Posture While Sitting at the Office

Better posture means sitting at the office properly on an aligned pelvis.  Before discussing how to improve sitting at the office, let’s first begin by talking about what we are sitting on. Your pelvis consists of several bones. You have your two large hip bones, or your ilium bones.  The lower part of the iliums are your ischiums which are your sitting bones. The sacrum is an important bone, considered by past cultures as a “sacred” bone, hence the name.  It is found where the base of your spine or vertebra meet the pelvis. Let’s not forget the coccyx, the tailbone. This is the affected anatomy of the pelvis, at least the bones anyway. Now let’s talk how we are putting our pelvis to use while we are sitting at the office (or school, or home). Perhaps a modified stooping position would be a better way to sit at the office. There is a difference between sitting and stooping.  One is more likely lead to a better posture and possibly make you feel better, even as you are sitting at the office.

When we sit at the office we mimic what has been done for centuries. In some parts of the world, stooping rather than sitting is the normal way to rest for short periods of time. Quite often, because they stoop, the people of these countries maintain a desirable posture.  I suggest that we all consider a modified stooping position rather than a typical sitting position. I won’t suggest that you go to your office and throw out your chair and stoop before your computer to begin the day (come to think of it, maybe that’s an idea). Let’s learn more about properly sitting at the office.

Allow me to suggest the following way to stoop rather than sit, both at the office and at home.  You will find as you assume a stooping position that your back, legs, pelvis, their ligaments, joints, and backbones are stretched nearly to their apex.  That’s to say they are stretched very well. This stretching is a good way to acquire a nice posture. You can assume this posture while sitting at the office and I’ll discuss just how.

1. When sitting at the office correctly, choose a chair built low to the ground but with a high back to rest your spine. (Unfortunately high backed chairs are hard to find).  Choose one where the seat will be approximately 18 inches from the ground. It is desired that your knees are above your hips.  This position of the knees helps to acquire a good posture while sitting at the office.

2. If your chair seat is higher than two feet from the floor, use a footstool. Again, while sitting at the office, the object is to position your knees to be slightly above your hips.  This lengthens the thigh muscles and reduces fat buildup on the buttocks. Lengthening the leg muscles helps to gain a pleasing posture.

3. Adopt a sitting posture at the office that helps you look, feel, and perform better. Lean a little forward and raise your chin just a little.  A lowered, modified stooping position allows for a better sitting posture to take place, and your eyes are more level to the computer screen (great for a balanced head position). A modified stooped seating position encourages your head and neck to be positioned more aligned with the spine (and helps to remove a double chin and a “too forward” head position). Who knew that sitting at the office properly would have so many advantages.

To gain poise while sitting at the office it is best that your head pivots and balances upon the uppermost disk of your spine. Balance and turn your head at the C1 disk, and not the C7 disk found at the top of the shoulders.

While sitting at a modified stooping position, one’s chest rises during this sitting adaptation. What this position is doing is straightening the back, raising the shoulders, and enabling you to sit in a more balanced upper body posture.  We are removing the excessive curve from our lower back and relieving the pressure on our sacrum and pelvis. We are adjusting a tilted pelvis so that it is more perpendicular to the ground.  We are thus correctly sitting on our ischiums, our sitting bones.

Any time we can lighten our load we do it, especially at the sacrum, this sensitive location of our body.  A note of important information is that the small of the back is the nerve center of our body.  Impulses are sent to and from our extremities, small of the back, and brain at super quick speeds.  We want no impedance at this “junction box”, the small of the back. Let’s continue to learn how to improve our posture by sitting well at the office.

4. Once seated in this more stooped position, take a moment to enjoy the adjustment to your body and posture. Notice the feel of the upward push of your upper body from your properly positioned pelvis. Note that your sacrum bone is centered, and is now a proper, strong base for your spine. Also your entire, more aligned spine pushes your head higher.  Yes it is possible to sit at the office and improve your posture.

Overall you’ve acquired a better posture and are enjoying a more better seating position while sitting at the office.  Let’s talk about the physiology of our body when sitting. This will help you understand what happens as we improve our posture and you change for the better. When lengthening the spine and balancing the head atop a free and more aligned, vertical neck, the shoulders are pulled up by the muscles attached to the clavicles, scapula and sternum. These muscles are attached to your skull and are doing the job of suspending the shoulders at a higher position.  A parallel would be like the ropes from the mast of a sailing ship that hold up the yardarms (your shoulders). These ropes raise the sails so they can capture the wind.  We’re getting a little off topic but this is great to know. Free your neck muscles and neck bones. Align your cervical bones (neck bones) with your entire spine. Again, insure the head is positioned and balanced above the shoulders so that it, and you, have grace and poise. Loosen you jaw. Remember to turn your head at the C1 vertebra of your spine. Breath easily as your more open chest cavity accepts more air like the sails of a sailing vessel. Doing this while sitting at the office will bring about good posture and will likely improve life at the office.

