In Perfect Symmetry

By Beverly Hills Posture – a posture & rehabilitation institute and more


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The importance of correct posture for optimal health and wellness {advice from a #BeverlyHillsChiropractor}

Walker Ozar - Doctor of Chiropractic, Chiropractor in Beverly HIlls CaliforniaTo most people, “good posture” simply means sitting and standing up straight.  According to Beverly Hills Chiropractor and founder of Beverly Hills Posture, Walker Ozar, D.C., most people just do not realize the importance of posture to our health and performance.

The human body craves alignment. When we’re properly aligned, our bones, not our muscles, support our weight, reducing effort and strain. The big payoff with proper posture is that we feel healthier, have more energy, and move gracefully. So while the word “posture” may conjure up images of book-balancing charm-school girls, it is not just about standing up straight. It’s about being aware of and connected to every part of your being.

Posture ranks right up at the top of the list when you are talking about good health. It is as important as eating right, exercising, getting proper rest and avoiding potentially harmful substances like alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. Good posture is a way of doing things with more energy, less stress and fatigue. Without good posture, you cannot really be physically fit. Without good posture, you can actually damage your spine every time you exercise.

Ideally, our bones stack up one upon the other: the head rests directly on top of the spine, which sits directly over the pelvis, which sits directly over the knees and ankles. But if you spend hours every day sitting in a chair, if you hunch forward or balance your weight primarily on one leg, the muscles of your neck and back have to carry the weight of the body rather than it being supported by the spine. The resulting tension and joint pressure can affect you not only physically, but emotionally, too — from the predictable shoulder and back pain to headaches, short attention span, and depression.

Poor posture distorts the alignment of bones, chronically tenses muscles, and contributes to stressful conditions such as loss of vital lung capacity, increased fatigue, reduced blood and oxygen to the brain, limited range of motion, stiffness of joints, pain syndromes, reduced mental alertness, and decreased productivity at work. According to Nobel Laureate Dr. Roger Sperry, “the more mechanically distorted a person is the less energy is available for thinking, metabolism and healing.”

The most immediate problem with poor posture is that it creates a lot of chronic muscle tension as the weight of the head and upper body must be supported by the muscles instead of the bones. This effect becomes more pronounced the further your posture deviates from your body’s center of balance.

To illustrate this idea further, think about carrying a briefcase. If you had to carry a briefcase with your arms outstretched in front of you, it would not take long before the muscles of your shoulders would be completely exhausted. This is because carrying the briefcase far away from your center of balance places undue stress on your shoulder muscles. If you held the same briefcase down at your side, your muscles would not fatigue as quickly, because the briefcase is closer to your center of balance and therefore the weight is supported by the bones of the skeleton, rather than the muscles.

In some parts of the world, women can carry big pots full of water from distant water sources back to their homes. They are able to carry these heavy pots a long distance without significant effort because they balance them on the top of their heads, thereby carrying them at their center of balance and allowing the strength of their skeleton to bear the weight, rather than their muscles.

Correcting bad posture and the physical problems that result can be accomplished in two ways. The first is by eliminating as much “bad” stress from your body as possible. Bad stress includes all the factors, habits, or stressors that cause your body to deviate from your structural center. Bad stress can result from a poorly adjusted workstation at work, from not having your seat adjusted correctly in your car, or even from carrying too much weight around in a heavy purse or backpack.

The second is by applying “good” stress on the body in an effort to move your posture back toward your center of balance. This is accomplished through a series of exercises, stretches, adjustments, and changes to your physical environment, all designed to help correct your posture. Getting your body back to its center of balance by improving your posture is critically important to improving how you feel.

If you have any questions regarding anything we’ve written or would like to book an appointment with us, please click HERE to be directed to our contact page. Beverly Hills Posture is proud to offer Chiropractic Care with an abundance of options including- Yoga, Pilates, Gyrotonic, Acupuncture, Acupressure and Massage Therapy. We dedicate ourselves to creating a healthier you.


