I am becoming quite obsessed with body & neck posture as I witness the face taking on new shapes and body also going through its changes. I am standing taller and I’m learning about the profound effects body posture is having on social interactions.
Since the last post, I’ve really put the muscle contracture theory to test by making the repetitive conscious corrections to lift my head straight up from the occipital bone (back of the head), as this video demonstrates.
In the first week, I notice the back neck muscles becoming sore and sometimes even dull aches & pains as it was getting stretched with this new posture. I also pulled a muscle in my leg one day just walking and also in my neck, just doing a pushup when I pulled my head back to face forwards, I believe these are clear indicator that something is changing with my muscles.
The neck pull was quite painful for 2-3 days but I recovered now, and amazingly it seems that my body is accepting the new posture more as it becomes more comfortable in that new posture versus the old .
As I hold this posture, I also notice the front neck muscles being activated and that muscle strangely feels connected with the tongue. Various experts in this field confirms that its the front neck muscles that’s suppose to support the head up right, but most of us are tensing our back neck muscles to hold the head up in a forward head posture.
Above link (recommended by Mike Mew) is an amazing resource of neck posture & its consequences on the rest of the body. The creator of the site is a lady that struggled with amazing amounts of debilitating back pains for decades, going from doctor to doctor, taking paid meds just to survive.
She had severe degenerated discs, bone spurs, lordosis (curing of the back) & more. Nothing worked until she started fixing her head posture which effectively resolved all of her issues. Her front neck muscles from disuse had atrophied to the point that she couldn’t even lift her head off the pillow when laying flat on her back.
Yes you can clearly feel the difference in the tension of front & back neck muscles when you hold the correct head posture versus titling the head back.
You can feel that the front neck muscles is holding the head up but I would take it one step further and say that when the head is held up correctly the tongue also jams up into the front and back palate more aggressively (automatically) to help hold the head up as suggested by Mike Mew. It seems that the front neck muscle and the tongue as a whole is body’s postural system that works in unison to keep the head up.
When the head is tilted back and the lower jaw is brought forwards, artificially more tongue space is created but at a big cost, you will notice the posterior tongue leaves the soft palate as it was never designed for the tongue to be able to adopt correct oral posture with the head forward or tilted.
As I type this I have my computer raised to eye level as I displayed here, head raised up, chin tucked, feeling the nice stretch on the back neck muscle (which feels quite nice), the front neck muscle tense along with my tongue jamming straight up into my palate helping to support the head from tipping over. I can also confirm that when I swallow the front neck is tensing & activating in unison with the posterior tongue hitting the back of the throat.
I can also see that when my head is held up in this manner now my forehead is no longer the sloping forehead and my eyes immediately open bigger & takes on more “sharper” shape compared to the more “sleepy” shape when the head is tilted back.
This is displayed nicely in the above photo by John Mew, there’s instant changes that take place when the head is held differently but I believe overtime it will even affect the shapes of the bones, as the facial muscles sit differently on the face.
I also feel completely different forces on the face when the head is held up by the occipital. Almost like there’s more compression on the midface which is what we want.
As the occipital is lifted, there is a clockwise momentum that is causing the head to want to look down but that momentum is counter acted by the neck & tongue, as you can see in the diagram I drew above, this relationship could be putting that compacting force on the maxilla that we are looking for.
We also have to count in the effect of gravity on bone remodeling, when the head is held up in this manner, there is more forward weight that can be felt, instead of the weight going back towards the back of the head when the head is tilted back. This change in distribution of weight will without a doubt have an effect on the bone as well. Just like how an astronaut experiences bone loss when they are in zero gravity.
Also, is it possible that the front neck muscle which is now activated and getting stronger, will help drive the whole lower jaw & mid face up?
ATM it certainly feels like its putting tons of forces on the lower jaw.
Have you ever seen celebrity face morphing videos that display their faces changing over the years? It really gives you that insight into how bone is more like clay instead of something solid & rigid.
Which really makes me think that the head held up in this manner should shorten overtime as the gravity squishes the head. Imagine making the human head out of clay and setting it on the table, if you come back days later it would have been molded shorter just by sheer gravity acting on it, and then imagine if the head was set in a tilted manner instead, the face would take on a different shape compared to the first example.
What comes to mind that may back this theory is people in certain tribes that wears those neck rings, which would force someone to keep the upright head posture, and so that would mean their face would be short because gravity would be distributed really evenly on the skull.
& upon reviewing many pictures, that notion seems accurate
Now when you factor in the fact that when the head shifts from its correct posture, so does the tongue’s ability to rest properly on the palate, and then possible muscle contracture theory that some muscles in the face may shorten / lengthen, then you really begin to understand that if you got someone with forward head posture, there is no way their face can be short and I have been seeing this to be quite accurate in pictures of various people / real life examples.
Obama: forward neck, his front neck muscles not active. head tilted back slightly. longer facial shape. back neck muscle shortened.
Messi: long facial shape, forward head position and tiled back. sloping forehead. Actually this is the shape & posture that probably most represent what I have going on. back neck muscle shortened and tense to hold the head up by pulling on the back of the head, its very possible overtime this strong neck muscle that’s pulling the head back will distort the skull shape.
Brad Pitt: Excellent head posture, and the mid-face is short. back neck muscle is stretched & long.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Face is short, he keeps his head up straight. great head posture but maybe not perfect?
Gackt: Upright head posture, excellent body posture, back neck muscle stretched and occipital lifted. You can pretty much see the frontal lobe & (back) parietal lobe of cranium leveled perfected above the shoulders. More ideal / perfect head posture
There is a straight line you could draw from the center point on the top of his head, down the spine.
