When you see photos of yourself, are you shocked at how far your chin juts in front of your shoulders? Does your head forward posture cause pain and tightness in your shoulders and upper back?
If you’ve tried stretching or strengthening exercises to fix this issue without much success, you’ll want to watch today’s video. As it turns out, it’s not tight muscles that are to blame for your head forward posture….at least, they’re not the root cause.
Stop Stretching to Fix Head Forward Posture!
When we think about posture problems, it’s tempting to take a mechanical approach, looking at muscles and tissues like pulleys supporting the body.
This model has some value, but it doesn’t address the reason your head forward posture started in the first place.
Your Body Orients to the Space Around It
Bodies are shaped by their environment, just like plants are. Have you ever seen a tree growing in a windy place with all the branches stretched in the direction the wind blows? Or a branch that’s grown around a telephone wire?
You can shape a plant by altering the space around it, and the same is true of your body. But unlike a tree, you have additional senses that bring in information about your surroundings because you move through your environment.
And so, it’s perhaps more correct to say that your body orients to its perception of the space around it.
Your body is not a machine; it’s an information system. Your senses – the five you think of plus your proprioception, or sense of your body in space – are constantly pulling in information from the space around you that activate or deactivate muscular contractions in your body.
Why Modern Life Begets Head Forward Posture
If we were living on the sparse plains of Africa as our ancestors did, we’d have lots of opportunity to gaze far off into the distance, scanning the horizon for predators. Or food. Both good things to be aware of.
But we’re not. We live in a modern environment where our vision is stilted by close-in walls and we spend eight, ten, twelve hours a day staring at a computer that’s a foot in front of our faces.
This lifestyle narrows our visual field until we focus solely forward with a lot of intensity. We lose awareness of our peripheral field. And our bodies follow suit.
Ideally, you have a full 360 degree awareness of the space around you. Body geeks call this your kinesphere – a fancy word for personal space. Our kinespheres get knocked around a lot during our lifetimes, though, like dented and crumpled old tin can. Physical and emotional trauma both have an effect, as do our daily habits.
What Can You Do About Head Forward Posture?
The solution here isn’t so much about stretching and strengthening. Your body is built for balance, after all, and it knows how to get back there if you just give it the right information.
Stretching and strengthening are helpful, mind you. I’m not knocking it completely. But the problem is that as soon as you stop doing the exercise and return to “everyday life,” you also return to a narrowed visual field and amputated perception of the space around you, which in turn will continue to support the head forward posture you were just trying to fix.
So, to really, truly correct this problem and take the strain off your neck and shoulders, you have to restore your awareness of the space behind your head. This is actually incredibly simple and can happen in an instant.
Watch the video for a simple solution to restore your full, juicy, 360 degree awareness and start enjoying the relief it’ll give your neck and shoulders!