- Pain is youth leaving the body
This course will teach you how to fix your bad posture.
Posture is the first and most important step to living a healthy and pain-free life. This video course teaches you how to correct and maintain perfect posture and get rid of your back pain.
You can discover the theory and practice of perfect posture on your own through these 40 simple exercises and explanations of basic anatomy and biomechanics.
The course comes complete with four additional e-books for more in-depth explanations.
The knowledge gained in this course will not only teach you how to live everyday life without pain, but how to thrive in activities or sports requiring balance and coordination. You will be able to run, dance, or practice martial arts once again - or just play with your children or grand-children.
Each section focuses on uniquely important aspects of your body.
1. You will learn how to breathe more easily and efficiently. Your breath is the essence of your life. Take control of it and you will gain more energy.
2. You will learn how to stand for longer periods of time without pain. Control your pelvis and you control all of your movements. This exercise will improve your balance and stability. It will make you stronger and lower the danger of falling.
3. You will learn how to walk in a way that relaxes your spine and your lower back in particular. This knowledge is particularly useful in fighting lower back pain - you can be your chiropractor.
4. You will learn how to sit straight without pain or effort. Sit actively to prevent back or shoulder injuries.
5. You will learn the ergonomics of the perfect working space. You will be able to work longer and stay more relaxed. Find the necessary energy to concentrate on your projects.
6. As you sleep six to nine hours every night, good sleeping posture is crucial in fixing your posture. Using a pillow under your head or choosing a bad mattress can cause serious health problems. This section will teach you how to correct and improve your posture during your sleep and how to choose the right mattress.
All these exercises and stretches to fix your posture can also result in immediate pain relief. You can do these exercises in the comfort of your own home. They will take 5 to 15 minutes to do and you can expect to complete the program within about three weeks.
All of the exercises are easy and do not require any special skills for healthy individuals. The knowledge gained does not replace medical advice. In case of doubt, please consult with your doctor.
If you are already working with a chiropractor or an osteopath, this program will complement your treatment.
This first series of exercices teaches you how to breathe freely. Learn about abdominal and rib cage breathing and how to make sure your body uses these patterns correctly. Feel the movement of the diaphragm and other muscles used for in- and expiration.
Understand how natural breathing results from good posture and is not limited to the torso. Read our e-book "Hunchback bye bye" to learn about body structure and tensegrity.
Learn how to feel the breathing movement in the front line of your body : Rib cage and sternum down to the pelvis and into your feet. Feel the wave movement created by your inspirational and expirational muscles, especially the diaphragm.
The lateral breathing movement will let you discover the action of your ribs and notably the Intercostal Muscles. Feel how the angle of the torso has a direct impact on how easily and deeply you breathe. This exercice should make you realize how a slouching posture stops you from natural breathing (see exercices on the correct sitting movement).
Do not overemphasize the lifting up of the rib cage when trying to breathe naturally. This third breathing exercice shows you, how to make room for relaxed breathing in your lower back. You will understand that it is pointless to overstretch the spine (again : see exercices on the sitting movement later on).
Also, you'll feel how the breathing movement goes through your legs into your feet, which will be become important in our series on Flexible Standing.
The Zig Zag Line principle is the underlying pattern that we use throughout this whole course. You will adapt it to proper standing and walking, but also to the correct sitting posture. It is also an extremely useful concept to understand if you should be training in martial arts where it provides stability as well as flexibility. Making use of the Zig Zag Line principle lets you punch harder and move faster.
If you are a dancer, especially dancing latin-american danses such as salsa, merengue and such like, it will make your hips more flexible and use be able to lead your partner with more precision and elasticity.
In fact, this principle applies to all natural movement and should be integrated into your everyday life. It will provide you with more energy and protect your joints.
The wave movement of the spine is what you should be aware of in most postures, especially in standing and sitting. It means that your body is relaxed and perfectly follows the breathing movement. The movement can be very small, but will always relieve your spine of tension and massage your discs enough to keep them healthy. It also provides a feeling of calm and well being that can be useful for stress management.
