posture support

working from home - woman looking at laptop on kitchen counter

How to avoid pain working from home

Are you one of the billions of people working from home globally right now?

In theory it sounds easy – just get the technology hooked up and you can work anywhere, right?

That’s right – but our bodies are being left out of the picture.

Since our homes aren’t designed for us to spend long hours at the computer, I know some of you are experiencing increased pain and tension from this temporary(?) situation. So how can you avoid pain working from home?

First: Sit right

Nowadays most chairs aren’t designed for sustainable, comfortable sitting because they have a ‘dip’ down towards the back of the seat. This looks comfortable but actually doesn’t support our natural sitting posture. It encourages us to slump back towards the tailbone (coccyx) instead of sitting right over our ‘sitting bones’ – the big bone in each buttock at the base of our pelvis.

Which chair?

Ideally the seat of your chair should be flat (like the stool shown in the photo) or slightly sloping down at the front (not the back). If it’s not, just fill up the dip by placing a cushion or a rolled/folded towel on the dip.

You’ll notice you can instantly sit up ‘straight’ more naturally just by doing this, because your pelvis is providing a good foundation for your whole spine. You can even put a few books on the seat like I did with the library chair I used in the photo below (they were my own books ;). 

Fill the dip in your chair for better posture support
Flat seat supports natural posture

I have lots more to share including some simple but powerful pain-relief techniques, so I’ve packed the rest into a detailed guide – fill in the form below to get your copy today.

Image credit: LinkedIn – Unsplash

support baby's natural posture - woman carrying baby on her back

How to support your baby’s natural posture

Have you noticed the epidemic of poor posture in our society? We know this is connected with using mobile phones and other devices daily, but how can you help your children develop good posture habits so they can avoid the chronic back, neck and shoulder pain so widespread in adults today? Can you support your baby’s natural posture from the start?

The first thing you can do right at the start of their lives which supports your own and your baby’s natural posture at the same time is to carry your baby on your back.

This is not new; mothers in traditional societies have been doing this for thousands of years. I’m sure you’ve seen many images of women carrying their babies and even older children on their backs, even while working or walking long distances.

What you won’t have seen are images of mothers carrying babies on their front!

And yet, there are many baby carrier products on the market today, most of which encourage carrying a baby on the front of the parent’s body.

Of course, this is okay while your baby is tiny – and I remember really needing to carry my newborn babies nestled on my belly for their first couple of months.

But after the first few months they are heavy enough to be moved onto your back. This doesn’t require expensive equipment – just look up instructions for wrapping your baby in a sling on your back.

Any new parent knows there are many demands on your back when you have a new baby to lift many times a day and carry around, so it’s SUPER important to minimize the impact on your body as well.  

It’s FAR better for your own posture and the health of your back muscles to carry any heavy weight on your back, which is why Nepalese Sherpas and other people who carry heavy weights for a living do the same. (They often carry big items on their heads too, though this is unsuitable for a baby!). 

With your baby on your back you will be supporting much of their bodyweight evenly balanced on your hips. Lean your upper body slightly forward from the hips, keeping your back straight without letting your shoulders slump forward. It’s the same principle as carrying a backpack evenly balanced on your back instead of a heavy bag on one shoulder.

When you carry your baby on your front, their weight pulls your shoulders and torso forward and your body has to counter this pull by tightening the muscles of the upper back around and between the shoulder blades. You’ll also notice you need to push your hips forward to avoid overbalancing and falling forwards.

This can create aching or stabbing pains in the upper back along with low back pain caused by compression of the base of your spine into your hips.

Your baby’s natural posture is also supported better when carried on your back because their own pelvis sits slightly behind them while their upper body is resting along your straight back. When they are carried on your front their body is crumpled up in a forward curve – the precursor to the adult forward-hunch posture. Unfortunately baby car capsules and most child car seats do the same thing, pushing the pelvis forward and curving the baby’s upper spine forwards.

So give their posture the best start you can by carrying them on your back when you need to be mobile. And be sure to give them plenty of time to lie on the floor during the day when they’re awake as well (with time on their back and their front) to stretch out their spines and move their arms and legs.

And if you need support for back, hip or shoulder pain associated with your pregnancy, birth or new parenthood, book an appointment to see me for in-person sessions in Melbourne or for online coaching.

This information is offered as information only and should not replace medical diagnosis or treatment or be considered medical advice.

what is Ortho-Bionomy

What is Ortho-Bionomy?

No pain, no gain – really?

In our society musculoskeletal pain management often focuses on stretching tight muscles, applying deep pressure to painful ‘trigger points’ and pushing through pain to gain a ‘release’. We’re told that if a manual therapy doesn’t hurt, it’s not ‘working’. But is this really true?

With Ortho-Bionomy we discover that the opposite is true – when we use positioning and movements that feel comfortable and easy, the body is able to relax and release tension and pain. When your body and brain sense comfort and ease it recognises the opportunity to switch out of the fight/flight state and into the rest/restore state. This is where all true healing happens.

Should I stretch my tight muscles?

Your muscles contract to protect themselves from tearing when they have been overstretched.  So trying to stretch an already tight and contracted muscle only encourages it to contract further, sensing it is not yet safe to relax.  The comfortable positions and gentle compression used in Ortho-Bionomy let the muscles know that the danger has passed and it’s time to relax, thereby triggering the automatic release reflex present in all our muscles. So if the stretches you’ve been diligently using aren’t helping your sore, tight hamstrings, this could be the answer. 

Next time you exercise, try a few star jumps or jogging on the spot to warm your muscles up instead of stretching – and then do some gentle stretching after your walk, run or workout. 

Why Ortho-Bionomy?

Ortho-Bionomy promotes your body’s natural ability to heal. Rather than ‘healing’ you, the practitioner facilitates and harnesses that self-healing capacity that we all have. Ortho-Bionomy isn’t something done ‘to’ your body but in partnership with you. Using non-invasive positioning and subtle movements we engage your self-corrective reflexes, carefully releasing sore, tense muscles to allow your joints to realign themselves. Above all, Ortho-Bionomy movements are never painful. Instead, the gentle techniques teach your brain and your body to look for comfort and ease instead of pain.

Long-lasting results from just a few sessions make Ortho-Bionomy a cost and time effective healthcare choice. It’s an ideal therapy for:

  • Speeding up your recovery from injuries, surgery, muscle sprains, broken bones
  • Relieve constant pain in your back, neck, shoulders (eg ‘frozen shoulder’, chronic back pain)
  • Restore comfort and flexibility to your stiff, worn-out knees and elbows
  • Improve your posture or other structural problems (eg scoliosis, ‘hunched’ posture)
  • Enhance your recovery from stress or trauma, calming your nervous system and restoring a sense of wellbeing

A partnership

A major focus of Ortho-Bionomy sessions is self-care. I’ll provide you with a tailored ‘toolkit’ of techniques to enhance relaxation and relieve pain, as well as new ways to use your body that improve function, mobility and posture. This means you get to participate fully in your recovery process instead of becoming dependent on endless treatments for ‘maintenance’.
Ortho-Bionomy is especially suited to those who are looking for a new approach to pain management that doesn’t create further discomfort, use pain medication that masks the cause or involve long-term treatment plans.  If you’re ready to take the journey within and learn to help yourself, you’re ready to benefit from Ortho-Bionomy’s approach to self-discovery and self-care.