The Posture Awareness Challenge by Jana Galis

The reluctant blogger here. Blogging. Reluctantly. Again.

(Audible Sigh...)

I conveniently forgot the last two times it was my turn. But now there are schedules posted around the office, AND emailed, AND I was personally reminded yesterday that it was my turn. Gig’s up, I guess.

The good news is I’ve learned that a Blog should be short enough to read at a stop light!  (Which is actually kinda what I want to blog about. You know, if you count being practically forced to Blog as “wanting.”) So I’ll keep this short. That green left arrow is coming soon.

First, I am going to admit that I actually do check my phone at stop lights for emails (and texts, and my calendar, and my ever present list)... And I check before getting out of the car... And after getting in... When waiting for my daughter’s Trapeze lesson at Canopy to end... Sometimes even in the bathroom! 

I wasn’t really aware of how often I look at my phone for one thing or another until last week when I went into the woods for 3 days, and... No phone. And here’s where it gets interesting; I also had no neck or upper back pain. Even though I was carrying a 40 lb backpack for hours every day. You see I have this kind of chronic neck/upper-shoulder/back pain thing. Not disabling, but constant and annoying.  I’m lucky to work in a place where I can get a variety of treatments whenever I want. And it helps for a while but the pain comes back. I have seen countless patients and talked to countless friends who experience something similar. WHY? Because of the constant and insidious nature of the reason for the pain.  And that reason is:  Posture. Wait! Don’t stop reading! OK OK, you can stop if the light changed, but come back at the next light. Even though you know you need to sit up straight and all that....because I’m going to make an offer.

Well, actually first I better do some explaining. The reason that poor posture causes pain is because the spine is meant to stack in a certain way. And when it is out of optimal alignment it puts stress on the area, which is measurable as pounds of pressure. The position your neck is in when you swipe your phone to check a text? 60 pounds of pressure. That’s almost twice as much as my huge backpack! OUCH!

When I was a student in California a Practitioner who specialized in Orthopedics showed me a trick to help “remind” patients to have proper posture. You quite simply have the patient stand in good posture (cervical spin neutral, shoulder blades squeezed together. solar plexus lifted, tail bone slightly tucked) and make a big X on their back with athletic tape. Then for the remainder of the day whenever the inevitable draw of habit pulls those shoulders forward and the chest collapses, the tape will gently pull,ever reminding the shoulders to roll back and the head to lift. 

So. Here’s my offer: For the next 4 Mondays come by Thrive from 10a-4p and I will tape you.

Here’s the small print: there’s no charge. It’ll be a fun experiment. Will you take the posture challenge? So that’s September 21 and 28 and October 5 and 12. Call ahead to let us know you’re coming. It’ll take about 10 minutes. Alright I reckon the people behind you are honking by now, so: Chin Up! Drive on! See you at Thrive!

- Jana Galis