5. Perhaps while sitting at the office, and at home, you use a “physio ball to gain good posture.”  This air filled exercise ball comes in various sizes and they are not expensive.  When you sit on one, you are generally positioned so that your bottom is lower than your knees.  Be prepared for a workout when using this ball. Talk about a passive exercise. Not! If you have any twist or turn in your pelvis, the ball will duly note this.  If your iliums are rotated this could mean you have an upslip or downslip where the sacrum meet the iliums. The sacrum could be rotated as well. This puts a stress on the iliums and the spine and overall. The muscles of your back, butt, and legs will have to adjust properly so that the pain you may feel from your muscle imbalance can be alleviated.  Using the physio ball you’ll be engaging muscles that you should have been using all along for a good posture. There is some pain when replacing the muscles you were using improperly, while you had poor posture. Your old way of using the wrong muscles won’t be at all happy when you adjust your way of sitting at the office. Your proper muscles that you are using to sit are now literally fighting against the improper muscles that you’ve used previously. In other words, you are inhibiting your old habits and old habits die hard.

Did I say this was going to be easy?  However, within months or a year or so it will become easier. Your pelvis will become more aligned and sitting at the office will be more enjoyable, at least much less painful. After practicing these better sitting techniques, you will know how to move and adjust your body to attain the posture you desire. 

Lengthening and stretching your body is key, and you can make these stretches, subtly while sitting at the office. Soon your adjusted body won’t permit you to slouch and cause your muscles to do the wrong thing.  Your muscles will react like those muscles of people with grace and poise.  Your muscles, like theirs, will want to be used efficiently.  Later your muscles, when used improperly, will tell you when you are holding your body asymmetrical or moving improperly and unbalanced. Sitting at the office will be much more enjoyable. Of course work may not change, but I am not going to go there.

Now or soon enough, enduring the painful joints and muscles of a poor posture will occur less often. Your muscles that grow accustomed to holding up a more aligned spine and body will tell you when you are not holding your posture in an upright position.  It will be painful when you assume a bad posture, when you are too quick and unsteady in your movements.  Instead you’ll take the time to move more gracefully. You’ll use your body efficiently to take you from one place to another. You’ll like what you see in your newly acquired posture, and others will too. This is an experience that I assure you will be a great time in your life.  Doors will open and birds will take to the skies all from learning to sit properly at the office.

Properly sitting at the office will bring a better posture to your body. It is desirable in many ways to sit in a modified stooping position.  You’ll like the changes you feel!

The Pectoralis Muscles and Good Posture

The pair of pectoralis muscles are attached at the tip of your shoulders and connect to the clavicles and upper ribs. They are diagonal in appearance and for a person with good posture they provide a base for a robust upper chest. Would you like to have a better appearance of these muscles? Continue reading to find out how, simply through stretching and lengthening your body, you can refine your pectoralis muscles so that your chest and shoulders become robust. Other positives are that your breathing will improve and you’ll gain more self respect. You’ll also gain respect from others, particularly from those of the opposite sex. This enhancement is a key to your life changing for the better.

As you may know, for the person with bad posture, the bulge, or “definition” of the pectoralis muscles cannot be readily seen. This is because poor posture makes our chests concave and the pectoralis are hidden, shrouded over by the clavicles and slackened skin. We can change this appearance. First, let’s find out exactly what it is that we must improve.

Poor posture causes many problems in the region of the pectoralis muscles. One, because you cannot see the pectoralis’ “definition,” one’s appearance in this area of the chest is shallow. A second problem is that the pectoralis muscles are not doing their job. These muscles would naturally perform two functions. First, they help to hold up the chest when the back is lengthened and aligned. Secondly, once in their upright position, they actually become prominent and are visible in the following way. They provide padding for the surrounding ligaments, fat, and skin. This layering or padding is attractive as it shows an upright, bold, upper chest and shoulders. Also this extra layer positioned higher, near the voice box makes the voice resonate. This is good for singers as well as giving a person a good sounding voice when talking.