Breathe through your whole body into the ground and back again. Feel how your legs do part of the work. Let your lungs fill up from bottom to top and then breathe out again. Being aware of how the breathing movement happens in your whole body shows you, that you are One and that you should not mentally divide your body into "body parts" - unless you're planning on donating your liver ;)
Read Frank Demanns e-book on body structure and senmotic blue therapy. Interesting facts about posture and how to improve it. Frank Demann is the founder of Senmotic.
Do you have a kyphosis or hyperlordosis - meaning your lower back too flat or too arched? In this first exercices on correct standing posture, learn how to adapt your pelvis tilt. The pelvis being in the center of the body, its angle has a very direct influence on all other parts of your body and the quality of your movement.
Knowing how to control your pelvis tilt is also crucial for all kinds of activities, especially dancing and martial arts. It also provides better fun if you work out horizontally :)
In order to be able to move your hips in 3D, you also need to know the lateral hip movement. Do not sway and leave your central axis when you do this. In case of doubt, use a mirror.
Discover your quadratus lumborum muscle. A must for dancers.
This is a great exercices for lumbar pain relief. Turning the hips needs a little more coordination, so don't give up if you can't do it right away. Again, if you should have any difficulties, try it in front of a mirror. Avoid swaying.
Start slowly, then try different speeds. Watch some oriental dancing on youtube for inspiration.
Find out more about your scalene, sternocleidomastoid and other muscles bringing up the rib cage. A flat chest is as bad as an overextend one. Flexibility in the rib cage allows for deeper breathing and better oxygen supply. Knowing when to stick out your chest may help you in catching people's attention and feeling more powerful.
Isolate the rib cage from the pelvis so you can move them independently. Relaxes the lumbar region. Make sure to keep breathing naturally as you do this exercice.
Combines the last three exercices on the rib cage - pelvis coordination. Again, be aware of your breathing while you do the exercice. Feel how your legs support the movement. Make sure not to sway, but to turn around your central axis.
Shoulder and neck pain are current problems in sedentary work. Learn about the different movements that your shoulder can do and use this exercice to relax a stiff neck. When working in a sitting position, frequently make sure that your shoulders do not hold unnecessary tension.
Moving and coordination exercices are not only important for your bones and muscles. Learn how they can positively affect your brain. Written by Frank W. Demann, creator of the Senmotic System.
In this section we'll introduce the natural walking style, using the forefoot strike. A natural walking style has enormous benefits on your body. It relaxes the spine and is much less abrasive to the joints than using the heel strike.
It also has psychological implications : Hitting the ground with your heel is a sign of aggressively or spite. Walking on your forefoot however gives you a feeling of lightness, ease and happiness.
Very simple and intuitive beginners exercice : Compare the forefoot and the heel strike and find out how different they feel for yourself. Hear how hard the heel strike is on your joints and how elegant the forefoot strike is in comparison.
Did you know? Most children naturally use the forefoot when they first start walking. It's only by copying their parents and, even more importantly, using shoes, that they later forget how to walk right.
Learn how your foot and indeed your lower legs are actually constructed to absorb the shock of the fall. That is why we always land on the forefoot when we jump. The mere fact that you can't land on your heels and roll your foot to absorb the shock shows, that this way of thinking is simply wrong. It should be obvious to anyone, that a foot would have to be round to roll, when it is in fact hollow.
The tensegrity structure of you foot (and the achilles tendon) absorb the shock and store the energy to release it for the next step - thus not only preserving your joints but also saving you energy.
This exercice makes the function of your foot as a shock absorber and energy saver very clear. Note also how and when your hip joint bends in the action and use that knowledge when you walk.
When walking there is a counter rotational movement between your pelvis and your rib cage. That is why, when your right foot advances, your left arm swings forward. This is not only an energy saving movement (you'd need too much force balancing out the inertia if you brought forth the hand and foot on the same side) but it also "twists" your spine and thus relaxes it.
On top of the aforementioned counter-rotation between the pelvis and the rib-cage, there is also the wave movement going on in your spine. These two movements combined keep your spine healthy and can be very efficient pain reliefs. Use natural walking after a long period of sitting to keep your spine in action and relax it. Can be quite as effective as many stretching or yoga exercices.
