along with the several photos - take a moment and study them - analyze the nuances in each photo. I myself still need constant reminders - especially for driving and intense computer work.
What is it about engaging the brain that makes my shoulders want to hunch? I know better yet time and time again I catch myself!
Here are three simple remembers that I use to help me achieve proper posture while sitting, standing, or driving:
- Shoulders back.
- Chin level.
- Hips neutral.
Proper Posture Sleeping
- Lying down and sleeping where we spend allot of our daily lives needs good posture too! Our photos showcase how we should stand and sit but sleeping is important too for good posture.
- Goals of good posture while sleeping/lying down:
- Maintain the curve in your back - use a pillow under your lower back or under your knees.
- Keep your knees slight bend.
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach as this positions strains your cervical discs.
- Be sure to keep and maintain a firm surface (place a board under a saggy bed for example or place the saggy mattress directly on the floor).
- Some neck patients such as myself find the orthopedic neck pillow helpful. You must be the judge. If an orthopedic pillow is under consideration, first try rolling a towel and placing under your neck at night.
- When leaving the lying position, avoid bending forward at the waist - placing undue strain on your back.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If any suggested movements cause an increase of pain or spreadingof pain to the legs, stop the activity immediately and seek the adviceof a physician or physical therapist.
Proper Posture Muscle Tips
- Keeping your knees lower than your waist in general engages your abdominal muscles rather than your back muscles.
- Stretching your hamstrings helps the back muscles and will help your posture.
- Stretching your lower back muscles will also help your posture.
- Poor muscle tone will result in poor posture over time.
- Core muscles are essential to good posture. Balance exercises are key to building and maintaining a strong core.
- Good posture combined with tone muscles will prevent trips and falls allowing us as we age to maintain our independence and avoid rehabilitating surgeries.
3 Simple Steps How to Correct Your Posture
#1 Read and Learn
Read and Learn - look at the photos, look in the mirror - know the proper posture. Analyze others. Learn about different techniques to help you with your posture including but not limited to the Alexander Technique.
#2 Learn Simple Exercises
Learn some simple exercises to allow your body to have the muscles to sustain proper posture. See the videos provided below specifically designed to help develop the needed muscles for proper posture.
#3 Practice, Practice, Practice
Sleep, sit and stand with proper posture - Practice, Practice and Practice!
Forward Head - Improper Posture Poster
Carrie's Rule of 90
Various Techniques to Help Posture
The science of posture is extensive and there are a number of techniques developed to help relieve muscle strain and improve posture. Including:
Craniosacral Therapy and Posture
Alexander Technique and Posture
Physical Therapy and Posture
Osteopathy and Posture
Tai Chi and Posture
Yoga and Posture
Included below are a short statements from experts in each field and their explanation of how posture is interrelated with their area of expertise.
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CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY AND POSTURE
"According to CranioSacral philosophy postural alignment is dependent on a free and open connective tissue system throughout the body. Connective tissue surrounds and supports all of the structures of our body and when it is restricted can cause tugging and pulling on these structures which can result in postural malalignment."
Nancy Platt is a Reigstered Massage Therapist, specializing in CrainioSacral therapy in Toronto, Canada.
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ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE AND POSTURE
The Alexander Technique is taught using both verbal instructions and the physical guidance of the teacher's hands. It is most often taught in private lessons, although some teachers also work with groups of students. There is no manipulation and no need to remove your clothing. The teacher will help you discover new ways of sitting, standing, breathing and moving that put less pressure on your body and allow you to perform all your daily activities with greater ease and efficiency. Many students experience a general sensation of lightness throughout their bodies and describe the sensation as "walking on air" or moving with no effort." source: Richard Brennan
"The posture and movements of small children are a joy to watch. But as we start to grow older and tense ourselves in reaction to life's worries and concerns, our posture deteriorates, often quite seriously. Our shoulders may become hunched, our necks stiff, and we sit either slumped or holding ourselves in a rigid upright position.
