Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Paleo approach to posture

Eddie commented on a recent post:

With her work on postures in less industrialized cultures, I saw Ms. Perez and now Gokhale, Porter, Couch and those that follow, as being to posture and gait, what is to nutrition.

This got me thinking about posture being an underappreciated aspect of evolutionary fitness / primal fitness. There is a lot of talk about diet and exercise, even sleep and stress, but little on posture and correct biomechanics.

Matt first pointed to Gokhale and I have loved her book. I then had suggested to me Porter's Ageless Spine which is based on similar principles. They have taken as a template the posture of people in less industrialised cultures - just as Weston Price tried to recover the dietary knowledge of such cultures.

It is an interesting thing to think about - what is the natural way to stand / sit / squat / lie / walk? If we are so into applying the primal blueprint to out diet and exercise, what does it mean for our posture?

I think it means we need to learn from Gokhale and Porter.

And also from Jean Couch:

Here is an article that Couch wrote in 1998 with some good information:

The problem with the contemporary posture is that the pelvis, which is the center of the body, has shifted off center, and when the center of anything is off, every other part is affected negatively. For the body, this means that joints are misaligned and muscles are either too long (hypertonus) or too short (hypotonus). I describe these modern misalignments as being "out of balance."

Posture is a cultural phenomenon-it is learned. All children on the earth are balanced until around the age of three-after that they take on the posture of the adults around them. Today it is difficult to find a native-born six-year-old in the United States who is in balance, and most adults in industrialized countries are out of balance. On the other hand, most people in developing countries are still in balance. Their joints align at the center of the bones and their muscles are therefore at their natural lengths. And because these people are in anatomical balance, they share postures and movement patterns that I think are natural to the species.

Posture should be part of the primal blueprint.


thefightgeek said...

Stll loving your posture based posts ...

I think you're really onto something!


Neck Exercises said...

Interesting observation. So, true that kids copy their adults on everything including posture.