Today we’re going to focus on aligning the cervical (neck) vertebrae, an important concept nowadays since forward head posture (FHP) is so prevalent.
As always, I have practiced this weekend’s exercise, and I can tell you that it feels wonderful! It aligns the head properly to correct and prevent the typical curved kyphotic posture that’s both unbecoming and bad for both your spine, neck, and overall health.
In addition, I share with you a ground-breaking study that reveals yet another benefit of good posture: increased independence as we age.
So let’s get started with this important exercise!
FHP is an insidious problem in our modern world. You may not realize it, but when you lean forward to look at your computer screen, smart phone, and any number of modern electronics, your head is thrust forward.
Also, poor posture, such as hunched shoulders and a misaligned pelvis force your neck to tilt forward.
Even a slight forward head posture adds stress and strain to your upper back and neck muscles, because the head is off-center. This is not a big problem if you do it a few times a day. But for many, FHP occurs dozens of time throughout the day, sometimes for hours (or even all the time!) causing misalignment and setting the stage for kyphosis.
Why Is Cervical Alignment So Important?
Chiropractors adjust the cervical vertebrae to relieve many health problems, especially the top two (C-1 and C-2). Known as the “atlas” and the “axis” respectively, C-1 and C-2 contain a large number of nerves that affect numerous body systems.
For example, C-1 misalignment has been implicated in depression, hormonal imbalances, ear infections, and even anxiety. When C-2 is out of place, issues such as chronic sinus trouble, fainting, eye problems, and allergies may result.
FHP can promote misalignment of the neck, setting the stage for a host of health-related problems. In addition, FHP distorts the normal curvature of the neck, leading to compressed breathing, muscle pain, and decreased circulation.
The Cervical Positioner helps align all cervical vertebrae (there are seven). It is a simple exercise, but don’t let that fool you. The Cervical Positioner is highly effective, especially when performed often throughout the day.
Like the exercises in Densercise™, the Cervical Positioner does not require any special equipment. You can even do it sitting down.
- Bring your arms straight out to the side, as high as your shoulders.
- Slowly bring your elbows in and down, palms facing out, and bring the backs of your hands in to your shoulders.
- Slowly bring your arms down to your sides and relax. Repeat at least 3 times.
There are even more benefits associated with a properly aligned spine…
Good Posture Means Less Assistance With Daily Activities, Study Shows
In a Japanese study, participants (aged 65-94) were evaluated for spinal posture and independence in daily activities. After 4.5 years, researchers found that those who had good posture and spinal alignment retained their independence in contrast to the poor posture group, who showed increased dependence. 1
Aligned Cervical Vertebrae Are Crucial For Good Posture
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1 Kamitani, K., et al. “Spinal posture in the sagittal plan is associated with future dependence in activities of daily living: a community-based cohort study of older adults in Japan.” The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. July 2013. 68(7): 869-75. doi: 10.1093/gerona/gls253. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23359541