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Understanding Postpartum Recovery

Whether you are a first time Mama or a seasoned baby-maker, one of the most overlooked areas of pregnancy is the time after giving birth – the postpartum recovery period. Even if you are one of the lucky ones who experiences an uncomplicated labor and delivery and feels “fine” to go home and begin a new life with baby, it still behooves you to be mindful of the myriad of changes happening in your body and life once baby has already arrived. Um, not to mention an instantaneous major lack of sleep!

Most of us are aware that there are ‘hormonal changes,’ during this time, but it is not just that alone to which we are adjusting. Even if we feel we have “prepared” ourselves in advance, no one knows exactly what life will be like until it is actually happening. A complete overhaul in lifestyle occurs, including a reorientation of our relationships, a shift in our personal identity, extreme exhaustion, possible career changes (which may also impact finances), digestive changes, and the demands of nursing, just to name a few. In the weeks, months, and in some cases years, following birth the body-mind-spirit is undergoing a healing process.

It is imperative that we honor ourselves and give our body the space and time it needs to heal. In fact, Ayurveda (the holistic medicine of India and the sister science to yoga) purports that the 42 days following birth are a sacred time. It maintains that this timeframe is possibly even more important to the health of the infant and mother than the pregnancy itself. Ayurveda implicates that the 42 days postpartum sets the stage for a woman’s health for the next 42 years! This is because during the postpartum period Ayurveda sees the mother as being just as delicate as her newborn. The combination of fatigue, rapid hormonal changes, meeting all of baby’s needs and just navigating new motherhood means that the care-giver also needs much attentive and tender care. So who is assigned to the job of caring for the care-giver? It isn’t just up to the supportive figures surrounding mother (partner, family members, close friends etc.) giving her the help needs, although these people are certainly vital to her recovery. Ultimately, the mother herself is tasked with mustering up the gentleness and patience she needs to be present in her experience as a new mother. This is an important foundation for learning and implementing self-care. It is the practice of self-care in this very early stage —in what can feel like the hardest time of your life —that will infuse the mother with the foundation needed to be a better and healthier Mom for the next 42 years. Clearly, in our society today the postpartum period is a time in a woman’s life that is gravely undervalued. However, if we open our eyes to the reality of the challenges inherent in this period, we can be better prepared to ask for what we need and give ourselves the compassion that is so well deserved.

Now, let’s take a moment to just focus on what’s happening physically. The normal follow up with the OB doctor occurs around 6 weeks postpartum. Mama will be checked, either vaginally or at the location of her C-section incision, consulted about postpartum depression and asked how breastfeeding is going (if that is indeed part of her postpartum plan). If all seems well, the doctor usually gives the green light to resume all normal activities, including exercise and sex, somewhere around 6 – 8 weeks. However, what most doctors do not include in that visit is an assessment of the woman’s rectus abdominis for something called Diastasis Recti. Diastasis Recti is a very common condition caused by the stretching of the rectus abdominis muscle by the growing uterus. The result is a literal separation of the left and right halves of the muscle. This is a common occurrence for women during pregnancy and doesn’t matter whether they have had a C-section or vaginal delivery. The separation can be significant or slight — sometimes so slight a woman may not even know she has been affected.

Diastasis can contribute to low back pain, pelvic floor instability (including incontinence) and digestive concerns. Often times it will heal on its own, however in cases when the wrong kind exercise and activities are introduced too early in the healing process, it can actually become worse. In fact, it usually isn’t until months later when the postpartum woman is complaining about ‘the bulge in her belly’ even though she has been working out religiously.  Her problem lies in the type of exercise she has been engaging in.

You may recognize this scenario: Mama is soooooo very ready to start exercising again and get her pre-baby body back. She decides to engage in lots of belly crunches and/or baby bootcamp type activities thinking she is doing her body good. However, unfortunately, if Mama has diastasis recti there is a good chance she may be making things worse. So, what’s a Mama to do? First, although there are ways to do a self-check of the condition, I recommend getting checked for diastasis by someone who is trained to test for it. It’s an easy, non-invasive test. Knowledge is power so once you know for sure this is happening in your body, you are poised to make educated decisions and prepare a game plan for the postpartum recovery process. Secondly, find instructors well trained in Pilates or yoga therapeutics who can safely lead you through exercises that help to strengthen and balance the body. Finally, because our bodies want to live in a state of homeostasis (i.e. balance), we must be patient and trust that our bodies will restore the integrity of our abdominal muscles.

