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4 Benefits of Carrying on the Head

Carrying weight on the head is a primal activity, something we have done for millions of years.

 

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Transporting water in the Ouahigouya marketplace, Burkina Faso, 1998.

 

I took an archeology course at Stanford from professor John Rick that included a workshop on stone knapping (chipping away at a stone to create arrowheads and similar tools). While most of us created pitiful arrowheads with no chance of any hunting success, a few members of the class hit the obsidian at productive angles that resulted in decent weapons. Professor Rick says that about 10 percent of his students intuitively know how to make good arrowheads. He believes that the relevant DNA for being good at this task has been conserved through the generations in these individuals. Making stone tools like... Read more

Why Positivity is Important in Learning Posture

August, 2018

Historically, teaching posture has involved nagging, scolding, and whipping youngsters and hapless underlings into shape. We’re overdue for a break from the questionable practices of the past, not only for sentimental reasons but also because the data available to us begs it.

 

  1. Positive reinforcement works better than negative reinforcement. What you focus on grows, and focusing on improvements keeps the improvements coming. Finding yourself in a slouched position from time to time is expected and doesn’t merit a lot of focus, except as a gentle trigger to make a healthy posture shift.


Positive reinforcement results in growth and motivates the upward trend to continue. Photo courtesy Pixabay.

 ... Read more

Making Flat Feet Into Arched Feet

Growing up as Esther’s third child, I was lucky to have been brought up with my posture (almost entirely) intact. The weak spot was my feet. Despite Esther’s encouragement (and sometimes nagging) to wear healthy shoes and sandals, I was pulled by the shoe trends of the day. I wore Converse and Kathy Madden, and as a result my feet were flat and undeveloped.


Converse shoes do not encourage a strong arch shape, but often draw youngsters because of their popularity. Photo courtesy Pixabay.

 

I played soccer, which was a big part of my identity. At some point I started having knee pains that caused me to need to stop playing 15 minutes into the game. Unable to run for any significant length of time, I tested out the goalie role, which actually ended up suiting me quite well... Read more

How to Lose Weight by Changing Your Posture

There are several ways the Gokhale Method helps a person lose weight. I discovered this benefit of the method from students reporting back to me that they had lost 10 pounds without changing anything other than their posture. This happened frequently enough that it set me thinking about possible mechanisms between J-spine posture and weight loss. There are no studies on posture and weight loss that I know of, so all the pathways described below are conjectures.

  1. Getting rid of pain enables and induces people to become more active. Our students almost routinely return to or take up a variety of athletic endeavors, yoga, dance, and more after getting rid of their back pain. Being active contributes directly and indirectly (better mood, better sleep, etc.) to weight loss.


After learning the Gokhale Method, many... Read more

How to Play the Guitar with Good Posture

July, 2018

Maintaining healthy posture during the activities you are passionate about is SO important. Good form will allow your body to partake in your favorite activities pain-free now and into the future. It often gives the additional benefit of performing better (because of a steadier hand, improved blood flow,...or just increased comfort and relaxation). We've seen a lot of musicians have to stop playing their instrument due to pain, and able to return to playing after learning the Gokhale Method.

A few months ago, I noticed that Nolan was playing guitar with a tucked pelvis and neck forward and I snapped this photo:


Forward head position puts strain on the neck muscles and threatens the cervical discs, ligaments, and nerves.

 

He asked how to play with good posture, so I put him in a... Read more

Man's Best Friend for Posture, Part II

June, 2018

In the first installment of this story, we discussed some physical movement patterns that can be supported or reinforced by owning / walking / observing dogs. Here, we touch on a few more benefits from having a furry pet!


Carrying and Lifting

As a dog owner, you will find yourself needing to lift well. It may be to carry bags of dog food, a pup, or perhaps a much-loved elderly or sick dog. By following the postural principles of the Gokhale Method, you can do this without strain or fear of injury. The most important techniques for this context are hip-hinging, inner corset, and maintaining a healthy shoulder structure.

 


Carry your pet with shoulders back, close to your... Read more