Good Posture a Good Benefit?

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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 4/17/2006 10:44 AM (GMT -7)   
I was just reading something on good posture and it was mentioned that people used to think (still think) that good posture helps the body function more normally; if you stand stoop-shouldered, sit hunched up, it creates pressure on your internal organs and leaves them less room to work. 
I think a lot of people with IBS would have bad posture since cramping and gas pains often make one constrict and then there's the issue of having constant bowel problems creating a loss of self-esteem and that tends to make people stand in a weak manner.  Even when we feel fine, bad posture becomes a habit. 
So, anyone game for trying good posture to see if that helps the guts any?  Won't hurt anything, even if it does help.  Me, I'm trying to get some self-esteem going.  I've gained more weight than I want to have and I'm trying to lose it without dieting because that just makes my guts even worse and it doesn't work in the long run and having dieted once, I am now bigger than I have ever been before and my fat has come back above the waistline, which is not good for the health (before it was all on the hips).  Soooo, I'm exercising more and I'm trying to get back my self-confidence.  The kicker is I felt pretty good about myself before I went on a diet (I just thought I'd feel even better if I "looked better"), but the more weight I lost, the more unhappy I was with myself.  So added to not being happy with myself being thinner is I'm now unhappy with myself even larger than before, so I'm trying to break that.  I've been checking out the French method for eating well without gaining weight and looking good at any weight and I'm trying to overcome both my historically bad posture and my tomboy, I-hate-girly-and-goofy-woman-things roots. 
Besides, I think being well-dressed can be quite beneficial in making people self-confident.  So what if you have to go to the bathroom three times during a meal out?  You're confident, well dressed, with good posture, who would dare question your trips?  This ties in with my theory that rich people act a certain way and get a certain level of service in return; if you act like you're rich, then people will treat you better and that can lessen the impact of bowel problems.  If it's of no concern to you, it won't be to anyone else either.  Anyone want to be my partner in building self-confidence, practicing good posture and getting a bit more chic?  I'd really like to go to a charm school, but it doesn't seem they have those around anymore.  I'm dredfully shy around strangers and in public and have a bit of a social phobia disorder--which, of course, the gall bladder/IBS problems hasn't made any better. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 4/17/2006 12:45 PM (GMT -7)   
hey , i for joining u with this challenge!!
i also have a general low self esteem in regards to my weight, honestly im not over weight, buit do to fact that my IBS causes serious bloating, one day i can have a flat stomach, where tight clothes and i feel ok,but day after i can look 8 months pregnant so dont want to go out or wear anything but a big maternity jumper!! im only 23 so would love to go out and feel good more than oncea month!! or even if am bloated would love confidence to still go out, as i dont go out if look like that. it plays havok with socila life and mates as always let them down , think they kinda had enough of it!!
i agree if u look as though u thunk u look great a nd deserve attebtion u get it nad then it distratcs from the bowel problem that happen when out!!
i am also in a cycle, i finally feel good, althjough this is only gained from eating pretty much nothing, but then after few days am actually hungary so eat and then feel fat and bloated, gthen get annoyed so dont eat againg and cycle continues
my partner goes on about posture as yes mine is awful, used to be gymnast so was greta but as got older joints hurt and have become so much less supple and more hunched!!
so am, with u in the becoming more chic and confident in ourselfs and conquer weight issues to have a more sociable and fun times!

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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 4/17/2006 1:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I've read that pilates is good for stretching and giving you good posture. Has anyone tried it? I don't even really know what it looks like; I just thought it was a new fad that probably branched off yoga. But stretching and getting into different postures would probably be good for people with gas problems--might twist and bend and stretch it right out. In fact, I seem to recall someone saying that they tended to pass gas in yoga class, lol, so maybe pilates on video would be a good idea for the gas-filled.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 4/17/2006 3:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Count me in. I have thought the same thing especially as we sit hunched over a computer with a rounded back and our intestines all scrunched up.

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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 4/18/2006 7:58 AM (GMT -7)   
My first step towards good posture (no pun intended) has been to keep a book on my head while walking on my treadmill. I have found that when I walk around without a book on my head, I do still carry myself that way without having to think about it too much. My problem is sitting. I guess I should just try sitting at work with a book on my head, but I have a glass door and people who pass by or come to see me might think that really weird, lol.

I read yesterday that Audrey Hepburn's mother or grandmother tied her head to the back of her dining chair so that she would quit leaning over the table to eat. I don't know what I'm worse about--leaning over to eat or leaning over to read things. I especially tend to lean forward when I am at the computer, as if I need to have my nose pressed up against the monitor.

Hmm, maybe sitting here with a book on my head wouldn't be such a bad idea.

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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 5/1/2006 9:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, I have been giving good posture a try for a week or so now. I have a good old book—written in 1934—on posture that’s been a pretty interesting read. There are some things in it that differ from what is taught now—for instance it is assumed that women will be walking in heels, although any modern chiropractor or podiatrist will tell you heels are bad for you. But the author does stress that a woman ought to only wear low heels and save the high heels just for parties. I think a low heel is considered an inch or inch and a half at most. I think two to two and a half is moderate and anything over three is considered high. She also mentions something that is also pointed out today—if you get used to wearing high heels, you will shorten the tendon in the back of you heel, ankle and leg to the point that wearing low or no heels is painful and that you should not get to that point.

