Natural Human Design For Pain Free Living

KATHLEEN.close_.up_.5.15.web_-126x150Kathleen Porter is the author of ‘Natural Posture for Pain Free Living.’

In this interview we’re going to look at posture from the angle of natural alignment, and how this can really benefit you: both from a movement and getting pain free perspective.

Kathleen lived with chronic pain and stiffness in her body for a long time even though she regularly practiced yoga and other forms of stretching. According to her – the stretching from yoga helped undo the damage of an incorrect posture. But it only worked as long as she kept on stretching.

She was then introduced to a concept known as the Natural Human Design. This helped her understand that all her struggles were rooted in the improper alignment of her entire body and its supporting framework – the skeleton.

Misaligned posture meant that her muscles were forced to take different configurations than their natural elastic state. Some muscles were to short, other were too long, and this resulted in ongoing discomfort in her entire body.

In today’s talk you will learn:

  • What is Natural Human Design and how and why you need to practice it
  • The difference between the standard upright posture and the one that is more natural to our bodies
  • Why is mindfulness important when realigning your posture
  • What we can learn from babies about posture and the nervous system
  • And much more…


The Puppet way to control your posture

There is a lot we learn from babies about natural posture of the body. What they have learned from trial and error while trying to hold themselves up is actually the most natural and easy way for your body to stay upright.

Surprisingly this is not the same way we learn to keep our backs straight as adults. In the modern western world, even among yoga practitioners, the popular method of strengthening the back is to lift the chest up, suck the belly and put the shoulders back.

If you do this on a regular basis, however, and you do it mindfully, you will soon notice how this posture actually shortens the muscles in the back, especially the lower back, and results in pain and stiffness. It also creates tension in your shoulders and neck.

The Natural Human Design way takes a slightly different approach that we will go into details from a sitting posture perspective.

To begin with you need to have your pelvis in the correct position. You do that by sitting on a flat surface chair and leaning to the left over your left leg and then walking your sit bone of the right leg to the back of the chair. Then you lean over your right leg and do the same thing. Do not move your pelvis anymore.

This is what Kathleen refer to as the happy dog sitting – with your tail outwards instead of inwards. So now imagine you are a puppet and you have your puppet strings attached to the bottom of your rib cage in the back. First lift your chest up and feel how your back arches. Then put it back down and now pull your back up, like your back is being pulled by the puppet strings.

Can you feel how your back opens? Now pull the back of your armpits backward, like they’re being pulled by strings as well and place your fingertips under your chest bone in the middle of your torso. Now roll one shoulder back, don’t drop it down just back, and then roll the other. Next, imagine your neck is being pulled upwards by a string as well.

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Do it Mindfully (Or Not At All)…

For any healing to be effective and last long term you need to place your full awareness on a constant basis toward your practice.

In this case people should be aware of their body position and alignment throughout the day even while doing the simplest tasks like bending over to tie their shoes.

You need to be constantly aware of your body position and movement – how are you sitting on that chair, how are you lifting this heavy object and so on and so forth. You need to build up this mindfulness into your body and brain.

The question here is not a matter of how long is it going to take you to get results. There is no destination to be reached. It will definitely become more natural and easy with time but this does not mean you’ll stop doing it, it’s just a matter of creating the habit.

The Most Important Posture Muscle in Your Body…

The muscles’ role is to move the bones in our body. When the bones are aligned in the correct relationship to each other, then muscles are also aligned in their natural elastic tone.

The most important postural muscles transversus abdominis – it connects on one side of the spine in the back and it wraps around the whole torso and attaches to the other side of the spine. This muscle is unique in that the fibers of this muscles and the way they contract are horizontal. This is the muscles that does the most in stabilizing the spine and the posture. This is your core muscle.

The more we try to suck in our belly and get a six pack abdominal muscles in place, the more we weaken our true core muscle. In our culture we truly believe that muscles popping out on the surface of the body are indicators of strength while the through core strength lies in the deeper body muscles.

Put Your Shoulders in Place

Most people are trained to believe that they need to put their chest forward in order to have their shoulders rolled back. In reality the shoulders are designed to move separately from the rib cage. So when your chest is down at the front and up at the back, which as mentioned earlier is the natural alignment of the body, you can still place your shoulders in such a way so that they do not collapse down.

Now make sure you have your chest in place and roll your left shoulder up toward the ear, then slide it straight back, then move your left elbow forward toward the waste. You can now feel your shoulder blade sliding around and changing position on your back. That is where your shoulder blade is meant to live about 90% of the time.

It is also important to know that you can move your arms without changing the place of the shoulder. Try to move your hand out in front of you like you are trying to open a door – you will notice that you do not need to displace your entire shoulder to do that. You do not need to displace your shoulder when lifting things, especially heavy things which might cause a lot of problems in the future if you do.

The Link Between Posture and Babies’ Development

Babies usually don’t spend enough quality time on their bellies, which is very important for the developing of their sensory perception and nervous system.

Try for yourself – when you go to bed lie on your belly, pretend you are a baby; put some pillows beneath. Then you will notice that if you try to move even the tiniest bit you have to push down towards the mattress. The engine of the movement is the engagement of the body against whatever surface lies underneath, which is the representative of the Earth. More importantly, when you push down, notice that you’ll have these sensations in your body in response to the engagement of the body with the mattress. These sensations are sensory and motor signal that are being fired.

This belly to Earth movement, as Kathleen calls it, is the key to the healthy development and building of a fully functional nervous system.

You can learn more about Kathleen’s work and the Natural Human Posture here: 
Read Kathleen Porter’s book Natural Posture for Pain Free Living

Find out more on Natural Posture on Kathleen’s site…

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