What is Primal Posture and Why Should You Care?

Esther Gokhale, who has studied the posture of people in less developed places throughout the world – where back pain is virtually unheard of – believes that our modern lifestyles are causing serious harm due to sitting all day. Gokhale studied biochemistry at Harvard and Princeton, as well as acupuncture at the San Francisco School of Oriental Medicine, and has developed two effective methods known as Foundation Training and the Gokhale Method to teach people to return to what she refers to as “primal posture.”

Proper posture is said to be the true foundation for health, and by becoming familiar with the functional biomechanics of the body, you can learn to optimize the way you move at all times. This results in preventing aches and pains from developing, in addition to allowing for optimal circulation.

One of the most important postural techniques Gokhale uses is “how to maintain a J-spine.” While current advice generally tells patients to tuck in their pelvis, the result is an S-shaped spine that squeezes the organs and compromises their function – with the hours and hours of sitting that most of us do, it’s no surprise that this can lead to dysfunction.

Gokhale believes that a J-shaped spine is best for good posture, and is much more natural. A J-spine calls for a posture that includes a straight back with the lumbar relatively flat and the buttocks slightly protruding. This is said to allow more freedom of movement, allows the digestive organs to function without restriction, and serves to discourage pain. The bones in the spine naturally stack properly, which allows the muscles alongside the spine to relax. The spine lengthens and settles naturally as you breathe, stimulating circulation and promoting healing.

In this video, Gokhale demonstrates her method, which promotes the more beneficial posture.

Recent studies have shown that prolonged sitting may be as detrimental to our health as smoking cigarettes, and that even regular exercise can’t compensate for its damage. Proper posture (along with physical activity) may be the key to building a foundation upon which everything else related to optimal health is built.

Dr. Mercola is a strong believer in this, noting: “By understanding the functional biomechanics of your body and working with gravity instead of against it, you learn to optimize the way you move about your life all the time.” He explains that in the past, he had a difficult time going on just one hike without back pain, but after incorporating Foundation Training as well as standing up at regular intervals throughout the day, he was able to hike for five days and remain completely free of lower back pain.

back painIf you’ve been experiencing back pain or other health issues and are forced to sit for a majority of the day due to a sedentary job or any other reason, this may be an incredibly powerful healing habit to learn.

-The Alternative Daily



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