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San Clemente Journal

The Fasion Connection

Feb 02, 2007 10:33PM ● By Don Kindred
by Dr. Bradley Shapero

“Unless some misfortune has made it impossible, everyone can have good posture” - 
- Loretta Young

How can you quickly change a thousand-dollar outfit into an eyesore? Posture. 

Does yours present you as a fine, well-tuned racecar, or are you more like an old jalopy? Would onlookers say you are a racehorse, or a nag? Perhaps your situation is subtler. If you have ever had to alter your clothes so that the legs or arms are different lengths, or if your clothes do not seem to sit correctly, it is most likely due to your posture. If your shoes wear out unevenly that too is usually due to your body positioning.

The way you carry yourself sends a powerful message even before you speak. The way you sit, stand and walk makes a statement. Numerous health articles, found in magazines today, mention posture and how it communicates your message to the world.

How can you tell if you have poor posture? 
The first step to detecting poor body alignment is to look into a mirror to see if your head tilts to one side, or if perhaps one shoulder is higher than the other. Or to see whether you slouch, with head forward, rounded shoulders and protruding abdomen. 

Can misalignment create health problems?
Postural problems can indicate that your body is under abnormal stress and cause many health problems. These include, decreased breathing, altered digestion and even spinal malfunctions, which in turn create mysterious aches, pains and numerous other ailments. Body alignment has also been diagnosed as a cause of unpredictable emotions and failing immune systems.

What can be done about poor posture?
Exercises like the following can help you improve body alignment. All that is needed is a wall. Stand next to a wall with your knees straight and your shoulders, buttocks and heels touching the surface. When making the shoulders touch - do not flatten them fully against the wall, but square them and have them touch at one level. Next, holding your chin level make the back of your head touch the surface. Hold this posture for a minute. As a self- evaluation, raise your hand and tuck it between the wall and the small of your back. If there is lots of space it shows that you have too much curve. You want to work on reducing that by flexing you lower abdominal muscles to draw the small of your back closer to the wall. Now step away from the wall and try to maintain this posture while walking around. Repeat this three times a day. This is the posture you should try to develop for walking.

When it comes to improving your posture the time to start is NOW. The longer poor alignment continues the harder it will be to correct and the more likely you will need outside help. The next time you look into the mirror take a moment to make sure you see the message that you want to be sending b.