I have offered yoga therapy to many women postpartum and I have recently moved through my own postpartum recovery as well. I must say, I am amazed again and again at the inner intelligence of our bodies. When we set up our bodies optimally and give them the time and attention they need, they will heal. Our body may not look exactly the same as it did pre-pregnancy, but we aren’t the same! We are now “Mama.” And perhaps we can be okay — dare I say even proud — that our body bares the experience of pregnancy and childbirth upon it. Having a child forever changes our lives so couldn’t it be considered normal for our external appearance to be, if nothing else, slightly different? As we move through the throws of motherhood and begin to patiently adjust to the changes in our lives, we can offer the same kindness to the adjustments in our bodies. Invoking a feeling of physical strength and balance in our body is a beautiful goal. If along the way to that aim we happen to get our ‘pre-baby body’ back, then well, we can consider that as just an added benefit!

TIP: To protect your mid line during pregnancy, always use the “log roll” maneuver when rising from the floor or out of bed. This practice should also be used in the first couple months postpartum until you have been checked and cleared for diastasis.

Log roll: with your torso and head aligned (in one piece), roll over onto your side. Then, use your arms to help push yourself up to a sitting position.

Wendy Obstler, CYT, E-RYT,  is a certified yoga therapist, experienced registered yoga teacher and certified prenatal yoga teacher. Wendy is also the certified Lead Teacher and Ambassador of Strong Yoga™ 4Women. Since 2005, she has worked with countless women struggling with fertility challenges and has witnessed over and again the powerful benefits of yoga on fertility. Having used the practice of yoga therapy to heal her own severe back injury, Wendy enjoys sharing the transformational qualities of yoga with other individuals in chronic pain, healing from injury, post-operative rehab and as awareness for injury prevention.  Wendy is a therapist/instructor at Beverly Hills Posture, a proud member of both the International Association of Yoga Therapists and the Yoga Alliance. Wendy Obstler, CYT/E-RYT ©2014 All Rights Reserved

If you have any questions regarding anything we’ve written or would like to book an appointment with us, please click HERE to be directed to our contact page. Beverly Hills Posture is proud to offer Chiropractic Care with an abundance of options including- Yoga, Pilates, Gyrotonic, Acupuncture, Acupressure and Massage Therapy. We dedicate ourselves to creating a healthier you.


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Yoga for stress reduction…and weight loss

Yoga Therapy and Training in Beverly Hills, CA - Beverly Hills Posture offers Chiropractic Care, yoga, Acupunture, and Massage Therapy, Walker Ozar - Doctor of Chiropractic, Chiropractor in Beverly HIlls California

Photo Credit (click photo to link to): http://www.mensfitness.com

If you’re thinking about taking up yoga, you might be interested to know that yoga not only reduces stress levels, it also supports weight maintenance and loss goals.

The lower your stress, the lower your cortisol levels which means your body will store fewer calories as fat.

Acupuncture and massage therapy also lower levels of inflammation in the body—another known contributor to weight gain.

Beverly Hills Posture offers Private Yoga Therapy and Training, visit: http://bhposture.com/services/yoga-therapy.html as well as massage and acupuncture therapy visit our website for information and to book appointments.

Visit http://www.mensfitness.com  for more health and wellness tips!

If you have any questions regarding anything we’ve written or would like to book an appointment with us, please click HERE to be directed to our contact page. Beverly Hills Posture is proud to offer Chiropractic Care with an abundance of options including- Yoga, Pilates, Gyrotonic, Acupuncture, Acupressure and Massage Therapy. We dedicate ourselves to creating a healthier you.