We have a series of reflexes throughout the body that support us against the force of gravity and naturally co-ordinates our movements. Inappropriate muscular tension creates an interference with these reflexes and the result is that many of us move in ways that are awkward and inefficient. This can give rise to a wide range of common ailments such as arthritis, neck and back pain, migraine and sciatica.
Many of our postural problems can be traced to over-tensed neck muscles that interfere with the free movement of the head in relationship to the spine. If this freedom is not present it will be impossible to obtain any lasting ease elsewhere in the body. This freedom of movement requires that the head balance lightly on the top of the spine. This in turn allows all the other mechanisms and reflexes throughout our body to work as nature intended - our spine becomes longer, our neck becomes freer and all our joints and muscles function with a minimum of excess tension.:
PHYSICAL THERAPY AND POSTURE
"In the practice of physical therapy posture is a concept frequently used in examining people and determining if treatment, particularly for back and neck problems, has made any changes in a person. Posture is defined as "the position or bearing of the body" (Webster’s Medical Dictionary ) and refers to the overall alignment of the various body parts to each other when the person is standing in a relaxed stance." source: John Macy
TAI CHI AND POSTURE
"In Tai Chi Chuan, posture is related to mechanical efficiency.
Tai Chi Chuan is a slow-moving choreography that asks its practitioners to sense each minute shift of weight while paying attention to the principles. The first principle “Lift the head” suggests we delicately lift the head as if we were supporting a light object on top of it."
"Better posture thus translates into better balance and flexible and greater strength."
"There are two ways to enhance the benefits of Tai Chi as a postural exercise. The first is doing the Tai Chi form practice lower and slower. Slow and low transitions are more difficult to do smoothly because the load on the single weighted leg increases. The task then becomes one of smoothly transitioning between postures without bobbing up and down. This requires the practitioner to organize his or her posture between movements more carefully."
The second is “Standing in Posture”. This means holding one posture for a period of time instead of moving from posture to posture. "Standing in a Posture" puts more weight on one leg than the other. Tiring in that posture, the leg you are standing on starts to talk back. It hurts. It is under tremendous load. The proper response is to find any holding or bracing and let go, releasing those muscles. As the muscles are releasing, the spine is lengthening. Learning to release under load is an important prerequisite to doing “push hands” which cultivates the martial arts aspect of Tai Chi Chuan.
Practicing lower and slower, and “Standing in Posture”, are advanced exercises that should only be done under the guidance of a qualified teacher. Practicing any kind of Tai Chi Chuan helps posture, and practicing according to these guidelines increases the benefits considerably. Tai Chi Chuan not only improves posture and balance while doing the Tai Chi form, but in everyday activi source: by Bill Walsh The World of Tai Chi
YOGA AND POSTURE
"Yoga views a person’s posture as a physical manifestation of one's inner state."
"Conscious static stretching, (the various original postures of classical yoga, about 20 in number) is the first step. This is how you begin to penetrate and disintegrate the old status quo, that is, the chronic patterns of neuromuscular tension which have been sustaining less than optimal posture. Important to note: yoga poses should always be adapted to the specific individual doing them; in classical yoga, stretching is always done gently, in a natural manner biomechanically, and with a feeling of relaxation. If it hurts or makes you sore afterwards, or if it feels wrong, it means something is wrong. "Not strong, not complicated" is the adage in classical yoga."
"To increase your benefit it's important to understand that the stretch is just the beginning of a process which needs to be completed. The stretch creates a magic moment: by releasing tension, the stretch makes the neuromuscular system receptive to positive change. You want to take full advantage of this. Right after your major stretches i.e. several times each class, you simply recline on your back and, with eyes closed, you completely "let go". You drop off into a sort of "half-sleep, half-awake" state where the relaxation feels so good you just don't want to move. It's known as "deep alpha" in biofeedback, referring to slowed brain-wave activity occurring during deep meditative states. This is the secret. Yoga stretching combined with such deep relaxation enables a natural re-organization of the tension holding patterns within the neuromuscular system, one benefit being better posture. This is the key which awakens yoga's legendary benefit to the fullest." source: Neil Bixby
OSTEOPATHY AND POSTURE
"Osteopathic treatment concentrates on the relationship between the structure of the body - the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue - and the way in which the body moves and functions. The literal meaning of the word osteopathy is 'bone disease' - a rather unfortunate term that does nothing to evoke the great benefits of this safe, natural system of diagnosis and treatment. To an osteopath, the body functions as a complete, working system, so any problems affecting its structure, upset the balance of our general health. For this reason, an osteopath will not simply want to ease the pain and stiffness in your neck, but also want to know what is causing that pain, which could be anything from physical injury to mental anxiety.
