“Poor posture contributes to stress, and stress contributes to poor posture ”
Poor posture is the result of an accumulation of chemical, emotional and physical factors. Occupational effects involving stress, repetitive motions (such as sitting for prolonged periods of time) minimal activity and poor-nutritional intake are everyday contributors to the ever-common postural problems in society today.
Stress is your body’s response to thinking it is in danger. Our ancestors relied on this stress response to keep them alive with the threat of animals. Our bodies go in to an automatic fight-or-flight mode allowing us to react quickly and elude danger (2, 3). Stress can be physical or emotional from work problems to things such as family health worries. No matter the type of stress it arouses the same chemical response in our bodies (adrenaline and cortisol), which divert blood flow to our limbs, increase heart rate and temporarily increase our pain threshold all so we can run away from the danger . The problem in today’s society however is that we don’t have a wild animal chasing us anymore and those stress levels don’t reduce. It effects our immune system and increases our incidence of chronic illness, weight gain, weak bones and overly active muscles. All these things place a heavy load on our bodies and make it very difficult to maintain our upright position over time.
How can we counteract stress?
To reduce cortisol levels you must increase the amount of sleep you are getting, learn how your body relaxes by trying things such as mediation and an evening walk before bed; and of course avoid stimulants such as alcohol, soft drinks and caffeine as they weaken bones and over-stimulate the brain.
Lowering your stress levels can help to:
• Improve immune function
• Increase energy levels
• Help you to sleep better
• Reduce physical complaints
• Improve your digestion
• Increase your ability to concentrate (4)
If you have problems with stress you should enlist techniques to help reduce it. Things such as exercise, mediation and a healthy balanced diet all effect your body’s ability to react to different situations. The healthier your body the better you will be able to cope.
Come and visit our chiropractors at Spine & Health and you too can be Pain Free & Posture Perfect!