OK, let’s get to the good part. How do we acquire appropriate pectoralis muscles so we can feel and look great? As always, we must have a lengthened spine, aligned neck, and a balanced head atop the squared shoulders. I discuss this often in my other documents and videos. Once the upper body is aligned, the neck muscles pull up the shoulders,clavicles, sternum, and upper ribs. The sternocleidomastoid muscles or the long, thin, pair of front neck muscles are especially important in this lifting process. Only after this more lengthened and aligned posture is attained, can one begin to stretch the pectoralis muscles so they help you breathe, to hold up your chest, and to help your appearance. Please remember, this is a process. Even though these are passive exercises, there are steps to acquiring good posture, and they are best taken in as “steps.” May I suggest that you read my earlier posts, or download my e-books. You will more easily accomplish this refinement of enhancing the pectoralis muscles and changing for the better.

Once the spine, neck, and head are aligned, with the chest pulled up by the neck muscles, one can widen the shoulders. This is good for several reasons. It looks good. Obviously wider shoulders are attractive. Both females and males look better with squared shoulders. Secondly the squared shoulders opens the chest cavity so the ribs may move forward. Thirdly, the pectoralis muscles are pulled in opposite directions and lift the chest furher. And last, the squared shoulders tighten the skin to allow the pectoralis to “present” themselves as a base, under laying the surrounding muscles, fat and skin. This appearance gives one a robust chest and nice “cut” to the shoulders. Breathing through the nose and inflating the lungs is easier as the clavicles, shoulders, head and neck are lifted up from the top of the chest. The pressure is “off” of the chest.

It’s a different world where your appearance improves and your mind is free of those old dreary, “work a day” thoughts. You can think of your nice image and how it opens doors for you. More pronounces pectoralis improves self confidence, and the people you meet are noticably respectful and more pleasant.

Yes, the pectoralis are like the cherry on top of a ice cream Sunday. The properly positioned pectoralis lift the clavicles. Actually the center of the clavicles, the sternum, and the chest are lifted. The clavicles, when positioned near or at horizontal are seen by the opposite sex as a seductive or at least attractive. Robust comes to mind when this bone structure is presented and viewed. Self confidence comes to mind when the pectoralis are more prominete, particularly for the males. There are more cherries to pick when your pectoralis helps your chest bring in more air, bringing to you a better life. Ah, the good life.

Sensations of Good Posture

GERD – Diet – Good Posture

I notice there are quite a few views of my you tube video, “GERD is reduced simply by acquiring good posture and eating an apple before bed.” GERD of course is Gastroesophageal reflux disease. I won’t go deep into its symptoms or what it means. I’ll only say that it is usually a constant upset stomach and it can be very uncomfortable.

There are many “so called” cures for Gastroesophageal reflux disease and I’ve tried quite a number of them. The only one that I found to be effective is gaining good posture and eating an apple before bed. I discovered this after years of trying other methods.

One method that I thought had good possibilities to alleviate GERD was apple cider vinegar in pill form. I felt there was some success with it. however, it was not as effective as I wanted to stop GERD.

While trying other remedies to inhibit GERD, I remained on an Alexander Technique exercise program to lengthen my spine,(which will raise the shoulders), free the neck, and balance my head a top my shoulders. Doing this I acquired good posture and it gave me more room in my torso area. It felt like my stomach and intestines now functioned much better to prevent GERD. My theory was that making more room equals better flow of food. It felt like the connection between my esophagus and my stomach is smoother so that GERD would not find a place to reside within in me.

Good posture, achieved by lengthening my spine and adjusting my body through stretching, removes any excessive physical effort of the organs to digest food. This helps to stop GERD. The lifting up of my chest and the positioning of my pelvis in the opposite direction, further away from my chest and stomach region, opens the ducts and tubes of my digestive system so food can flow easily. The point is I have less indigestion and very little GERD.

In the recent past it has been discovered that through the frequent use of antibiotics, our beneficial bacteria has been eliminated. This good bacteria is necessary to properly digest food. Without it food is not digested well so GERD easily finds a home in your body. There is a bacterial formulation available in some natural food stores which is said to restore one’s good bacteria. I tried it and had little success with it. I don’t think I gave it a chance though. I could have used several bottles of these pills but didn’t.

Being a person who would like to cure my ills naturally, without pills, I read on the internet about eating an apple prior to bed that helps stop GERD. As I said before, I tried apple cider vinegar tablets and really wanted them to work, but they didn’t for me. However, the theory of apple cider vinegar doing good things while in my stomach and intestines was logical to my way of thinking. I’ve read that the consuming a tablespoon of vinegar can help an upset stomach needs to become more regulated, thus preventing GERD. This, rather than taking the chalky antacid tablets. I never liked the chewable antacid tablets anyway.

