Poor posture can cause havoc on our internal organs, especially relating to our digestive function.
Volloria et al. discovered patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) that complained of bloating and gas commonly had unusually relaxed oblique abdominal muscles, possibly caused by unusual diaphragm contractions. This study highlights some of the negative effects adopting a compromised body position when consuming a meal can have on digestion.
However, this is not the only significant body system that is impacted.
Poor posture can also promote a practice of mindless eating; decreasing our awareness of portion size, depleting our enjoyment of our food, diminishing digestive function, and increasing our tendency to overeat, increasing our risk of obesity.
The Gut – Brain link is well documented to have a huge influence over the peristaltic action of the stomach and the production of pancreatic enzymes, bile and hormones which promote good digestion. Being disconnected from the process of eating can lead to a lack of hydrochloric acid production, the natural acid produced in our stomachs, preventing the absorption of vital nutrients such as proteins, and minerals like zinc, magnesium and calcium. These are vital in our energy cycle and nerve conduction placing undue pressure on kidney function, liver function and our elimination pathways.
The poor digestion resulting from poor posture and slouching can also compound into constipation and other gut issues such as Leaky Gut Syndrome, worsening our vitality, mood and daily living.
Here’s an exercise to improve posture that can even be done at a desk:
Lift the bottom of your ribcage an inch or two off your hipbone, pulling your shoulder blades back and down. Check how efficient you are at maintaining the position by pinning a ribbon to the top and bottom of your shirt. The aim is to keep it taut for 10 minutes at a time.
– Pam Murphy | Naturopath & Remedial Therapist | NLP Practitioner