The therapy was devised in the 19th century by an American doctor, Andrew Taylor Still. He became disillusioned with medicine when three of his children died of viral meningitis. Still sought an alternative in the philosophy of Hippocrates, who claimed that the 'cure of disease lies within the body'. An interest in osteopathy developed through his belief that tension in muscles and misaligned bones places unnecessary strain on the body. This strain can be caused by any number of things, such as physical injury, bad posture, or by emotions such as anger and fear.""Osteopathy is not just about bones - easing muscular tension also plays a considerable part. This belief that a relaxed muscle will feel comfortable, is based on the physiological fact that muscles use up energy when they contract, wastes energy and makes muscles less elastic, and therefore more prone to becoming damaged. Tense muscles slow down the circulation and lymphatic systems, so that your body's growth and elimination processes are restricted. They inhibit heart function and can worsen the effects of common respiratory conditions, such as asthma." Muscular and joint pain, backache, sciatica, headaches, sports injuries, arthritis and rheumatism can all benefit from osteopathy. It can ease the discomfort of pregnancy and PMS and the gentle touch of pediatric and cranial osteopathy can benefit children, from easing colic to calming hyperactivity. (This description was excerpted from "Osteopathic Medicine") source: Osteopathic Internet Resources
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THE FELDENKRAIS METHOD AND POSTURE
"Most people think of posture in terms of alignment -- proper posture means sitting or standing up straight, with your chest out and your shoulders back. That's what we were taught as kids, after all. And we were taught to achieve this posture through effort. Proper posture, defined this way, is difficult to maintain. Some people manage to do it with tension and effort; others just give up and resign themselves to a life of "bad posture."
"Muscles are not meant to support weight directly, but to align the skeleton to support the body in gravity and to generate the forces necessary for movement and interaction with the surrounding environment. A good natural balance produces a skeletal alignment (posture) that may seem similar to that prescribed by proper posture as described above, but that is maintained in a very different way. Proper posture is produced by continuous effort, natural balance can be relaxed and effortless."
"Three interlocking factors contribute to postural problems -- poor balance, unnecessary effort, and lack of self-awareness. This lack of self-awareness is widespread in contemporary society. Few people are aware of how poor their balance is or how much unnecessary tension they carry. Habitual tensions in the ribcage and neck pull the head and torso forward, worsening balance. Poor balance adds tension, as muscles contract to support off-center weight. Excessive tension serves to reduce awareness, closing the cycle of mutually reinforcing feedback among the three."
"As you learn to move with greater awareness and fluidity, your body will naturally align and balance itself in gravity. Good posture emerges as a by-product of fluid aware movement, rather than something to be achieved through effortful striving."
© 2000 by Ralph Strauch. This article may be reproduced and distributed freely so long as my contact information and copyright notice remain intact. The terms Feldenkrais Method, Awareness Through Movement, and Functional Integration are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild. source: Ralph Strauch The Feldenkrais Guild of North America
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CHIROPRACTIC AND POSTURE
"Posture is the window to the spine and poor posture can indicate there is a problem with a person’s spine and nervous system.
One of the first indicators of poor posture is a slouching or forward head posture. This posture closes down on lymphatic drainage in the neck and will cause more strain on the posterior neck muscles. It also increases the weight bearing on the discs and can lead to premature arthritis of the neck. There are many causes of this type of posture including car accidents, sports injuries, working with computers and loss of bone density.
