Bodywork Therapies – Posture and Internal Organs
The organs of the body are supported by soft tissues and the framework of the skeleton. When the body is distorted (except for a short period), there will be an impact on the way the organs function. Some years ago, one of the leading physicians of the time, Joel Goldthwaite, described the effects of poor posture on the body as a whole. “When the human machine is out of balance, physiological function cannot be perfect; muscles and ligaments are in an abnormal state of tension and strain. A well-poised body means a machine working perfectly, with the least amount of muscular effort, and therefore better health and strength for daily life.”
Diaphragm and abdominal muscles
Goldthwaite pointed out that the main supporting structures of the abdominal organs are the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles. If they become lax and weak, ceasing to offer support when posture is faulty, circulation to internal organs becomes disturbed. The diaphragm may also stiffen up and be unable to move freely.
Faulty body mechanics are an aspect of many chronic health problems and an important consideration when thinking of health enhancement and disease prevention.
As people grow older, the abdomen tends to relax and sag, which disturbs the regular movement of the diaphragm. This can interfere with normal circulation, leading to congestion in the abdominal and pelvic organs. The congested organs put pressure on their nerve supply, which causes functional irregularities. This may contribute to many digestive problems and possibly to organ disease itself. If the abdomen and its contents sag, the chest tends to droop, the shoulders to become round and the head to be thrust forwards with the chin jutting out. Fortunately, the lower abdominal muscles can be trained to contract properly (achieving what is known as core stability), supporting both the organs and the lower back.
As you read through the ailments later, you will find a number of references to spinal manipulation being able, at times, to influence internal functions to improve health. This is possible because of the interconnected relationship between overall posture, the functional state of the spine and the nerve supply from the spine and the internal organs.