Why does it matter and what can you to about it?
Remember your mother or grandmother telling you “Stand up straight?” She was on to something there. Good posture helps give a good impression to people you meet, but it also helps reduce stress and strain on the spine and muscles around it. The spine has three normal curves that create a natural balance as we stand upright. Having these normal curves also help with breathing and circulation. When the balance of these curves is thrown off, we have problems.
The most common postural fault is the head forward of the shoulders. The skull weighs about 12 pounds, and spinal researchers have determined that for every inch the head sits in front of the shoulders, the effort is as much as if the head weighed 10 pounds more! A small amount of 3 inches would make the head weigh 42 pounds!! The effort of keeping the head in this forward position can cause tightness in the neck and shoulders and cause headaches.
Another postural fault is increased curvature of the upper back. This often is a result of the head-forward position. This bad posture creates strain between the shoulder blades. It also positions the shoulder joint out of normal alignment and may lead to shoulder joint pain. Pain can be made worse by exercising in this posture.
Lastly, low back posture may be either too curved or too straight. This usually is the result of injuries or strains that have occurred. Either way, the disfunctional pull of muscles on the low back will continue to irritate the person with these problems.
What should you do? First, get your posture assessed so you know what kind of corrections you need to make. Sometimes it is a matter of stretching, but other times stretching may exacerbate your painful condition. Strengthening may be what you need. A chiropractor or massage therapist can help you figure out what approach will benefit you most.
The next thing many people need to do is take “micro-breaks” at work. Many people spend all day sitting in front of a computer and don’t get out of their chair often. Computer work has a way of increasing our bad posture and keeping us in it for long periods. So, once an hour get up for a minute or two. First – do some stretching. Second – walk around your desk or office for the same amount of time. Third – go get a glass of water (we often don’t drink enough of that, too). Taking small breaks is usually easier for us to justify to ourselves when there is work to do, and by taking several small breaks during the day, we get more activity than we might if we wait for a bigger chunk of time.
This month, think about your posture.
Is It SITTING, or HOW We Sit?
Dr. Douglas Vlaskamp, DC
An interesting article on National Public Radio’s website looked at sitting and back pain. In it, they looked at sitting from different viewpoints; do we sit too much or do we sit wrong? The article brings up interesting points.
Working on the assumption that North Americans sit too much, researchers at the University of Arizona studied a group of people in Tanzania who still live as hunter-gatherers. As a result of this lifestyle, they walk for about 75 minutes each day while getting their food. To see if they sat less, the subjects were given heart rate monitors. What was found is that they sit almost as much as North Americans. And they experience less low back pain than we do.
Other researchers looked at how we sit. In other cultures, they were able to find examples of people who sat as long as we do, but their posture was better. The back was flat and long, not rounded. These researchers even looked into our not-too-distant past and found our grandparents and great-grandparents sat straighter than we do now.
The important part of sitting is not to make a C-shape when someone looks at you from the side. You want to sit on your pelvis so the spine can extend up and not backward. One suggestion mentioned in the article is to think about where your tail would be if you had one. Then, don’t sit on your tail! To find where this position is, it is suggested that before you sit, bend forward at the hips. This makes you stick out your backside, which gives you a better target for sitting and not sitting “on your tail.”
Sprained or “twisted” ankles swell. Laser Therapy helps the body get past the major swelling and get on with healing. Laser Therapy is also helpful for healing any damaged ligaments or traumatized tendons because it promotes cell regeneration.
Dr. Tamar Ferreira, B.Sc.,N.D.
Dr. Tamar Ferreira is a board-certified Brampton Naturopathic Doctor. She is passionate about helping her patients feel better and regain their health by identifying and addressing the cause of their symptoms. While maintaining a general family practice, she has a special interest in digestive issues, skin conditions, and helping women with hormone-related conditions. She also has additional training in healthy and sustainable weight loss, desiccated thyroid prescribing, and bio-identical hormones.
As a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Tamar takes to heart the principle of ‘doctor as teacher’ and empowers her patients with tools for healthy living. She helps her patients understand and implement the dietary and lifestyle changes which are often necessary to help prevent or reverse chronic disease. She practiced in Ottawa for over 7 years before relocating to Brampton after getting married. Passionate about what she does and eager to share it, she frequently gives educational seminars to the general public. Her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry has given her a unique understanding of the intricacies of the human body, with an emphasis on evidence-based medicine.
Whether you are ready to tiptoe or run on your journey towards health, Dr. Tamar will work in a supportive partnership with you and will enjoy seeing you thrive.
For more information on Dr. Tamar and to visit her blog, go to www.tamarferreirand.com.
Areas of Special Interest/Therapies
• Adrenal Health
• Digestive Issues (IBS, SIBO, Food Sensitivities)
• Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
• Skin Conditions (Acne, Eczema, Psoriasis)
• Weight Management
• Women’s Hormone Imbalance (PMS, Painful Periods, Irregular Cycles, PCOS, Fertility, Perimenopause and Menopause)
• B12 Shots
• Bio-Identical Hormones
• Desiccated Thyroid Prescription
• Bachelor of Science with Honours in Biochemistry (University of Ottawa)
• 4 years of training in Naturopathic Medical School (Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine)
• FirstLine Therapy Certification (Metagenics) for optimal body composition
• Ontario Therapeutic Prescribing Standards Met (October 2015)
• Advanced Integrative Endocrinology: Bio-Identical Hormones (Evidence Based Nutrition, February 2016)
Dr. Tamar will take the time to understand your medical history in order to create a safe and individualized treatment plan. She believes that optimum wellness can be achieved by identifying and addressing the root cause of illness. This involves an individualized, multi-faceted approach, which can include removing obstacles to cure, addressing the body’s nutrient needs, supporting the body’s innate healing capabilities, promoting mental-emotional well-being, and making lifestyle changes for long-term health.
Dr. Tamar believes in a collaborative approach, and works with medical doctors, chiropractors, and other healthcare professionals when needed to give her patients an integrated, holistic treatment plan.
The Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND)
The Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND)