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HEALTH CONCERN? BioHealth Health Concerns

Posture and Sleep Positions

Contributing Author: Rubin, Josh O.T.

Josh RubinJoshua Rubin graduated from American International College with a B.S. in Occupational Therapy. After working with the geriatric population for many years, he decided to take his career to the next level. By incorporating corrective exercise, nutrition and lifestyle coaching with his rehabilitation background, he began working with individuals of all ages within the personal training industry. This is where he found his love for holistic coaching, and as a result of developing San Diego’s EastWest Healing & Performance in 2002, he is one of Southern California’s top Personal Trainer, Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach, and Rehabilitation Specialist.

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There are many things that we do in our life that can cause poor posture. There are many places where poor posture can come from. Here are some:

1. Poor mental/emotional state of mind

2. Pattern overload

3. Repetitive movement

4. Poor program design

5. Poor motor programs

6. Poor ergonomics

7. Visceral dysfunction

The Chinese use what they call Yin and Yang to describe everything in the universe. For every positive, there is a negative in other words. Example, we would not know what love it without hate. Not to go into the details, but the bottom line is that it represents balance. When it comes to posture or health for that matter, it is “The Yin” and “The Yang” of your everyday life that will increase our vitality, posture, happiness, etc. Paul Chek says that “health is taking responsibility for one self!” Now that means in all aspects of one’s life (mental/emotional state, physical, nutritional, spiritual, professional, personal, etc). So my advice to you would be to focus on those things in order to create a more Yin/Yang (balanced) human being.

When it comes to educating about posture, there is a lot involved. One of those areas is definitely sleep. The only down fall is that you are in an unconscious sensory-motor relaxation state and have not much control of how, when, and where you move on the bed. The best position is on your back with a pillow under your low back and knees, but who is going to actually continue to sleep in that position? I am going to give you a list of certain positions that are beneficial to your health and recovery process. At the same time remember that if you are “taking responsibility” in everyday life, then the sleep is a small percentage of what you might be doing wrong.

Here is a list of simple things to aid in realigning your body and correcting your posture:

1. Eat organic, drink plenty of water each day (half your body weight in ounces) and for you Metabolic Type (for more info read Paul Chek’s article series)

2. Get assessed by a professional. Assessing yourself is not easy and if you want results, then get assessed, don’t guess! They will provide you with a flexibility program, as well as a corrective exercise program.

3. Find a Neuromuscular Therapist ( in your area to work out any trigger points that your have secondary to your postural distortion.

4. Perform daily meditation of some sort (Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Chakra/Zone Exercises, Kriya Yoga, Universal Tao, etc.). This will assist in relieving your everyday internal/external stressors, detoxifying your organs, revitalizing your organs and nervous system. We are condensed versions energy=matter. The more in alignment you are, the more energy and waste (blood, lymphatic fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, waste in the large intestine, etc.) will be allowing to flow in and out of the body. If you have poor posture, you energy will be depleted.

5. Sleep Positions: As well as facilitating poor posture, various sleep positions can cram your midsection and cause constipation. Correcting your sleep position is something that will not be achieved over night. It will take time to get used to, but if you are committed your success is inevitable. I have found with myself, as well as with my clients that the more internally relaxed my organs are, the better the sleep. When your mind and GI system is still working, your chances of sleeping well are slim to none. As well, if you are more relaxed the easier it will be able to fall asleep in your new position. According to the Universal Tao system of Mantack Chia:

a. If you lie on your back, lie with your hands and legs straight and lightly hold your thumb and fingers

b. If you sleep on your side, try to sleep on your right side with your spine straight, your left leg bent, your right leg straight, your right hand’s palm on your head, but not covering your ear or your left hand on your navel

c. If you lie on your side, do it with your spine straight, curving your two legs in and put both hands in between your legs

d. Do not wear tight clothes and choose a small/medium sized pillow that will not only support your head, but your neck as well.

My professional recommendation to you would be to work on all the above for at least 3 solid months. If after that you are not getting results, then you can start fiddling with your sleeping positions. Like I said, if you are taking responsibility for your self during the 16 hours you are awake, then sleeping any which way for 8hrs. will not make that much difference. It is all about Yin and Yang!

Namaste and Good Luck!

Joshua Rubin