Feel like your head may explode sometimes?
Sitting in front of our computer and looking down at our phones all day often leads to stress and dysfunction to the entire body by firing up your sympathetic nervous system.
The Postural Feedback Loop
Good posture has countless benefits including improved confidence, better digestion, and better breathing. However when your frame shifts into poor posture with your head shifted forward, upper back rounded, and shoulders pulled inward the body becomes distressed. Prolonged poor posture over time can lead a state in the body termed Sympathetic Dominance, a condition where your body’s operating system is working on overdrive, potentially leading to other conditions or symptoms like insomnia and digestive issues.
Poor posture activates the stress center and the neurons in the brain, increasing flexion of the arms and legs. When the shoulders are rounded forward and become tense, the body’s capacity to absorb oxygen decreases. Rounded shoulders cause the rib cage to become tight, meaning it can’t expand as much to take air in, leading to decreased oxygenation.
The red nucleus, located in the mid-brain, is the neuron primarily responsible for these physical responses via sympathetic nervous system activation. When there’s perceived danger and the sympathetic nervous system kicks in, the red nucleus prepares you to either fight rounding the shoulders and pushing your head forward, and or to run away as the hamstrings and calves tighten.
To start to alleviate physical symptoms of sympathetic dominance, check out the Foam Roller Exercise Routine video on our website for a more in depth how-to.