A forward shift in head position (poking chin posture) is one of the most common postural distortions seen by chiropractors. Ideal posture, when viewed from the side, should have the ear opening vertically in line with the point of the shoulder.
Forward shifting of the head can have a significant effect on the spine. For every 2-3cm your head slips forward, the load on your shoulders DOUBLES. This may lead to neck, mid-back and shoulder pain, as well as headaches, rotator cuff problems or tingling down the arms.
Apart from the physical effects, a slouched posture with forward head and shoulders is not aesthetically pleasing. When you think of someone who is healthy, self-confident and beautiful, the image is of someone who stands relaxed and upright, not hunched over.
To reduce forward head position and improve your health, try this 4-part daily exercise. All 4 parts are done standing with a relaxed, tall posture. Draw in the stomach slightly and gently tuck in the tailbone. The chest should be open with the shoulders and head drawn back. Fingers should be pointed straight out and thumb extended away from the fingers.
- Stand with straight arms above your head and thumbs pointing behind you. Draw your shoulders and backwards so you feel a tightening in the muscles at the back of the neck and between the shoulder blades. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Stand with your arms straight out (crucifix position) and thumbs pointing behind you. Repeat muscle tightening as in step one.
- Stand with your arms straight out, elbows bent at 90 degrees. Fingers are pointing upwards and thumbs pointing behind you. Repeat muscle tightening.
- Stand in the same position as in step 3, but with elbows drawn down. Fingers remain pointing behind you. Repeat muscle tightening.
This is an excellent and easy way to make real changes in the balance of your upper spine and nervous system.
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