Eating an apple to stop GERD is natural. We’ve all heard that “eating and apple a day keeps the doctor away.” I like apples. In my mind the process of having an apple clean my teeth as I ate it, even before slumber, was great. Caring not whether I bushed my teeth before or after eating this fruit was a plus. Eating apples are good for your teeth too.

My thinking continued. As the apple flowed down the esophagus, it was perfectly natural and benefits the esophagus, more so than pills. At this point of digestion, the apple is much like apple sauce. Seems to me that this is very soothing to the esophagus. When the apple goes to the stomach is where I feel its real beneficial effect to alleviate GERD. Here the apple is transformed in to a liquid, like a cider. This is what I envision.

This “cider” mixed with the acid of the stomach and became acidic as well. Sort of like vinegar. Well, well. I just consumed a very natural apple cider vinegar to prevent GERD. As the apple moves through the intestines it is absorbed in my body to give me energy. Pills do not do this, not nearly as effectively as food. It takes real food to give a person natural energy and healthy cells. By the way, I eat sensibly these days, so a good diet is recommended.

I can say for me that this treatment to stop GERD has worked for years. The effect is felt almost immediately. Happily, when waking up, preparing for work and performing daily activities, I find I have very little indigestion or GERD.

There are now doctors who advocate this simple and natural way to rid one of GERD. Google: Natural Reflux Remedy.

The Sensation of Good Posture

The sensation of good posture is very pleasurable. Those with good posture are using the appropriate muscles for movement and stability. These people feel free and easy, at least in their physical movements, and very likely in how they feel about themselves. They walk gracefully and look as though they know that they have that certain “something.” They easily engage with others having the same easy sensation. People within this group of posture perfect individuals are exchanging glances, rewarding smiles, and pleasant discussions. These are empowering social exchanges that lift their spirits for their whole day, the whole week, and throughout their lives.

People with good posture showcase how they feel. They have a sense of communication above what is understood by those without good posture. They use their body language to send messages to each other. These messages are actually what may be referred to as “vibes.” These vibes or positive feelings transfer almost instantaneously to their electrical/chemical impulses. In fact these feelings are their impulses.

There is no need to be left out of this group of people. We all have electrical/chemical impulses that initiate our emotions and our physical muscle movements as a “reaction.” (These impulses are also self triggered, however in this discussion let’s review those impulses triggered by others who react toward us.) This meeting on the street for example, actually is an exchange of positive electrical/chemical reactions. If you have the right stuff then you are appreciated when you are viewed. When you receive positive communication, say a pleasant “hello,” or a kind look, electrical/chemical reactions are felt within you and they are soothing and enjoyable. We’ll get to just how you can naturally be part of this selective group of people. Let’s discuss more of what this body language is and the associated sensations.

Most of the time our own emotional sensations originate within our soul, our personality. When we improve ourselves physically, then emotionally, we’ll have the personality and upright way in our movements to display a sense of peace and kindness toward others. Our own body in turn feels a certain satisfaction derived from their kind response. We can then easily exhibit an even more uplifting body and facial appearance. That’s just how it works.

It can work for us or against us. When people see our way of moving or our appearance, are they inspired? Do they like what they see? Do they feel comfortable so they can exchange pleasantries? These are important questions. Let’s delve into this.

Think of communication as a two way street or better, a cloverleaf on ramp to the “smooth highway” of socializing. There are many subtleties that one experiences as we communicate with others. To be rewarded with these pleasant sensations one must appear able to accept them. This is the two way street. Even a neutral but poised appearance on your part will bring about pleasant comments from others. The key for all this to happen often is to have the pleasing body posture and face that causes others to compliment you or at least notice you appreciably. This is the “smooth highway” mentioned earlier. The unspoken language of your body brings about a cause and effect when meeting others. Let’s make it a positive and smooth cause and effect. Let’s find out how we can do it.

How can you stimulate others to give you rewarding compliments? You can, of course, communicate with them verbally. This is important and useful. However if you have a posture that appears defeated or uninspired when talking, you may have an uphill battle to win the confidence and friendship of others.

