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Posture - the effects of posture on your overall well-being

A straightforward look at posture

Nonfiction book extends beyond standing and sitting to other areas of life.
By Lyda Truick 
January 5, 2011

I am not the biggest fan of nonfiction reading. Plop me down with a good novel any day, and I am a happy camper. As a reviewer, the possibility of finding an entertaining, informative nonfiction title has about a 50-50 chance of success—half the books I happen upon are great, the other half, not so much.

So when faced with a book about posture, I must admit I was prepared for a long, boring book. Fortunately, this was not the case with "Change Your Posture Change Your Life!" written by Dr. Mike Spearman and La Crescenta resident Susan B. Stroh. I was pleasantly surprised to be reading an insightful, enlightening book about more than posture.

The book defines posture outside of the physical realm, delving into political, social and mental descriptions of posture and the effects of posture on your overall well-being. Spearman does a great job of relating posture in its many forms to all areas of life. He discusses posture in relation to gravity, energy and biomechanics, which seem like overwhelmingly complicated topics, but the author presents these in a way that are easily understood.

The entire flow of the book reads as if you are gliding along, something the author also talks about in relation to posture while walking or running. For example, Spearman states the body is naturally built to walk and run, but not jog. Walking and running move you forward, when done properly, in a smooth, gliding fashion. Jogging, on the other hand, disrupts proper posture as it exposes your body to jarring up and down motions that affect soft tissue and joints.

This book provides an intense break down of posture while standing, sitting, moving, as well as sitting, studying, reading and sleeping. Each chapter provides an itemized list of how to improve your posture in any given situation. There is even a section devoted to correct posture while wearing high-heels, which I did not think could be comfortable in any standing position. However, I did attempt the suggestions made by the author while wearing heels at a party one evening, and found that I could tolerate wearing them a lot longer than I normally could.

What I really liked was the chapter on "Correct Posture for Artists" that goes through quite a number of art-related activities and the associated proper posture techniques. There are chapters dedicated to stretching that I also found helpful, and a brief novella called "Dancing with Gravity" at the beginning of the book dealing with the health and healing of a young girl whose posture was apparently having a negative effect on her life.

This book only took a few days to read, despite it being almost 270 pages long, and I will be passing it on to many friends so its words of wisdom may benefit them as well.


- LYDA TRUICK has a master's of library and information science

POSTURE AND SINGING

Recently, I have been taking singing lessons from Penny Fleming. Besides learning a lot about the piano, I was instructed on posture while singing. Certain postural positions improve your voice power, clarity and ease of singing. Interestingly, the key postural requirements of the singing posture are covered in the standing posture drill in Change Your Posture, Change Your Life. 

The book not only covers all aspects of posture physically and mentally, but it also covers fundamental concepts and activities that underlie posture that you can try out. Lots of stretches from head to toe are described as well. There is also a fiction story at the beginning of the book by Susan Stroh that begins with a chiropractor who finds a runaway in the woods while out for a morning run. 

Better appearance, freedom from pain and preventing degeneration are three reasons to improve your posture. Have fun with this book and may you be healthier than ever!

"POOR POSTURE

Last week I was not sleeping well and therefore was not well rested. I received an adjustment and once again slept well. Normally I get an adjustment monthly but had gone for a couple months, maybe three, without one. Now, I live a very physically active life, so regular adjustments are important. I violated my schedule for getting adjusted. You could say, I had poor scheduling posture of time in this respect. The other chiropractor corrected my "localized postural fixations" at the various joints he addressed. Life got better immediately!

This word "posture" is interesting in that everything mental and physical has a posture aspect to it. A simple thought like, "I look pretty good," when you check out your reflection in the mirror is a short mental posture. A prejudiced person probably developed that prejudice based on numerous mental observations, people telling him how to think, etc. In other words, a complex mental posture surrounds developing a prejudice. An architectural blueprint is really the architect's mental posture put on paper of what could be materialized as a structure.

Your body can have many postures and an overall posture. Specific postures and overall posture are both important. Posture at its root concept means to place or to put something or some thought somewhere.

Poor posture is not a pretty thing. To be completely blunt poor postures are ugly to one degree or another. Good postures on the other hand are pleasant even beautiful. It is worth understanding posture better and moving toward better postures in all aspects of life. Many little changes lead to a big difference. It can be done. My book, Change Your Posture Change Your Life, can assist you in this direction both physically and mentally. This book is available at my office, at the One Stop Shoppe in Clearwater, Florida and by mail order.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mike Spearman"


Info:
What: "Change Your Posture Change Your Life" by Dr. Mike Spearman and Susan B. Stroh  Publisher: Spearman Better Health Center Books, 2010

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