Tuesday, March 29, 2011

 Dear Friends,

Two of my earlier blogs had sought to bring to your attention that the direction of our habitual line of sight profoundly influences our physical posture (and thus our health and sense of well being) . I had also pointed out that the problem of posture in human beings is ancient.

www.posturalbias.blogspot.com (Dated: Nov 29, 2008)

www.posturalbias2.blogspot.com (Dated: Oct 6, 2009).

In this post we will attempt to achieve a better understanding of the problem. We will look at the issue from a fresh perspective, the perspective of proper balance of the head over the spine. There is reason to suspect that the balance of the head of adult humans is deeply wrong. The proposition we would like to make is that the balance of head of the child in this Norman Rockwell Painting, is correct ...

... whereas the usual balance of the head of adults where the head is held forward is incorrect. Do your own research, observe people around you; imagine a tangent to the two protrusions at the back - the buttocks and the shoulder hump, the surfaces that would come into contact with a bed - and study the relationship of the back of the head to this tangential surface. Observe how the position of the head varies dramatically with age, with the type of job a person is engaged in, etc; in all cases you will be hard put to find an adult who is holding his head well back. Have fun!

Proper balance of the human body is possible only when the head is held well back and the spine is free to flex backwards even as the upper torso along with the pelvis tilt forward at the thigh-hip joint (this movement will be accompanied by flexing at the knees).

Support for this proposition:

1. When we observe small children we find that their heads are held well back (the back of the head will be behind the 'line of the spine', when they lean forward); it is reasonable to assume that small children are probably getting it right; the movement of children is fluid, in sharp contrast to the arthritic way in which adults move their bodies. (Another example of a child with his head held well back).

2. The places where the spine can easily flex is at the neck and at the small of the back; at both these places the natural curvature of the spine is such as to encourage backward movement!

(I would have preferred to introduce this subject to you after two years, when I would be 99% certain about my hypothesis; I am taking a chance by introducing the subject to you now, when I am only 90% certain. But then, can we afford to sit on such an important issue forever? It is unfortunate that we have sat on this problem for a hundred years even after x rays made it clear that there were serious distortions in the human skeletal system. If my hypothesis is correct, it is very unlikely that more than a handful of adults whether rich or poor, citified or rural or tribal, athletic or non-athletic can be getting their posture any where near right.)


If children hold their heads in the above manner, how do they typically hold their feet?

You can get some clue regarding this from these two exhibits (one of a child, other that of an adult):

Exhibit 1

Exhibit 2

Entry on: 17 Nov 2013
'Toe to Heel' movement:

The nature of balance of the body when we move will be influenced by the way in which we use our feet. In this connection the following article on 'toe to heel' movement is of interest:

This obviously raises the question, should we be leading with the front of the feet when we walk and run? Will shoes impede this kind of movement?

Entry on: 3 Oct 2014



P.S. With this position of the head a serious problem arises with regard to the use of pillows. I wouldn't advise anyone to suddenly give up his pillow, you may however read my views on the subject (I am afraid it is somewhat of a random rambling at present - needs to be properly structured).. http://useofpillows.blogspot.in/

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