What I wish to discuss with you in particular is the unspoken body language of good posture. A good posture is key when socializing. (a posture of grace and poise, not one of ramrod military bearing.) It is key when you make a first impression. It is key when you are viewed from afar. It is useful when you socialize because you are telling someone that you are comfortable, kind to yourself, kind to others. You are telling others that you can be trusted, you are easy to get along with and have what it takes to be associated with anyone. With good posture, you can begin to trust yourself so that you are able to choose good friends. You become more selective. Now you find that it is difficult to be friends with those who do not have similar good tastes as you. Your time and efforts won’t be wasted on those who have tastes and traits that you find undesirable.

These are the many emotional and mental facets of socializing when you have good posture. I have yet to discuss physically how good it feels just to stand walk or sit properly or how our unburdened muscles “appreciate us” when we walk correctly. Our body’s ease of movement rewards us. Our face becomes more relaxed and more prone to smiling. Our muscles become more streamlined, lengthened, and form a smooth base for the skin to layer upon. Our bones, comprised of 25% water, actually lengthen themselves to a small degree, as our lengthening muscles encourages them to do so. Our whole skeleton lengthens as we think “upwardly.” Thus our skeletal framework is “open” to accept the continued growth of our muscles and our soft tissue, no matter what age or what physical state we may be in presently. We can change for the better.

Almost all of us have bodies that at birth, arrived with all the bones, nervous system, muscles, etc, to develop into a fine, normal human being. We have a body with all the implements to move about gracefully. We have miss used ourselves, or someone perhaps misguided us up to now, teaching us how to have bad posture. We now perhaps hurry to grab or do something, too quickly we walk with little coordination. This is called “end-gaining” and we focus too much upon reaching the end point of an objective. It is unfortunate that we do not permit ourselves to enjoy the “means-whereby” to get to a certain goal. Realizing this, it is entirely possible to change for the better by switching our focus from end-gaining to concentrating on the means-whereby. To begin a physical change simply lengthen the body. Doing this will help you mentally change for the better.

Lengthen your spine, free your neck and balance you head atop your shoulders will vastly improve your posture and appearance. In fact you owe it to yourself to better your appearance and posture. You must find a personal path to enjoy yourself and others by acquiring a better posture. You must find a way to move about with grace and poise, and to enjoy the sensations of ease of movement. The sensations and impulses you feel are what F.M Alexender says is our “inherent supremacy.” When achieving such a graceful way of moving, one’s body tells oneself that, “I am feeling more confident and I have a greater poise. I have more self control over circumstances in my life. I feel a certain type of supremacy.”

Sensations are something that you must feel personally. You must reclaim these personal feelings from those that you gave to others, even when you give them away to appropriate teachers. How can you allow another person to describe the sensations you’ll feel? For example, what happens if you are asked by a teacher of the Alexander Technique to “turn you head at the very top of the spine, the C1 vertebra, and not with the neck at the C7 vertebra.” Can the teacher describe the subtle sensations you feel? Somewhat but not fully. With due respect to the AT teachers, and I have much respect for those in this field, they may describe the feelings you achieve such as having a lighter walk or being more perceptive. In truth, sensations are difficult to describe. There would be too many words required, to many subjective thoughts to verbalize, so descriptions would be inadequate to state how you really feel. Sensations are difficult to describe. This sensation of lengthening the spine and balancing the head atop the spine must be felt by the person who is doing the changing for the better. You must allow yourself to personally enjoy these powerful uplifting feelings. Acquiring and enjoying such grace, poise and personal power is a yours alone to feel.

One must personally make the effort to change and enjoy these changes as you gain a better posture. One must personally feel the pleasant sensations of a graceful walk or stance. The best way of being “described” the sensation you may feel is not by a person of authority i.e. a teacher or an instructor. No, the best description, or feedback, of how you feel when improving your posture is when you are complimented. This can happen anywhere, anytime, which makes it all the more refreshing. It could be in a social setting, formal or informal, on the street, or in the office. This type of communication cuts through the technical jargon. Your senses note a real achievement of posture improvement when there is a pleasant interaction by your peers, acquaintances or someone new.

Above all, the very best person to describe, or sense, how you feel when you make a change for the better is you. You know when you have a lightened way of movement. You know what posture adjustment you made to become more graceful. You know what poise you’ve learned, and now exhibit, to make yourself more attractive and robust. Trust yourself. Once gaining a good posture and a certain poise, you are then prepared to like or love yourself more. You are prepared to accept complements. How one feels about themselves when offered kind comments is something to be felt or sensed, not something described to us.