Knowing how to use the knee joint is quite as important as the ankle movement. When using the heel strike, most people have a completely straightened leg, thus hurting the knee and sending the shock of the fall all the way through the body. For the knee to play its role as a shock absorber, it should continue to slightly bend when the forefoot touches the ground. Remember that since we have joints, we should use them. That's why, even in a standing position, your knees are always slightly bend, just as you rarely completely stretch your arms, even when they just hang by your side.
It is especially lower back pain that can be "treated" by natural walking. It is especially the sedentary position that causes back pain and our natural walking style can be a "first aid movement" as well as a good prevention. Use daily ;)
We walk a lot and we should walk even more. Walking is therefore an amazing opportunity to do us some good - or bad. Going back to your natural walking style can sometimes take a while. Don't be too strict with yourself. Don't try it, when you are in a hurry : Natural walking is slow walking, if you want to go faster you must jog. Also make sure to use the right gear : www.senmotic-shoes.de
Real barefoot shoes should have no heel at all and a very flexible sole as well as enough room for your toes to spread out. I recommend our shoes, not only because they meet all of these requirements, but also because they are being built in Germany and therefore combine quality with respect of the environment and indeed the people who produce them.
Sitting is one of the major causes for back pain. The reason is often that your back remains entirely inactive for too long, In this section, you will learn what we call "an active sitting movement" which will activate your spine and massage your discs. You'll be able to sit pain free for much longer periods and reduce the risk of a slipped disc. You should still, obviously, try and get up regularly.
You don't need an overly expensive office chair to sit right. A hard flat surface will do. The chair should be high enough, so that your pelvis is a little higher than your knees.
Discover your sitting bones. See how many people sit on their coccyx (end of spine) rather than on their sitting bones. Your torsos point of gravity should be in front of your sitting bones so that your back muscles support your weight. Breathe lightly and feel the breathing movement gently move the spine. When well done you feel very light.
Make sure not to wear too tight trousers (pants) or belts. If your belt puts pressure on your waist, you will end up slouching. Also avoid (high) heels as they make it difficult for the legs to support the sitting movement.
Feel how the pelvis tilt determines the angle of the rib cage and especially the sternum. You have already learned how the sternum can stop the diaphragm from breathing properly. Make sure the sternum doesn't block the diaphragm. If your pelvis is in the right position, your rib cage will come up, thus allowing easy and deep breathing. You'll feel much lighter and calmer.
Now back to the breathing movement and how it gently massages your spine. One theory on back pain is that the total inactivity of the lumbar fascia (connective tissue) triggers pain when inactive for too long. By allowing the breathing movement to flow through your body, you make sure that your entire spine keeps moving while you sit.
I've spent very long ours in front of my computer creating this program. I've been able to completely avoid back pain or even feeling tired by using this sitting movement. Try it out :)
Any movement you do should happen in your entire body and that is true also for the sitting movement. As your torso goes forward when you breathe out, your legs and feet will transfer the body weight into the ground and push you back up again. It's a very small movement, but very helpful to keep up blood and lymph circulation.
Good posture always gives you more energy and stability. Posture is all about perfect alignment of the body in gravity. Indeed, gravity can drag us down, but it also helps us stabilize and align. Make gravity your friend. In this exercice, feel how week your back is when you are slouching and how much more stable and light you feel in good sitting posture. The partner pushing down on your shoulders acts as "extra gravity" to help you feel the benefits better.
One of the major errors you can make in trying to sit right or sit straight is overextending your back. Indeed, sometimes people try to sit properly, only to go back to slouching in a matter of minutes.
That is because of a major misunderstanding : Good sitting posture does not mean sitting overly straight which is quite as harmful as slouching. If you've adapted your sitting posture according to the previous exercices, you can now make sure to completely relax your back muscles - as long as your center of gravity remains in front of the sitting bone and the breathing movement happens.
Once that is done use minimum effort. Do not overstretch ! Do not overstretch! Do not overstretch!
Wanna lay back and relax. Use a different sitting posture? Here is some advice on how to do it better, without always using the standard posture.
The ZigZag Line principle has been the leitmotif throughout this whole course and you should use for sitting just like you use it with any other type of movement.