Most people involved in automobile accidents in which the head in whipped back and forth will suffer loss of the normal spinal curvature in the neck. When this occurs, the weight of the head, approximately 12 pounds or so, is displaced and places pressure on the discs, muscles and nerves of the cervical spine. This leads to muscle strain in order to balance the weight of the head and uneven wearing of the discs and joints of the cervical spine."
"Chiropractors are experts at analyzing posture and spinal problems. They are trained in the art of detection. A doctor of chiropractic searches for the problems that exist underneath poor posture. Analyzing spinal curvatures and alignment, the doctor searches for the problems that contribute to the postural pattern he or she observes."
Dr. Dennis O'Hara graduated from the National College of Chiropractic in 1992, and runs a family Chiropractic office in Bellport, New York. link is broken by Dr. Dennis O'Hara Your Posture and your Health
SOMATICS AND POSTURE
"Posture, feeling and movement are all interconnected. Good posture is the most effortless, natural state, but involuntary muscular tension drags us down from our natural, upright grace. Then, we become concerned with posture and suffer the aches, pains, and stiffness of those muscular tensions, which we mistakenly attribute to aging.
Somatics frees us of involuntary muscular tension by improving bodily awareness, quality of movement, and natural muscular control. You learn what you feel like when you are using different muscles and how to eliminate residual tensions from injuries, overuse, and daily stress. You relax. You gain lightness and grace.""Now, you have something you can do for yourself to eliminate the pains, stiffness, and tension that come from injuries and daily stress."
Lawrence Gold is a certified Somatic Educator. source: by Dr. Dennis O'Hara somatic.com
ROLFING AND POSTURE"We Rolfers see structure as a series of interconnected and inter-related bony segments. Our bodies are designed to provide internal support for all these segments. Large sections provide support for sections that are above them as well as rest upon sections that are below them. An example of this is the relationship between the pelvis and the legs: Some people have developed a habit of storing tremendous amounts of tension through their hips, buttocks, and legs. This prevents their hip girdle from easily resting upon their leg bones in a way that provides maximum energy, range of motion, stability and stamina."
"Rolfers and teachers of Rolf Movement Integration address these disruptions in structural balance in the bodies of our students and clients. We teach through hands-on manipulation and provide cues and prompts that help people regain structural integrity. We are interested in the ways our feet contact the ground as well as the ways our heads float effortlessly on top. Through the use of metaphor, we teach elongation without effort."
"Dr. Ida Rolf, who founded this system, often clarified the difference between posture and balance. The Latin word, ponere, has the same root as posture and means "to put” or “to place”. As a result of interpreting posture in such a manner, people often acquire the habit of holding a static, “correct” position. Through Rolfing, however, we continuously seek out a dynamic, creative balance in our bodies that is quite different than putting or placing body parts in one place and then keeping them in that place. Posture, as is taught through Rolfing, is a creative, fluid process. We move with correct posture, we do not hold. We learn the inherent balance of a properly aligned structure and let gravity do the work of providing support."
Rosie Spiegel has been an Advanced Certified Rolfer, a certified instructor in Rolf Movement Integration, and has taught yoga, bodywork, and movement since 1973. She is the author of Bodies, Health, and Consciousness, Lessons in Embodiment, and Yoga in Motion. source: The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration
Poor posture is a common visual indicator of lack of muscle tone.
Likewise, a hunch is a visual remainder of inefficient use of the body's muscles.
SUMMARY Awareness & Exercise is the Key
Proper posture and avoiding the Einstein Hunch™ is a function of awareness and exercise. Exercise will change your muscles.
Muscles are an important component for proper posture.
View the instructional videos provided to help you develop proper posture.
Knowledge is power!
Live long and prosper and be HEALTHY!
Weight of the Human Head
- Weight of the Human Head - Visuals To Help You Prevent Back Pain
Poor posture is best understood by the weight of the human head. Our posture determines where we carry our weight. Learn what part of the body does not float in water, learn the weight of the human head and see the different weights of the head given
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