I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
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- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
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posture  RSS feed

 
steward
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This has absolutely nothing to do with permaculture, but that's what this forum is for! Anyway, I have terrible posture and I go through phases of trying to make it better every couple months. I do this because 1) it hurts really bad and makes my knots atrocious, and 2) it makes me look like a lazy hunchback slob, which I am not.

So, I was just wondering if anyone has any particular exercises pr tricks that they do or have to help improve posture. I've obviously looked online and there is tons of stuff out there, but that's the thing, there is so much that it is overwhelming and so I just need some word of mouth things to try!
 
gardener
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Examine your posture over a few days, and you'll find that certain activities (computer, TV, driving ...) are promoters of bad habits. More ergonomic seating can go a long way towards improvement. Those kneeling chairs strengthen core muscles.
 
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Yoga...........get the habit while you are young and you will stand straight into old age
 
steward
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My sitting posture's terrible, so I'm with you
My mum uses a swiss ball as a computer seat.
Great for core strength which supports good posture, as you need to actively adjust your balance constantly.
As a bonus, it makes me far less likely to spend longer on the computer, as it keeps my brain vaguely connected to your body!
 
Mother Tree
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I bought one of those pull-up bars that fits across a door-frame a few weeks ago. It's helping!

Here's a useful page - how to do your first pull-up

 
Posts: 122
Location: VT, USA Zone 4/5
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usually it is the muscles in your abdomen and chest that pull your body forward and curls you up. Once you start to realize this, you'll see it all over the place. I call it "modern miltary posture" - head forward, upper arms rotated inwards, thumbs pointing towards each other when the arms are by the person's sides. Usually legs are also rotated outwards and toes are pointed out.

Anyway, if you want to undo the curling, stretch the front of your body, strengthen the back of your body. Also, learn what it feels like to have proper posture. Remember the skeletons hanging from a hook in their heads in the science classroom? Pretend you have a hook in your head in the same place, and let your spine hang from there. Got it? Now check in with yourself every 10-15 minutes to see if you are maintaining good posture. This is as much about retraining your brain as retraining your body.

Anyway, all this will be much easier if you can do it with the support of a good body-worker. Rolfers are generally very well trained and good at helping people with stuff like this. It might take trying a few different people before you find someone who works with you in a way that makes sense to you. If you can't afford it, but are growing awesome food, find out if they are willing to trade. In my years as a massage therapist I loved to trade with farmers.

Good luck.
 
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Karen is absolutely right about stretching the front of your body and strengthening the back of your body. Driving and sitting at desks, two things people do way too much of, lead people to round their backs and and shoulders and slump.

In the gym, you'd want to do pulling exercises like pullups and rowing (either with rings or a rowing machine). Deadlifts are great, too, but don't jump into those unless you have a really good (and cautious) trainer.

On the farm, hoe-ing and raking are good pulling exercises, as is climbing trees. Carrying things on your shoulders can be good for teaching upright posture-- if you're slumped, the weight will pull you foreward, but if you're upright, the weight will stay balanced.

Finally, yoga is great for building body awareness and for strengthening.
 
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Location: Victoria, Australia
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Check out gokhalemethod.com - I do the shoulder rolls regularly and they are very helpful. I also have her book and am working my way through it, I think it is helping my back pain and posture issues.

I second the suggestion to work towards doing pull-ups - I have woeful upper body strength but have started exercises such as knee push-ups and dead hangs to get stronger. I definitely feel more stability in my upper body and core since starting this.

Best of luck!
 
pollinator
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Dr Jolie Bookspan warns about some bad postures even in yoga.
"Yoga was never intended to be completely healthy for joints. Many moves were for performance art, dance, penance, purification through pain"
http://www.drbookspan.com/WarriorYogaSyllabus.html

What I read in her website was incredibly helpful for reeducating my posture.

http://www.drbookspan.com/SittingHealthy.html

This for back and sciatica:
http://www.drbookspan.com/DiscArticle.html

And for the neck:
http://www.drbookspan.com/NeckPainArticle.html
 
pollinator
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Or send me a PM I do internet consultations. Reportedly Paul got some relief with my suggestions.
 
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I second Karen's suggestion about imagining yourself hanging from a hook at the top of your head, it really helps me. I'd also suggest finding someone trained in the Alexander Method - it's a method designed precisely to fix posture, and I've had really good results with it.

The shoes you wear may have an impact as well. I recently switched to minimalist shoes (the chukka shoes from Soft Star Shoes) and noticed an improvement in my posture the very first day. Most modern shoes have the heel elevated above the toe, which makes you walk partly on tip-toe. Minimalist shoes can help you walk and stand like you were barefoot, which is (IMO) better for your body and posture.
 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
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Steven Kovacs wrote:I second Karen's suggestion about imagining yourself hanging from a hook at the top of your head, it really helps me.
If the head is still forward hang from the chest with the thumbs turned out
I'd also suggest finding someone trained in the Alexander Method - it's a method designed precisely to fix posture, and I've had really good results with it.
Alexander lost his speaking voice because of his posture problem and invented his system to restore it.

The shoes you wear may have an impact as well. I recently switched to minimalist shoes (the chukka shoes from Soft Star Shoes) and noticed an improvement in my posture the very first day. Most modern shoes have the heel elevated above the toe, which makes you walk partly on tip-toe. Minimalist shoes can help you walk and stand like you were barefoot, which is (IMO) better for your body and posture.
In the 1950's I had what were called Earth Shoes which had toes higher than the heels. these were very helpful in maintaining my posture. Only use heels in soft dirt or snow for improved traction.
When walking The foot on the ground presses inward with the heel and outward with the big toe. If either one loses contact before the other foot is locked on the ground it causes adverse twists in the knee, hip and spine.
 
Posts: 519
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Amazing video on the power of chiropractic. I go regularly, some of the wisest physicians on the planet, healing without drugs. my last pharm prescription was 3 yrs ago...
 
Posts: 133
Location: Zone 4b at 1000m, post glacial soil...British Columbia
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An old exercise: try walking around balancing a book on your head. Have you seen pictures of ladies balancing market baskets or water jugs on their head? Beautiful posture. Speaking from experience, it's kinder to the back as well. For some reason we don't head-carry much in North American culture.
 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
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Note the case in the video above started from bend twist and lift. Plan ahead, stay square to your work, if possible bend knee instead of bending the back. If possible point thumbs outward, this sets the shoulder blades to hold through the center of the spine to the front of the pelvis acting as a diagonal brace. Full explanation here.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
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Hans Quistorff wrote:
Steven Kovacs wrote:I second Karen's suggestion about imagining yourself hanging from a hook at the top of your head, it really helps me.
If the head is still forward hang from the chest with the thumbs turned out

When walking The foot on the ground presses inward with the heel and outward with the big toe. If either one loses contact before the other foot is locked on the ground it causes adverse twists in the knee, hip and spine.


Working with imagination is what we do a lot in somatic experiencing.
If you imagine this sort of hanging, then you help the rest of the body be atracted by gravity, so your shoulder for example can relax downward.

Hans please, can you explain your 2 last sentences? I do not understand either.
Do you mean that the inside of the heel is what strikes 1st?
What do you refer to by "either one"?
And how can a foot loose contact before the other foot be in contact, excpt when running?
 
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