If you have been aware of this principle in all our previous exercices you'll hopefully be able to adapt it to any other activity and thus permanently improve your posture. In my experience the pain reduction is fast and permanent.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions at all about this course or posture in general.
Learn how to choose your furniture for pain free sitting.
Everything you need to know about the correct sitting posture in a nutshell. For those in a hurry. If you have worked on section 4, you can skip this part.
Learn where to position your screen and keyboard and how to avoid a carpal tunnel syndrome by typing correctly.
It is very hard to maintain good posture when working with a laptop computer. Here are some tips for you.
Introduction to healthy a sleeping posture.
Learn why a hard mattress like a futon is a key to healthy posture and why you shouldn't let mattress-sellers convince you otherwise.
Since sleeping takes about one third of our time, it is crucial that you use this time well.
Sleeping on your back is the healthiest possible sleeping position. Most people slouch: They have a round back, tucked in shoulders and a Head-Forward-Position.
These posture problems are only exacerbated by sleeping on a soft mattress with a pillow under your head, as this allows for the convex slouching posture to continue at night.
On a hard mattress like a futon however, gravity will pull your head and shoulders down at night and give you a perfect posture workout.
For lumbar back pain relief you can put the pillow under your knees. A folded T-Shirt under your sacrum can also contribute to the fight against hyper-lordosis.
Sleeping on one's back can sometimes take a bit of getting used to. If you feel you can't go to sleep in this position, try relaxing on your back for 15 to 20 minutes every night before you go to sleep to get used to it.
And remember: Pillow under your knees.
If you feel very stiff and have slept with a pillow under your head for fifty or more years, it might be a good idea to start by gradually reducing the height of the pillow.
Sleeping on your side is the second best choice in good sleeping positions. Contrary to some advertisement, your lumbar region needs no support from a special mattress whatsoever. Try this out by lying on a hard wooden floor and feel how much support or energy you need to keep a straight spine. You will find that no effort whatsoever is needed.
You do need a firm pillow though to make sure your neck and head stay straight.
Try putting as much of your body weight as possible on your rib cage and as little as possible on your actual shoulder.
A pillow between your knees can prove to be very relaxing for your back, especially for women.
Women may also experience some discomfort on a very hard mattress, is they have "pointy hip bones" (actually the head of the femur / thighbone). In this case you might have to compromise and buy a slightly softer mattress.
In this lecture you will learn why sleeping on your front is a bad habit for your neck, which is constantly turned to one side at night.
However, some people can only go to sleep in this position. If this is your case, this video will show you how to alleviate some of the bad effects of the front sleeping position.
One of the effects you might not be aware of is that on the calf muscles. As your feet lie flat on the mattress, the calf muscles might "shorten" (the tissue might lose flexibility). As many people wear shoes with heels, they already have dysfunctional calf muscles - the goal is not make things worse even in your sleep.
A simple pillow under your ankles will allow the foot to have a more natural angle at night and the calf muscles to relax.
The knees will also be slightly angled which in turn is good for your lower back.
Adding a pillow under your pelvis will also help you lie according to the Zig-Zag-Line principle and alleviate back pain.
Last but not least, putting your sternum and head on a pillow will put less stress on your neck and shoulders.
Tips and tricks on how to avoid common posture mistakes when using smartphones and tablets. Bad posture will mainly lead to tense neck and shoulders, the "smartphone thumb" (hand pain) and short-sightedness (myopia). Simply follow the zig-zag line principle and use the speech-to-text function whenever you can.
Peter Scholten is a certified and experienced deep tissue massage therapist, body worker and posture expert. He is also the author of "The Bad Back Manual - Intelligent 24/7 Solutions to Correct Posture & Heal Back Pain".
He runs a successful massage therapy ("Faszientherapie") practice in Wiesbaden, Germany where he provides daily consultations to help people get rid of their back and neck pain and improve their general health.
The deep tissue massage technique, also called fascia-therapy, is extremely effective for correcting postural problems and enhancing physical performance.
Peter is the official trainer for Senmotic Fascia Therapy in France and has trained a first generation of French practitioners.
In order to offer further support and practical assistance to those suffering from posture-related problems, he has created online video classes in English, French and German.
Peter also teaches martial arts to private students.