what everyone should know: about their shoulders
Shoulder Protraction is epidemic; I would say that at least 95% of our society. This information should be on Oprah”....says Hawaiian Lomi practitioner Michael Locey.... “We are not taught posture and MDʻs only focus on the symptoms”
When we adopt a shoulder-forward head-forward posture, the pectoral muscles shrink to fit and hold the shoulder forward. This posture also becomes an unconscious norm; our mind tells us it is “normal”. When we look straight on in a mirror, we donʻt see it from the front.
When shoulder is forward, the head gets oriented forward, putting strain on the neck support muscles, causing shoulder/neck tension, and the nerves at the low neck vertebrae get compressed. Where the compessed nerves go, they cause trouble: scapula, rhomboids,latisimuss, arm, hands, shoulders, etc. Spasm, sensitivity, numbness, and tingling. We donʻt realize it is the neck nerves that are signaling.
Aside from neck and shoulder problems, the neck nerves can contract the Latissimus muscle that attaches at the hip area, causing your low back to be tweaked as well.
For every inch forward of the center of gravity the head is, the load of the neck support muscles increase 1000 times; do the math.
Shoulder mechanics are impaired; a twisted forward shoulder “hinge” causes impingement on ligaments and tendons in the shoulder joint, causing bursitis and other problems around the arm/shoulder joint.
The shoulder blades are “winged out” and the rhomboids, between the spine and scapula are overstretched and weakened.
Many of us have Flexion of the thoracic spine area further complicating the situation, creating a forward “bowing” of the chest area; putting your head even more forward of the center of gravity.
The neck lordosis or curve is excacerbated, setting up osteo-porosis, and even protrusion of the T1 joint, where what is called “dowagerʻs hump” can be apparent.
Posture is a learned or behavioral matter. We learn our posture as we come up out of the fetal position of childbirth. How we decide to hold ourselves is how our posture inevitably turns out.
We have learned that with good symetrical posture; shoulders back, chest out, head straight and over the center of gravity, tall and proud of our god-given body, that gravity has less of a burdensome effect as our torso and thicker low back spinal structure supports the shoulder/head area from below and there is a lightening effect on the upper body.
Proper specific stretching can eliminate symptoms from the lightest to the worst if applied consistently; 3 - 4 times a day, for a few minutes a time, as many times throughout the day as you may want to invest in comfortable balanced living.
I highly recommend these stretches: google them and you will find articles, diagrams and photos galore; to help you on your way to balanced, comfort.
Shoulder Retraction Stretch; Pectoralis Stretch;
Thoracic Extension Stretch
Chin tuck Stretch
Aloha, and happy living. “HO”O HAUOLI OLA MAI”
Angeline Lomi Kauai back to homepage