Mel Collie | How to have great posture as you age
In my last post on the Red & Green reflexes, you will have understood more about why pain and stiffness in the back, shoulders and neck and why its can be a simple thing like fear and our thoughts that can create pain and issues with our posture.
As we age, we can actually reduce the well known associated aging posture issues like back pain and reduced movement and balance.
The constant seesaw between the Red and Green light reflexes, means that muscles are contracted and relaxed. As we get older we have more responsibilities , bills, relationship issues, worries, concerns, mortgages, work stress, deadlines, kids, sleep problems, diet issues, which can increase both reflexes.
All of these create a constant trigger of the 2 reflexes which eventually interfere with each other. When this repeats over the years, the senile posture is the result of all those years of pulling and relaxing, of fear and retreating, combining retractions of of withdrawal (Red light) and action(Green light) responses.
On top of this , we are told that as we age , pain is an inevitable sign of ageing, This is a sweeping statement, which can create a negative self image which is a judgmental point of view, and when we are judged, we tend to harbour a sense of fear and try to please others at our own cost.
This leads to a negative feeling, feeling “less than”, so we feel small, our posture mirrors our feelings. This affects our fight or flight response, our breathing is affected, in turn this affects our posture.
The lower back muscles pull , the muscles in the front pull, the result is a forward head, rounded shoulders, rounded upper back. However, because we all see our own reality differently, our response are varied, so one person will not have the same posture as the next person.
Someone with a more stooped posture has their responses being more dominant in Red Light reflex . If the Green Light reflex is more dominant , we find the lower back curves are exaggerated , as is the neck too as they mirror each other.
We end up with the body being the outward projection of the habitual responses throughout our lifetime. responses to neuromuscular stress.
You can, though, reduce your stress responses, you can begin by noticing your triggers and you can change your body, how it moves, the pain you feel, and fatigue.
Accepting pain and lack of movement as we age is a myth, it can be inevitable of course, so lets embrace it, love it, allow it to fit , listen less to media and judgmental comments about what we “should” be doing and what we “should” look like as we age. These issues become the ingredients for our responses, they feed the red and green light reflexes so we feel more fearful which leads to us retreating more, concerned what others will think of us.
Happiness and fulfillment, gratitude for what we have, who we are and where we are, finding peace and calm goes towards a better inner being and strength, all of this can begin from a simple awareness of your breath, breathing from the lower abdominals,slow and steady inhalation and exhalation, connects with our sympathetic and para sympathetic nervous system, more about this in my next blog, so watch this space.
Pilates sessions and 1:1 sessions from Portreasth, Cornwall
Coming soon : Pre Pilates sessions. Spending time on walking, movement, neck and shoulder releases, feet, ankle flexibility and rotation.