Stand up for yourself! : The Importance of Proper Posture (w/ guest Lindsey Miles)

This week’s very special “Pre-Thanksgiving” post returns us to one of the basic yet very important aspects of fitness. Today we will take a look at Posture. This post is brought to you by my very special guest, Lindsey Miles of Miles of Healing in Ellicott City, MD*. Lindsey is a former Occupational Therapist who now practices very unique forms of healing that deal with using postural alignment to help people become well. Before she teaches us a little more about what postural alignment is she will remind us of the importance of proper posture.



“Posture functions as an on-off switch that activates emotions;…it allows you to optimize your health without the need for increasingly common major-medical intervention driven by experts, many of whom operate on the sincere but erroneous assumption that the body is fragile, makeshift and prone to break down.”

– Let’s Lighten Up by Pete Egoscue with Roger Gittines.

Posture affects our entire body’s process. When the body is in alignment we can live a life without limitations, free from pain. For the athletic person, a body in alignment means increased strength from the body’s muscles that were intended to perform the specific task. It means no compensation with muscles that were never intended to perform a job we are asking of it. When we are compensating we are more prone to injury. For example, repeat injury on a specific body area does not improve unless we take the compensation off. If we are told we have bad knees and no cartilage how can we fix that? Surgery, pain pills, braces, ace wraps……after all the years of wear and tear is the only way, right? WRONG! How about we realign the body so the constant pressure is no longer on the knees and then the tissues are able to regenerate, eliminating pain and allowing you to complete the activity you enjoy without surgery, without pain medications, without hospitals.

It makes sense to me that if you hurt, you fix what is making you hurt. This treatment (postural alignment) works for all injuries, all pain, and is not invasive. It does not matter your fitness level, from athlete to couch potato, it gets you up, gets you moving, and changes your body’s appearance. Our philosophy at Miles of Healing is simple: Straighten then Strengthen. We straighten using poses, exercise, and movements to get the correct muscles working and moving, getting your body back to working the way it was intended. Any old injury, cast or altering of your body can alter your body’s alignment.


I’d like to thank Lindsey and her husband, Roger for their contributions to this week’s post. The work that they are doing is really interesting and beneficial to people from all walks of life. Correct posture is indeed important and if you live close to their facility, I suggest you stop by. Their website can be found here:

 Miles of Healing

Now, before you run off to chow down on that Thanksgiving feast, I’d like to leave you with a brief homework assignment that you can do and even share with your family and friends:

The Dragon’s Proper Posture Test:

  1. Find a wall.
  2. Stand with your back against it.
  3. Position yourself so that the following four points make contact with the wall:
  • Your Heels
  • Your Buttocks
  • Your upper back (rear shoulders)
  • The back of your head

4. You’re Done!

Common thought about proper posture suggests that you should stand “tall” as if you were making four points of contact with a wall. So now that you’ve tested yourself against the wall, remember that feeling and walk around with your new proper posture. It may feel strange at first but in no time you will feel much better and appear upright and strong!

Have a great time this week with family and friends and until next time, remember…

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

Proper posture can reduce pain throughout the body and help you with all of your daily activities.

* Miles of Healing Company Description:

Miles of Healing was started in August 2012. Lindsey had been an Occupational Therapist for 10 years and Roger a successful business entrepreneur. They both felt the necessity to educated and bring wellness to the area, adding their own modalities with Postural Alignment certified by Egoscue University and Bioresonance full body scans and therapy. They live in Ellicott City with their 4 children and their South African Mastiff named Holly. They are an active family that enjoy the outdoors, Bon fires, camping, hiking and spending time together as a family.

Reduce your back and joint pain simply by stretching!

Question: Can stretching help with my back and joint pain?

Answer: Absolutely! Regular stretching can reduce back and joint pain by 30% or more.

Did you feel any aches, pains or stiffness when you got out of bed this morning? How about when you’ve been sitting in one position too long? This most likely happens because your muscles and surrounding tissue have become tight, rigid and stagnant. This tightness can cause throbbing, aching and pain.

Stretching at least once per day (preferably in the morning) reduces pain by increasing blood flow throughout your body. It also makes you more flexible and limber, which creates more looseness in your muscles and joints. Health studies show that even the lingering pain from certain injuries and degenerative conditions (i.e. arthritis, scoliosis, injuries do to accidents and exercise) can be reduced by 25-30% or more by incorporating a daily stretching routine into your life.

Sample Stretch Routine

This is a sample 5 to 10 minute stretch routine that will help you loosen the major areas of your body. You should do this routine when you wake up in the morning and before you go to sleep at night.

  1. Back Stretch (AKA “Cat Stretch”): Get down on your hands and knees in a solid base. With your hands shoulder width apart and knees hip width apart, round your back toward the ceiling. Imagine that there is a string attached to your mid back pulling you upward. Hold the position for 15 seconds. Then, drop your stomach down and arch your back. Imagine that same string pulling your stomach toward the ground. Hold the position for 15 seconds. Finally, return to a rest position. Do this 3 times.
  2. Full Body Stretch: Stand tall, with your feet slightly less than shoulder width apart. Place your hands over your head and reach upward as if you were trying to touch the ceiling. Do this for 15 seconds. Next, maintaining the natural curve in your lower back, bend forward at your hips and reach for your toes. Make sure to bend slowly and try to keep your knees as straight as possible. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings, glutes and lower back. Hold for 15 seconds and then return to the starting position. Do this entire cycle 3 times.
  3. Quad Stretch: Stand tall, with your feet about shoulder width apart. Reach back and grab your left foot with your left hand. Slowly pull your left leg back as if you were trying to touch your foot to your buttocks. Pull until you feel a good stretch (if it becomes uncomfortable, stop!) and hold for 15 seconds. Then return your left leg to its original position. Hold on to a chair or wall for balance if necessary. Do this 2 times and Repeat on opposite side.
  4. Cross-Body Stretch (AKA Shoulder Stretch): Stand tall, with your feet shoulder width apart. Reach your left arm across your body, bringing it as close to your chest as possible. Next, lock your right arm underneath your left at the elbow (Your arms will look like a “cross” in this position). Gently hold and slightly increase pressure for 15 seconds. Then return your arm to the side. Do this 2 times and repeat on opposite side.
  5. Neck Stretch: Stand tall and keep your shoulders relaxed. Move your head downward toward the right (as if you were touching your ear to your shoulder). Hold for 15 seconds. Next, slowly “roll” your head down and forward (as if to touch your chin to your chest). Hold for 15 seconds. Next, slowly “roll” your head toward the left (just like you did toward the left) and hold for 15 seconds. Finally, slowly “roll” your head back (as if you were touching the back of your head to your upper back). Hold for 15 seconds. Then return to your starting position.

Things to remember while stretching:

  • Stretching should be, AT MOST, mildly uncomfortable. Not painful! If you experience any pain then stop immediately.
  • Move your body into each position gently and slowly.
  • When stretching, hold each position without rocking or “bouncing”. Jerky movements may lead to muscle and connective tissue damage.
  • If you are engaging in any workout routine, be sure to stretch before and after sessions to keep your body loose, help with muscle soreness and to prevent injury.

The above routine should give you noticeable results in the amount of flexibility and the reduction of back and joint pain. However, if you suffer from chronic or severe conditions, make sure you visit your doctor and alternative health providers (chiropractors, massage therapists and acupuncturists) along with doing your daily stretches!

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

The “Cross-Body” Stretch (AKA Shoulder Stretch)