Written by: Yaffa Liebermann PT, GCS, CEO
As a physical therapist for many years, I always like to share my knowledge. To celebrate the New year, I will pair that knowledge with a gift to remind you of the importance of keeping your body straight: A page with illustrations of two positions, laying and standing.
Feel free to print the page and display it at work or your home to allow all who are walking by to see it; hopefully, it will prompt them to pull their shoulders back and get taller for a picture is worth a thousand words.
The body was designed to be lined up in a certain way to achieve the best muscle function and joint movements. When we stand up straight, we give room to the vital organs to function well. When shoulder are pulled back and the chest is up, we give our lungs full capacity to breathe.
Feet are your body’s base. Therefore shoes are a priority when dressing. Shoes should fit comfortably (not too tight or too loose) and have a small, built in arch support.
Good posture needs to be maintained through understanding and practice. When we maintain an upright posture, it contributes to good self-esteem. Next time you pass a mirror, stop and practice correct posture, and you will be surprised to see a slight smile appear on your face.
You can practice the lying and standing positions by yourself or, even better, with a friend or a family member. Lying down might be difficult for a person with a stiff back but, after the body is completely on the floor, you will relax and enjoy the feeling which allows you to breathe deeply.
Stand and touch the wall with your body – make sure to tuck your chin in and push your head backward, pull back the shoulders, the trunk and the buttocks and make yourself tall, like being pulled by a long thread. Hold this pose for a few minutes.
Once standing and feeling the head, shoulders, trunk, and buttocks touching the wall behind you, lift your arms and maintain shoulder, elbows and hands touch- this will be harder at first. Make a game of it with your family to see who can lift the arms up higher and still can touch the wall with elbows and shoulders.
Start this New year by making yourself straight, happy and proud.
Yaffa and Eli Liebermann, Prime Rehabilitation Services and Mobile Therapy Services wishing you a healthy and happy New Year.