Our Posture Has Gone "Rogue"

31 January 2017, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

Today's blog post is by Carrie Barlau, a therapist in our South San Diego clinic.

I'm a big fan of science fiction. Perhaps the love began when I was a young kid and my grandmother took me and my sister to see the "first" Star Wars movie at the theater. Like most other adults in the theater, she too whispered the scrolling text to us at the beginning so we didn't miss anything.

The droids were a HUGE part of what made that movie so great. C-3PO spoke with great diction, his mannerisms and posture mimicked humans as they were at the time; fairly functional beings with the knee, hip, and shoulder joints horizontally and vertically aligned, and the head sitting directly over the shoulders. Check out his posture compared to the human design blueprint. Not bad, right?

Fast forward four decades to the Star Wars movie released in December of 2016. I absolutely LOVED this episode and thought it was one of the best of the series. But when I saw the new K-2SO droid my first thought was, What is up with his posture? K-2SO's head comes out of the body where the sternum should be, there's a huge curve in the upper back, the shoulders are rounded and drooping forward, and the hips are tilted under. Compared to the human blueprint, this droid has a very dysfunctional posture, and it can cause more than just aches and pains in the body. The psychological effects of this position can change one’s mood, generating more negative thoughts. How can one project confidence and strength with the body in such a slumped position? The answer is...it can't.

This present-day droid has a classic Condition III posture (as described in Pete Egoscue's book, The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion). Back in the 70's when the first movie came out, this posture was relatively unusual. Why is that? Cell phones had just been invented and weren't widely used. There was no such thing as social media, and email wasn't even popular until the mid-90s. Kids played outside all day until it got dark. We walked or biked to school or the grocery store. We got up to change the channel on the television. We tended our own yard and house work. In almost every area of life, we moved more. Unfortunately, as technology has improved, our activity level has decreased, and our bodies are paying the price. Simple movements that our bodies are designed to make are no longer required and are becoming nearly impossible for many of you.

Sadly, the Condition III posture has become very common in this day and age, and we see it in our clinics on a daily basis. Perhaps that is why the new droid was designed the way it was--it mimics humans as they appear today. Yes, it's true...art is imitating life. There is no hope for improving this droid's posture, but as humans we have the ability to change ours. Don't accept this posture as the new norm, fight it by allowing your body to move the way it was designed, and then keep moving!

If you're ready to change your posture and get back in motion, contact us today!

QUESTION: How else do you see art imitating life in society today?

A note from John...

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Presidential Posturing

15 September 2015, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

Here in the Unites States we are approaching full-on Presidential election season. 2016 will mark our next Presidential election, and the candidates are gearing up for a run at the White House. The Republican hopefuls are debating back and forth, while the Democratic side of things is a bit quieter...for now. As I was thinking about the Republic Presidential debates that are happening currently, it got me thinking: For as much as Presidential candidates posture and position themselves on everything from education to taxes to foreign policy, I wondered which of our most recent Presidents had the best overall posture.

If you have ever been a client of Egoscue, then you know that when going through the therapy process, you immediately begin looking at people differently. Whether you're at the grocery store, taking a walk at the park, or working out at the gym, you begin to notice postural deviations. You'll notice that guy's elevated shoulder. You'll notice his wife's head is forward. You'll notice their children's feet point out. It's a constant saturation of posture, and you are forever changed!

That's what has happened with me since the mid-90s when I first came to Egoscue as a client. I notice. I evaluate. I speculate (playing a game of "guess that symptom" in my mind:  That guy HAS to have a degenerative hip!) It just comes with the territory, I guess.

So, with that in mind, let's take a look at some of our past Presidents:



Notice President Carter's (standing in the middle) and President Ford's (second from the right) foot positions. They are standing with their feet pointed almost dead-ahead! President Ford's hands are hanging down by his side, although we're seeing a little bit of the backs of both hands. President Carter appears to be rotated in his upper body ever so slightly from left to right. Both of their shoulder positions appear level. All in all, I'd say they look pretty good! Obviously, they're wearing full suits, and those hide the overall big picture of what we are able to see, but just like noticing someone walking at the park, we are able to at least get a snapshot of their alignment.

President Ford, as you might know, was an outstanding football player for the University of Michigan. Carter was a basketball player in high school and a farmer. Both were active youths, and--at least when giving them the "eye test"--were aligned with good, balanced posture.

As for Bush, Reagan, and Nixon...well...let's just say Egoscue would have been beneficial for them! All of their feet evert (point out), and President Nixon (standing on the far right) has a pretty severe left shoulder elevation. President Bush (above, left) has a narrow stance, and his feet point out. With President Reagan (second from the left), we can see that his right foot points out more than his left.

Now, let's check out their gait:


Again, notice President Ford (second from the left). His right foot is pointed straight ahead, while his left knee is lifting straight in front of him, driven by proper hip function (I think it's safe to assume that his hip function contributed directly to his abilities on the football field). President Carter is shifting on to his left side, which can happen slightly when walking, but it seems as though he is really having to shift his weight to his left side in order to get his right side off the ground. Honestly, it's more of a shift than I would like to see and I would assume is an indicator that something isn't quite right.

President Nixon appears to have slight right knee valgus stress (or "knock-kneed"), and his feet point out as well. President Bush's (on the far right) left knee is everting as he lifts it up. His feet are also both pointed out. It appears that President Reagan's left knee is pointing out slightly as he lifts it up, and his right foot is pointed out. All of those deviations point to the hips not functioning properly.

And, what about some of our more recent Presidents?



We see President George W. Bush (center) has a very neutral foot position, similar to President Ford (in the first photo above). And, not unlike President Ford, we're seeing the backs of his hands, which indicates that his shoulders are hinged/rolled forward. President Clinton (second from the right) has a very narrow stance and everted foot position. President Obama's right foot points out more than his left foot (and we know that he has struggled with knee pain in the past). Not much has changed with President Carter's foot position from the earlier picture to the more recent picture. He, like President George W. Bush, looks pretty good!

Obviously, we at Egoscue believe posture is important. We believe it holds the key to not only eliminating chronic pain, but numerous other ailments as well. But, I also believe that posture is important, or should be important, to anyone holding public office, especially the President. Good posture is not only healthy for you, it also brings with it an air of confidence. Good posture exudes poise, assurance, and boldness. I think it's safe to say that every President could (and should) benefit from Egoscue!

QUESTION: Who do you think has the best "Presidential posturing"?

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