So do all that you can to allow yourself to enjoy these moments when compliments are given to you. Whether these compliments are subtle glances your your way, or the opposite sex moving into your personal space, a touch or a soft spoken word, they come in may forms. As simple as being asked over for dinner, or offered a drink of water can be considered a compliment. Doing all that you can to do to accept compliments includes improving posture, gaining grace and poise. When you improve your posture, compliments come in greater numbers. As your posture improves, so does your self assurance, and so does your life.

Remember to passively exercise. By that I mean lengthen the spine, free the neck and align it with the more vertical spine. Balance the head a top the neck and above the lifted shoulders. Allow the sternocleidomastoid muscles (the front pair of neck muscles) to pull up the clavicles and sternum so the shoulders and chest rise. Loosen the jaw and breathe through the nose. Do this subtly. Do it for a better you. You will be appreciably regarded.

Better Posture by Widening Shoulders and Your Back

To widen the back is one of F.M. Alexander’s key methods to achieve better posture.
Although his technique does enhance our body and mind beyond positively affecting posture, I like the technique for how it results in better posture. Lengthening the spine, freeing the neck, and balancing the head a top the shoulders is my credo and it has proven beneficial. I now have better posture and feel physically more normal than I ever have in my life. I have a certain grace and poise as I move about. I interact with others without feeling inhibited or self conscious. What a wonderful technique. My body is becoming more accustomed to my changes. I am loosening up now since my spine is more lengthened, as that is what I have been focusing on for the last decade. It seems that I come to a pleasing plateau at certain times of applying the technique. I perform the AT on various parts of my body at various times as the necessary body adjustments reveal themselves. I initially had to lengthen my body, not only just to breath more easily, but to permit my core, or chest and stomach area to more readily accept the changes to my shoulders when I widen my back. This had to take place later for me as it was a big enough job just to lengthen my spine and core area. It took several months and even years for this adjustment to become more natural. I realized later that my chest was not as high as I desired. My pectoralis are needed to fill in, with more fat, muscle, and ligament, but mainly fat. For this fattening to take place my shoulders had to widen.

I decided to raise my shoulders, lift them off of my chest because it has been suppressed enough. I found that my shoulder girdle, one of the most flexible parts of the body, is also one of the easiest to become misaligned. Over the years, it can become a mix of bones and muscles, all moved, relocated to ungainly positions. The scapulas can improperly fit over the upper ribcage. Before becoming aligned or readjusted by way of my body and spine lengthening, the upper chest provided a poor base for the overlaying scapulas and shoulder girdle. So it has been a two step process.

The scapulas in particular need to move away from my central back, to the edge of my shoulder girdle. This is a change from what I used my scapulas for in the previous years. Initially I allowed my scapulas to be lifted away from my ribcage using the neck muscles to pull up the scapulas and shoulder girdle. This permitted my ribcage to rise, allow for better breathing, and then to allow the whole body to lengthen and straighten. Now, this second step of my applying the Alexander technique, I want my shoulders to widen. So the scapulas must relax and release themselves outward. This can only be done if the whole shoulder girdle is lifted off of the ribcage first, as I have done, and then has become adjusted to having some space between it and the thorax, or ribcage. I know that we all want an overall change to happen on one easy adjustment but for some of us, the process has to be broken down into several stages. When the scapulas release themselves away from the spine, they must take with them the clavicles, the upper arms and the surrounding fat, the ligament and the muscles. The later two are the ones that want to stay where they are. They have liked where they are for years and don’t want to go to new positions, so you must stretch them as you release them outward. This brings about some pain and some popping, sort of like bursitus, but your are self inducing this so it is not bursitus. It is up to each of us how far we want to allow for this pain and adjustment, but as they say, no pain, no gain. Seriously, this stretching and subsequent pain is not forever. The stretched shoulder builds and becomes acclimated over time, and your released shoulder girdle adjusts to its more widen state. Better said, you become more adjusted to your widened shoulders.

In this final movement you must consider the point where your shoulder girdle attaches to your skeleton. That is at your sternum and particularly the upper part of the sternum, the manubrium. At the upper part of the manubrium are notches where the clavicles connect. The only place where your shoulder bones connect to other bones of the skeleton. This point of connection brings about a great meaning for we humans. Such a subtle, almost tenuous connection of where our shoulders meet our skeleton. but a connection that is similar to other mammals and birds. Consider for a moment that you are a bird. Your arms are your wings and the shoulders are where the bird gets its power to lift off and fly. In the same way your arms, being very mobile, are doing much work for you throughout the day. The shoulders and arms are connected by bone to the chest and the rest of the body at the manubrium and sternum. The pectoralis muscles do a lot to provide power for arm and shoulder movement. Even the whole upper body and perhaps our pelvis gives and receives a lot of energy when we move our arms, because if nothing else, our bodies shift to keep balance when our arms move. Maintaining the proper position of our head, our shoulders, our torso requires muscles movement. This balance and poise is exactly what we want to keep and we move our arms and shoulders, as we move our whole selves about in this wonderful world.

