Stand straighter, move more easily and feel better
If your mom was always telling you to “stop slouching” or “stand up straight,” it turns out she was right.
Believe it or not, poor posture can wreak havoc on your overall health and is the cause of so much avoidable pain and stiffness. A lot of neck, shoulder and back pain can be traced back to poor posture. Over the long term, it can lead to joint damage and arthritis.
Good posture keeps our body in proper alignment. If your body is aligned correctly, you should be able to draw a straight line between your ear and your shoulder, and between your shoulder and hip. Your lower back should be gently curved inward but not arched.
While many people seek out massage therapy for relaxation or to alleviate sore, tight muscles, it’s also incredibly effective for improving your posture. Massage therapy can help alleviate pain and stiffness due to poor posture, so you can stand up straighter and move more comfortably.
Causes, symptoms and side effects of poor posture
Sitting and standing in the wrong positions are the primary causes of poor posture. Our bodies become accustomed to being hunched over a computer. We’ll sit in an uncomfortable chair that’s too high or low off the ground, or hunched over with our heads bent down looking at our smartphones. This causes muscles, joints and ligaments to stiffen up and settle into incorrect positions.
Physically, poor posture is manifested by:
- Head that pushes or tilts forward
- A slouched silhouette
- Rounded shoulders
- Arched back
- Protruding belly
- Bent or locked-up knees
You might not even realise you have poor posture until you catch a look in a full-length mirror.
Pain in the lower back, neck, arms, and shoulders is frequently caused by poor posture. Headaches, limited range of motion, breathing difficulties, joint compression, muscle fatigue and even digestion issues can also occur. And the psychological effects of these conditions and knowing you look hunched over and tired all the time can hurt your confidence.
How massage therapy helps your posture
A registered massage therapist (RMT) will begin by assessing your current body positioning to determine what needs to be addressed (hunched back or jutting neck, twisted knees or hips, etc.). Swedish, sports or deep tissue massage techniques are most commonly used to deal with a misaligned posture. Your therapist can also teach you stretches and exercises to further aid in improving your posture over time.
The positive effects of massage therapy on your posture can often be felt immediately after the session, and often affects your entire body.
Massage works to help your muscles relax and loosen up. Therapists use long strokes and deep, firm pressure to get rid of adhesions or knots. Then you can more easily move your body into alignment.
Massage also helps increase flexibility in your joints, which can tighten up and lock into the wrong positions over time. For example, your neck may be so tense from hunching that it can be painful to tuck your chin. But massage loosens everything up so you can pull it back into line.
Pressure point relief
Poor posture can put unnecessary and intense pressure on various parts of your body. Massage therapy loosens everything up and helps take the pressure off those pain points — like a hip or knee that you’ve been favouring because your other one is too tight or locked up.
Other ways to improve posture
Massage therapy is amazing and helps to relieve poor posture. But there are other things you can do in between sessions to improve and maintain proper posture.
If you habitually sit for long periods of time while working, set a timer to remind yourself to get up and walk around at least once an hour. Don’t spend more time sitting than you need to — when work is over, make it a priority to get up and do something active every day.
Get started today at Elysian Wellness
Mom was right. Stand straighter, move more easily, look better and feel more confident — all with better posture.
Good posture may seem like an old-fashioned concept, but in fact it’s highly important to your physical and emotional well-being. Massage therapy can be incredibly helpful in improving your posture.
If your posture is causing you pain, impeding your mobility, or having a negative effect on your daily life, contact us today to book a massage therapy appointment. Our registered massage therapists can help you improve and maintain your posture, starting now. Contact us!