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Posture and Pregnancy: A Report

October, 2018

During my first pregnancy in 2011–12 I had — compared with other women — only a little trouble; I felt relatively fit. At the time, the occasional pain in my lower back and my permanent shoulder/ neck pain seemed normal because I had suffered them since I was in school. This fit with my modern comprehension of being healthy. Some aches and pains are not unusual. Upright posture? So not cool...


Here’s how I used to sit some years before my first pregnancy. I already suffered from occasional pain in my lower back and from permanent shoulder/ neck pain.

At the end of my pregnancy, my lower back pain became stronger. I started to suffer from sciatic nerve pain, which eventually covered the whole side of my left leg, down to my foot. It became more and more uncomfortable to sit. To avoid pain... Read more

How to Text with Good Posture

October, 2018

There’s nothing inherently problematic about the activity of texting from a posture point of view. The problems arise because we have poor habits in how we hold objects in front of us, how we read, and also because what’s on our cell phones tends to be more compelling than other objects we might hold or read.

 

As this woman demonstrates pretty well, by holding the cell phone within her line of sight and maintaining posterior shoulders, there need be no threat to the neck, shoulders, arms, or upper back. If, however, we allow our head and neck to lean in excessively to the cell phone, break the line of our wrists, or allow our shoulders to reach forward to the cell phone, we could be inviting a plethora of health problems. These include wear and tear in the cervical discs, impingement of the cervical nerves, poor circulation to... Read more

Building muscle mass á la Gokhale Method by focusing on length and strength

September, 2018

Anyone who has studied the Gokhale Method is familiar with the length and strength that we promote in all our muscle groups. As it turns out, length and strength are the two key elements to increasing muscle mass.  

These benefits come to those who sleep, sit, stand, bend and walk — simply by using your body well, á la the Gokhale Method!

 

Benefits to increased muscle mass
Especially as we age, there are so many benefits to increasing our muscle mass. Increasing muscle mass

  • helps you maintain good posture,

  • promotes strong bones and decreases risk of osteoporosis,

  • builds strength of muscle and connective tissues,

  • increases endurance and strength, allowing you to perform everyday activities with less effort,

  • reduces risk of injury,

  • and provides metabolic

  • ... Read more

4 Benefits of Carrying on the Head

September, 2018

Carrying weight on the head is a primal activity, something we have done for millions of years.

 

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Transporting water in the Ouahigouya marketplace, Burkina Faso, 1998.

 

I took an archeology course at Stanford from professor John Rick that included a workshop on stone knapping (chipping away at a stone to create arrowheads and similar tools). While most of us created pitiful arrowheads with no chance of any hunting success, a few members of the class hit the obsidian at productive angles that resulted in decent weapons. Professor Rick says that about 10 percent of his students intuitively know how to make good arrowheads. He believes that the relevant DNA for being good at this task has been conserved through the generations in these individuals. Making stone tools like... Read more

Why Positivity is Important in Learning Posture

August, 2018

Historically, teaching posture has involved nagging, scolding, and whipping youngsters and hapless underlings into shape. We’re overdue for a break from the questionable practices of the past, not only for sentimental reasons but also because the data available to us begs it.

 

  1. Positive reinforcement works better than negative reinforcement. What you focus on grows, and focusing on improvements keeps the improvements coming. Finding yourself in a slouched position from time to time is expected and doesn’t merit a lot of focus, except as a gentle trigger to make a healthy posture shift.


Positive reinforcement results in growth and motivates the upward trend to continue. Photo courtesy Pixabay.

 ... Read more

How to Lose Weight by Changing Your Posture

July, 2018

There are several ways the Gokhale Method helps a person lose weight. I discovered this benefit of the method from students reporting back to me that they had lost 10 pounds without changing anything other than their posture. This happened frequently enough that it set me thinking about possible mechanisms between J-spine posture and weight loss. There are no studies on posture and weight loss that I know of, so all the pathways described below are conjectures.

  1. Getting rid of pain enables and induces people to become more active. Our students almost routinely return to or take up a variety of athletic endeavors, yoga, dance, and more after getting rid of their back pain. Being active contributes directly and indirectly (better mood, better sleep, etc.) to weight loss.


After learning the Gokhale Method, many... Read more