So releasing the shoulder girdle is surprisingly a major adjustment. We must become like a bird unfurling its wings and allow our arms to release so our shoulders can release. Our arms are like bird wings that must engage our sternum and whole chest. This engagement pulls our sternum and manubrium to a higher and more robust position. The chest has to be pulled outward, at its apex, simply to allow your shoulder girdle to widen, and visa versa. One result of this is that you are now opening your chest to receive more air. Further your pectoralis muscles and those associated ligaments and muscles are stretched outward, to your sides, and away from your sternum. Over time these muscles allow for the deltoid muscles of lengthen and then some fat to accumulate, so the shoulders become more full. A nice definition of the upper chest and shoulders are a result.

Let’s review the first step, using the Alexander Technique to lengthen the spine. Some may say that raised shoulders makes one appear nervous. I think the opposite. As long as the shoulders are not held up too high, up around the ears, I think they look nice held higher and squared. Think of Frank Sinatra, who had better posture than many singers of his time. Shoulders, when held higher, one’s appearance improves greatly. They are more level, and held within two inches of the chin, your posture looks great. Actually, with the lungs able to take in more air, one becomes less nervous and less stressful. This allowed my chest to rise as well. This shoulder position also removes the gangly appearance of my neck and head. The too forward position of both my head and neck were alleviated by the following. I achieve better posture by positioning my shoulders higher. I align my neck with my lengthened spine. I position head more rearward and balance my head on the top of my more vertical, lengthened spine. Breathe through the nose. Loosen and jut out the chin just a bit and you have a great posture. This sounds “busy” but once you practice this adjustment to your back, neck, and head, you’ll find that it is rather simple, and pleasing.

It is true that when one raises their shoulders, they actually narrow a bit. For me though, lung capacity increases. I instantly felt a weight off of my chest. And I was acquiring better posture naturally. However widening the back and the shoulders had to come later. That time has now come for me!

After a year or two of one’s shoulders having raised and become “set,” and also the chest having risen, then you can begin the process of widening the shoulders. This is a simple adjustment to attain a wider chest and better posture. I am letting my scapulas, or shoulder blades, the big triangular shoulder bones in upper back, slip outwardly, while still keeping my shoulders raised.  Actually with my chest having risen and being “set, it does its part holding up my shoulders.  The chest’s deltoid muscles, the muscles attaching the outer shoulders to my chest, also release outward to pull up the chest. The upper arm bone or the femer bone moves away from the collar bones, or clavicles.  Widening the shoulder not only looks good, but the relaxed position of my back, shoulders, head, and neck feel good. Better posture is normal for me now. Now you are prepared to widen the shoulders and back.

The shoulders consist of a few bones floating amid these muscles and ligaments. The only place where the shoulder is connected to a bone is where the clavicles connect to the sternum. This is why they can be “dislocated.” The shoulders are very movable and for our benefit, can be adjusted. They can be adjusted and repositioned. They can be put back or relocated by oneself, and over time, widened. My shoulders are as wide as they’ve ever been. They will continue to widen now that I am simply allowing them, primarily the scapulas, to fall away from my neck region. Also, with my more open upper body, my chest rises further, my breathing easier, as my shoulders widen. I like the new feel of having a wider, better posture. I am more relaxed and pleased with who I am. I have much better posture and a more normal appearance. My chest is positioned higher and stable. With it being placed higher, my chest feels like it is holding up my shoulders as it is would normally do. There are many benefits to widening the shoulders.

This change is part of a process both physically and over time. Just as an untrained person cannot pick up a guitar and play show tunes, one must retrain your body’s appearance for better posture after years of misusing your body. When you focus on your body’s movements and appearance, read about the Alexander Technique, perhaps visit a teacher of this method, you will have better posture and change your appearance for the better.

This bears repeating. The first steps for better posture and self improvement are to lengthen the spine, free the neck, and position one’s head above the shoulders. Once you’ve made this initial adjustment, your neck muscles will pull up the clavicles, sternum and upper ribs. Then your shoulders are lifted. This creates room for the chest to rise.

