I Am Carrying An Extra 42 lbs Around... What! Why?

Could You Be Carrying Around an Extra 42 lbs and Not Even Know It? 

Yes, yes you could be. It doesn't seem right a person could be carrying around 42 extra pounds and not even know it! But it is happing all around us every day and it could be happening to you. 

No, it's not from body fat either! 

Most American's have some form of 'forward head posture' due to poor posture in general but mostly due to working at a computer, sitting in front of a TV or looking down at the phone.

I struggle with this because I worked as a massage therapist for nearly 25 years and I have a long neck, to begin with. I have done strengthen exercises and done some lengthening of my chest and anterior neck through the years by not nearly enough to correct my bad posture. I'm no different than most other people I am a spirtter I do things in spirts. I notice my head being out of alignment from my spine and I start doing all the things I know to do to correct it and then life throws something into my routine and before I realize it I have gotten away from doing those corrective actions. 

Part of my problem of not remembering is I currently don't have any pain associated with it. If I suffered from headaches or neck pain then I'd be more likely to remember because the pain would be a regular reminder. I have been waking up with a sore or tight neck and so I'm back at trying to correct it. It will take time, this forward head posture didn't happen overnight, it was a gradual strain and my body 'adjusted' to help support this extra weight. But I know if I don't get it corrected and soon I'll have more problems than a tight neck! 

It's a good idea to get an assessment from someone trained in spinal curves. Not all massage therapists have this training and you should ask for their credentials before making an appointment with them. A PT or trainer should have the proper skills, but it's still a good idea to ask. 

Doing any corrections for poor posture should be done with the help of a skilled professional, some yoga instructors could have an understanding of forward head posture but don't be lax on finding good support! Your spine is too important for a long healthy life to mess around with. 

All that said I will offer a few suggestions to get you started.

As with anything relating to your health you need to pay close attention to what your body tells you when starting a new exercise or movement. 

How to know if you have FHP
Find an unobstructed flat wall. Stand with your shoulders, back, and hips against the wall. Does your head naturally touch the wall? It’s important that your chin is level with the floor while you’re checking.

If your head didn’t ‘naturally’ touch the wall, meaning you needed to move it back to the wall, then you probably have FHP.

Over time this can cause a lot of health problems…

You might think the first place to start to correct FHP is at the head or neck but it isn’t. The way you sit and stand needs to be assessed and corrected if need be before any lasting effect will happen in your posture.

Download this pdf for a Self-Care protocol

Check with your healthcare professional before starting any exercise routine. 

"Thank You For Allowing Me To Be A Part Of Your Wellness Journey" L~

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Always start off with your spine in a neutral relaxed position, meaning if you are standing with your feet hip-width apart your ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders should all be in a straight line. Your chin should be parallel with the floor. 

One way to accomplish this is to back up to a wall. Having your heels, hips, shoulders, and head against the wall, then take a couple of steps away from the wall still holding that posture. 

With equal force from your chin and forehead press your head backward. Allow your head to return to neutral and repeat. Do this motion 5-10 times. Less is more when starting this exercise.


thumbnail image from EricDalton.com 2010

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