What came first the chicken or the egg? John & Mike Mew of orthotropics have known that vertical facial growth, as a result of open mouth posture, results in forward head posture, but could the opposite also be true? poor head posture resulting in lengthening of face overtime alone? Well I think its pretty clear that yes this is also the case because you can clearly feel the difference of how the back of the tongue sits on the palate as the head shifts positions.
Body Posture is a Big Deal
Many of you might have already seen Amy Cuddy’s power poses TED Talk, Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are, second most watched TED talk ever with near 10 million views.
How poor body posture results in lower testosterone and increased cortisol levels (stress hormone) and good posture or doing “power poses” results in different chemical makeup that allows individuals to perform at higher levels, as studied in clinical scientific research as well as 15,000 emails that Amy has received since her video went viral.
We have all heard body language is important when communicating but this science seems to go a lot deeper than we have ever imagined. Changing your body posture “how you hold your body” not only affects how others perceive you but how you perceive yourself, more precisely you begin to access programs in your subconscious mind.
The following is a profound video
Ann Washburn has effectively changed herself & life, by learning about body language and changing how she holds her body. There is also a great story about one of her sons that kept getting picked on at school, and Ann gave him just 1 advice to stand firmly on both legs, weight distributed evenly which shows others that you are firm in your foundation, that you are not easily toppled over & messed with, and he reported 2 weeks later that it worked, a year later he had more friends than any other school he’s been to in the past. He’s now a very social individual involved in various leadership positions.
I really resonated with this video because I can admit that I do cross my arms and stand with weight on one leg more often than not.
So last night I decided to test this out when I went out to a show with bunch of my friends, incorporating up right head posture, standing with weight on both legs and arms out to the side, and the effects were tremendous. I not only felt different all night walking around the venue, but I was also approached by few girls and guys striking up conversation wanting to be friends. As I conversed with various people, I could tell my social levels have gone up to a new level. On a bio-chemical level, I bet you I had more testosterone in the veins and lowered cortisol, I had no issues approaching strangers and striking up a conversation and how smoothly some of these interactions went even surprised me.
Knowing about the importance of lifting the head by the occipital is a huge key, I can’t quite do it to the extensive degree in public yet because my chin would be really tucked but I can still hold the occipital up with back neck stretched and front neck tense relatively well, and that really caused me to stand tall and walk tall everywhere I went. And with weight firmly planted on both feet when standing, I guarantee it produces a completely different vibe than the usual weight on one leg, and various hands or arms crossed postures.
Which leads me to a new level of understand about social interactions.
we are always communicating even if we aren’t talking. (by the way you hold your body)
This communication is happening on a subconscious level, whether we understand it or not.
Now I understand what its really meant when people say things like
“That man carries himself well” or “she carries herself well”
We are judging the person’s level of confidence by their body language or posture and this is all happening unconsciously by us.
What’s even more profound is that when you really begin to study this science, body language can reveal the person’s blocks in the subconscious mind, and those blocks can be removed by consciously changing the body posture or gesture patterns.
The body & mind is not separate, but intimately connected & reflects one another.
So there is unimaginable consequences to what we are doing with fixing oral & body posture.
Becoming conscious of all of this feels really empowering.
In the above video, Angelo Poli shares 3 exercises which I find helpful in helping to re-establish this upright body posture. Interesting insight into how this technology age is destroying people’s postures. One I find interesting is the butt squeezing exercise, strengthening the butt muscles is important in keep the upright body posture because it establishes correct pelvic position with tail bone going back instead of in.
The Ancestral Posture lady, Esther Gokhale, also talks about the importance of strengthening the butt muscles particularly the top of the butt muscle, the gluteus medius. When I squeeze this muscle, I can feel this relaxing feeling all throughout my back & neck, and even up to my occipital.
Again confirming how our entire musculature system is intimately connected.
BioCranial & Dura Mater
You know a while back, I had a physical therapy person share with me a cranial technique that works to shift all the bones in the face by working with the occipital bone, that effectively stretches the dura mater, which is the tough membrane that’s in between the brain and the skull and in cases the entire nervous system going all the way down to the tailbone.
Here is a video explaining this technique.
Here is a video demonstration.
In this video, the technique creator Robert Boyd shows how the tension of dura mater can distort the face & entire body proportions.
Now I believe this is beginning to explain more about the importance of good head posture and how the face looks, when the head is held up correctly, the base of the skull is lifted as much as possible from the first vertebra the atlas, and this is definitely stretching the dura mater out optimally and its another key piece of the puzzle that explain why people with the most beautiful faces of the world that is nice & symmetrical, also have good head posture.
The volunteer patient in the above video after he gets treated and they have him walk across the stage, from the side shot you can clearly see he has forward head posture.
I believe its his posture that’s ultimately causing all of his issues and yes the biocranial technique seems to have released some of his issues but I believe those effects are temporarily and will not last, unless he begins correcting his head posture.
Very interesting bio cranial testimonial video where a girl’s under bite resolved.
As I lift my head up from the back, towards the sky, everything seems to be opening up in the body and in life. From the eyes becoming more open to even the collapsed right side of the face seems to be expanding outwards now, tongue posture becoming more solid than ever, along with few tweaks such as standing with weight on both feet, shoulder back, head upright the response I am getting from the world is changing dramatically and a sense of increased well being is arising as I observe lowered stress levels and my increased ability to deal with the stressful situations.
Here is what I am sensing now.
The body is how we interface with the world, its like an instrument that we use to play our tune, by changing how we hold the body even if its one small change, there is an cascading effect and everything changes.
In my opinion, our head posture seems to be one of the most vital keys.