Forward head posture is becoming more common in the modern world.
Is there a connection to the rise in malocclusion?
Muscle tone affect resting posture.
For example, if you have strong muscles, the muscles hold up the spine much better.
Professional bodybuilders, Phil Heath vs. Kai Greene above.
They have so much muscle tone in the body that the body is held up like an action figure naturally & effortlessly. When we try to posture this way we have to put in effort, for example when trying to appear tough or big in certain situations, it takes effort to hold our bodies up in this way.
I have noticed the same thing with our jaw muscles. The more muscle tone I build in the jaw, the more my jaws are beginning to remain close more of the time.
It is estimated we now do 5% of the chewing our ancestors did causing us to drop our mouth more of the time, perhaps we are now doing 20% of the use with our bodies. so does this explain the change in body posture as well? from standing up nice and tall, to slouching more and more?
Above individual is quite skinny. Is the muscle in his body too weak to hold up his body properly?
Another Major Cause: Maxilla Downswing
The jaws are on the downswing for most individuals in modern world.
Meaning they are not growing as forward and up, like our ancestors or indigenous tribes.
As the jaws grow down and back, because of our weak jaw muscles the tongue and lower jaw is getting pushed back into the airway.
Try tucking your chin or open your mouth, notice how the lower jaw hits your throat and the airway becomes slightly less comfortable. Then in that same jaw position, posture your whole head forwards. Notice how that frees the airway.
This is essentially what is taking place when the jaws drop down and back, it is threatening the airway therefore people react by adopting forward head posture.
So notice how the skinny guy above doesn’t have much of a lower jaw, this indicates his maxilla is down and back which could very well explain why he has forward head posture.
I know this is the case for me because the correct head posture causes my lower jaw to encroach on the airway.
What is correct head posture?
The correct head posture seems to be lifting your head by the occipital bone, the back of the head where it begins to slope in, like the girl is showing you above.
For most people immediately what happens is the chin gets tucked in to the throat and it seems like you lost your lower jawline completely. Also it may appear as though you’re looking down, but what if this was actually the correct head posture, its just that our jaws are too far down and back? This head posture certainly brings the head up and above our shoulders.
I frequently fix my head posture by this method of lifting the head by the occipital, it seems to very powerful relieve all kinds of tension in my neck.
But because this causes our jaws to get jammed back if there has been vertical growth, we compensate by tilting our head and posturing the head forward as we are social creatures and we want to present a normal profile to the public.
This girl was treated by biobloc orthotropics. The girl on the left looks like she’s looking down. But when her jaws were brought up and forwards notice how she presents a more normal profile. The appearance of her lower jaw is dramatically different, but its not so much the lower jaw grew bigger, but it was able to swing up and forwards.
Therefore the girl on left still has the same amount of lower jaw that is just pushed back into her throat, which means she will have bad posture as she will need to posture her head forwards to get that jaw and tongue out of the the airway, the girl on the right will have great posture because jaws are forward, the head and neck posture doesn’t have to compromise and the head can sit nicely on top of the spine where it was meant to, with occipital bone held up like it was on strings.
Above example, again illustrates how the facial shape is affecting head posture and the neck curve.
See the jaws are growing down into the airway, but in order to survive humans have to compensate by any means necessary to protect that airway. Even if it means developing getting neck or back problems, or even more extreme cases, a hump on the back seen in old people.
is it all compensation mechanism for the airway?
Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, notice the difference in head posture and how it seems to correlate with the jaw position. Is it a coincidence that Brad was cast as the ideal man of one’s imagination, in this case Edward’s, who is representing the majority of modern population with set back jaws and forward head posture?
It’s interesting to note that, researcher have noted that people with longer / thinner faces (deviated from ideal, downswing of maxilla) tend to have less “conventional” personality types.
Now the term “conventional” seems very subjective, and I didn’t quite get this statement nor did I pay too much attention on it, but Edward Norton does seem to play a lot of characters that are non-conventional, American History X comes to mind but there’s plenty of others… Emotionally unstable characters that have this air of danger to them. It’s this type of edgy acting that I love about Edward Norton but perhaps there is connection with physical structure.
Bieber also with forward head posture, but I don’t think the jaw is that bad in his case even though his lips are partly open and if he lifts the head by the occipital the jaws could go back. He’s not ideal but I don’t think he’s badly affected to be considered quite the attractive person for many. Certainly the vertical has been limited to an acceptable degree.
Maybe lower muscle tone in the body is affecting his posture.
Of course, there’s many other factors in modern lifestyle that could contribute to adopting forward head postures.
like many long hours facing the computer screen, encouraging forward head leaning. Certainly not natural at all to our ancestral roots.
One thing is for pretty certain though, if the maxilla has downswung considerably then it becomes quite impossible to have normal head posture.
How to get better Head Posture?
Tongue posture seems to be the key.
Imagine the tongue as like a pillar that helps to hold the whole head up. Then it makes sense that if the tongue is properly on the roof of the mouth, it helps to support the whole cranium upright above the shoulders.
In my experience, this was one of the first things I noticed about adopting good tongue posture was holding the head up was getting easier.
constantly reminding yourself to hold the head up maybe the most important thing, as posture has the biggest affect on the bones and tissues over the long term. When we have had lifetime of bad posture, its possible our bones and tissues have now been shaped to those positions even if it is less structurally sound, it is more comfortable because it became the norm.
This is why trying to fix posture is as hard as quitting some nefarious habit.
But according to Mike Mew, it is possible to change, as it is possible to program any conditioned response to the body.
If someone steps in front of our car we immediately step on the break without thinking. This is pure body reflex, or learned response. It is not natural.
This man got creative at adopting the upright head posture.
Up right posture is not normal for most of us, we humans want to reduce effort and maximize comfort. If it is more comfortable to slouch then keep good posture then that’s what we do, only bad thing is that poor posture seems to only lead to worse posture over time until eventually it begins creating pains in the body.
But if we have strong enough reason to change posture, I believe its possible to change and in the reverse, the poor structure will adapt and improve over time.
Interesting Note: Many early settlers to Americas observing the Native Indians or other continents with Aboriginal races often noted “how perfect everyone was, structurally”, and “Native Americans had superb bone structures.”
Above is a picture of Indigenous Australians.
They are of course talking about the great facial structures but most likely the whole body as well, the posture must have been just outstanding. I can imagine people walking around nimble and flexible like a tiger, while modern man walks around stiff and awkward.
Consider that modern man’s jaw positions has dropped down and back so far to the degree that its the same as if ancestor’s were leaving their mouth open.
Researcher has found that when individual’s nose were plugged to forced them to leave their mouth open to breathe, individuals automatically adopted a forward head posture. (as they were freeing the airway from the lower jaw that swung back)
It seems that there is a direct link between jaw position and forward head posture, as the same downswing effect also causes malocclusion.