The other thing that she tells you how to do is cross your legs properly. You’re supposed to cross them at the ankles—the easiest way—or cross them at the thighs (hard if you have pudgy thighs like me) but never cross them at the knees. I have heard that modernly doctors don’t like you to cross your legs at all since it puts too much pressure on your thigh joints and can ruin them if you sit that way all the time for years and years and years. Since I have no butt and therefore no padding, crossing my legs makes my thigh joints hurt more since I am putting more downward pressure on them, and so I’m trying to get out of the habit of crossing my legs (they were always crossed at the knees anyways). I do still tend to cross my legs at the ankles, but I should probably try and stop that as well since that rotates my leg so that my thigh joint feels like it’s jutting out and I don’t need to do that since both of my legs—especially my right one—have been turned out partially since I was born—and good posture says you should stand and walk with your toes straight ahead (obviously I’m losing on that one).

It’s pretty easy to get good posture. Just put your back and head up against a wall (your legs below the butt shouldn’t touch the wall since the thigh bones are set more forward on the pelvis than the spine). Hold yourself there for a moment to memorize what it feels like and then move on. The author says that you should frequently check your posture throughout the day since you will easily fall back into old habits. But after a while you will get into a new habit, the habit of having good posture and you won’t need to check yourself so often (although maybe once a day would still be a good idea since stress and pain and gut problems can drag you down pretty quick without your realizing it).

She says a lot of people lean forward when they walk because they are in a hurry. I didn’t think this was me until she mentioned that these people frequently stumble, especially on stairs. Boy, is that ever me! When you walk up and down stairs you need to really have good posture so you don’t stumble—if you are leaning forward when you go up the stairs then your weight is already forward of your center of gravity (your pelvis) and that will cause you to get unbalanced and stumble forward. She also says that people with big rear ends are usually that way because they are over-arching their back, which pulls the pelvis out of alignment and makes it stick out both in the front, below the waist and behind. After carrying yourself that way for a while, then you build up muscles that are trying to compensate for the muscles that you should be using that you’re not using because you’re out of alignment. And so between the jutting of the pelvis and the muscle build-up, you end up with a big butt that dieting won’t get rid of because it’s bad posture and muscle (dieting not really affecting muscles). I personally have no butt, so I don’t think I overarch, but I do have a pooch in the front. But that could be caused by my leaning forward too much and shortening my waist and making everything bunch up.

Walking with a book on your head is still a good way to get good posture, but you can still slouch even while you hold your head level (although most people automatically stand up straight when they put something on their head), so the best check of posture is still putting your back against the wall. You can also sit in a straight-backed chair.

One visualization she gave that I found helpful is to think of your spine as a flexible flag pole with your head being the knob on top and your pelvis being the hole that it is planted in. The weight of your head and organs pulls the flexible flag pole into curves in places, but ultimately it still should be pointing up and down, firmly rooted in the pelvis and balancing the head on top. When you stoop your shoulders, keep your head down, slump through the back, etc., it’s like pulling the flagpole over—bending it over like a sapling tree. If you do this long enough your muscles and tendons will conform to that posture (warps the pole), and then you have to work hard to get it straightened back out. That’s why good posture aches in the beginning—you’re making muscles and tendons move an work as they haven’t had to in a long time, even though that’s the way they are supposed to.

The other thing she addresses—which I didn’t suspect they knew about back in 1934—is that you should bend and life through the waist, thighs and knees—not the back and shoulders. When most people stoop to pick something up, they literally stoop—they hunch their back up, drop their shoulders and strain their arms down to reach it. Properly you should keep your back and shoulders straight while you bend at the waist (she says it’s bending at the thighs—which it probably is—but I think most people think of it as bending at the waist); if you have to bend very far over or pick up something heavy, then you should bend your knees as well as your waist. That old adage of “lift with your knees” has apparently been around a long time. But it should apply to bending over and picking up anything, even if it’s very lightweight.

I don’t really have gas cramps, so I can’t tell if my good posture is helping my health any, but it’s certainly not hurting it and I can say that I do feel more confident and that’s something that a lot of IBSers have need of.

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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 5/1/2006 9:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Mads, you might benefit from the information on It's all about eating when you're hungry and not eating when you aren't. It also emphasizes eating slowly and chewing your food very well. Because of your problems with eating=gassiness, you might benefit from not allowing yourself to yo-yo so much between not eating at all and then eating a regular meal (I assume when you eat, you eat a normal-sized meal). Going hungry, I have found, makes gut problems worse. You might want to try eating just a little something when you feel a little hungry and turn meals into snacks (although your snacks have to be like mini-meals, complete with a little protein and vegetables--just make a regular meal and break it up into snack-sized portions) so you're neither full of food nor completely without it and maybe your gas will balance out. Even if it doesn't go away, being the same size all the time would be better than going up and down so dramatically.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/8/2006 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   
I slouch all the time even when im standing and my back doesnt hurt. Also I think women look sexy when they slouch.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1512
   Posted 11/9/2006 5:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Keriamon,
   I know this is an old post, but I saw it and it made me think of something.  I have been wondering about GERD/IBS in terms of our shapes.  I have a very high waist.  Alot of my internal organs seem to have to fit in a smaller space than people who have longer waists.
  Having a high waist seems to put alot more pressure than usual in my chest.  So I've been wondering about these 2 GI problems and our shapes.
P.S.   I also just remembered that when I was young, I couldn't have tight clothing around my waist, or it would cause alot of gas, discomfort.  So I'm sure a posture that lets your innards expand is better........but then we always have to bend over or sit down, so that might end up negating all the straight standing up!

Post Edited (CathyA) : 11/9/2006 6:02:41 AM (GMT-7)

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