Your body needs to make some initial adjustments in some parts of the body in order to change other parts later on. After your body has stabilized from a few months or about a year of lengthening the spine, it will accommodate other regions of your body. In this case, after the “mast” of your spine holds steady, the neck muscles do the lifting of the shoulders and chest. Like ropes, the muscles are attached at the back and base of the vertically aligned and balanced skull. These muscles, that are also attached to the clavicles and the upper ribs, are ready to pull upward the shoulder girdle and upper ribs. This is a subtle adjustment and quite a relief from other ways to align and raise the shoulders and chest, thus improving one’s posture. The lengthened spine also straightens the curve at the lower back, so one’s pelvic tilt is removed. The pelvis bones are aligned more vertically, and one’s gait becomes smoother. This is a delightful way to move about as we enjoy this newly acquired way to live. It’s like we’re given a second chance, one that many of us need.

It is impossible to talk about one bone, one muscle, or even one region of the body when trying to achieve better posture. The whole body interacts with the particular bone, muscle or body region one wishes to focus on. The shoulders are widened after these initial adjustments of lengthening and stabilizing the spine. After you have spent a good deal of time lengthening the back and raising the shoulders, you will have “set” your shoulders to a higher position. Begin to widen the shoulders by allowing them to adjust and “slip” away from your neck region. Remember to keep the shoulders at a higher level. This is important.

A tip: When walking with your shoulders widened, allow for a little rocking or “sway” at the tip of the shoulder to take place with each step. (The same shoulder as your leading foot). Think Frank Sinatra, or Marilyn Monroe. You want this to happen because it is a coordination motion. It’s a natural movement, a sensation, especially when you’re feeling good. But please, don’t make it too pronounced. Done improperly and you may appear awkward. This is a tip for the people who’ve adjusted to, and feel very comfortable with, their better posture.

If you’ve read most of my articles and my books, you’ll know that changing for the better, to attain better posture, is a process. It can be a lengthy process. With determination on your part, you can achieve a better posture and a better life.

Slim the Hips Posture Trick – Stretch the Psoas Muscle

Slim the hips with this posture “trick.”

Stretching the Psoas muscles will help us become more graceful and have more poise and help you to slim the hips. Lengthen the whole body to slim the hips. Stretching the Psoas will help to slim the hips and help us look thinner. Lengthening the spine, align the neck and free the neck, balance the head atop the spine will help to slim the hips. Push the pelvis away from the lower back help the skin and muscles to rise up from the pelvis area and slim the hips. Stretch the psoas muscle will help us maintain good posture and slim the hips.



The Jaw and Good Posture

The jaw is connected with our posture.  TMJ is affected by our posture. The jaw muscles are connected to the muscles that make their way from the throat, chest and onto the pelvis. The pelvis affects posture and the alignment of our spine. How our head is positioned a top our spine affects the position of our jaw. This alignment affects and helps to remove our TMJ affliction.

Posture "Tricks" to Raising the Chest

Sitting Properly in Social Settings

In this video I discuss sitting properly in social settings.   You’ll see the proper way to address your sitting, how to sit, and how to get up from the chair. If you don’t presently have a more graceful sitting style, you can acquire one. It may take several weeks or months to get the poise needed to sit properly but you can do it. Practice makes perfect. Begin by “stopping everything” until you begin to rid yourself of your old habits. Read up on the Alexander technique. Secondly, lengthen the spine, free the neck, and balance the head above the shoulders. Remove the arch at the small of the back. Use your legs to walk and not your pelvis or the small of the back. Loosen your lower jaw. It may take a while to gain a guy’s grace and poise or if you’re a woman, a woman’s grace and poise but in time, if you really want it, you can change for the better. Notice that I said nothing about sitting properly. It takes a graceful overall movement before acquiring the grace and poise of sitting properly.

After gaining a graceful way of moving about, learn the art of sitting properly. Begin by observing the chair you are about to sit in. Make sure that the chair is clean. Then before sitting properly, step as close the the front of the chair as you can. Turn, gracefully, and before you sit, look up, just a little. This aligns the back and prepares your body to sit. Make sure when you sit that your back is as close to the back of the chair as possible. Sitting properly is best performed when you sit on your sitting bones. Don’t slouch. Keep your heels as close to the front of the chair as is reasonably possible. Do not cross your legs. Have poise when sitting properly at a social setting. Keep your head balanced atop your spine and turn your head when desired, at the top of your spine. This is a good beginning. Follow these tips and you’ll be sitting properly in any social setting.