How it works?

posture pole for head, neck and shoulder pain relief
Health professionals have found that sitting in a slumped (kyphotic) manner can cause postural muscles to become tense and painful.

It has also been noticed that those very same muscles could be relaxed quickly and easily by moving to another specific posture.

It was realized that this 'relaxation' was an automatic nervous system reaction; like having your kneecap tapped and then feeling your leg suddenly jump or twitch. However, instead of 'firing' muscles these particular reflexes selectively 'switch off' the tension prone postural muscles.

A European neurologist, Professor Brugger, described this reaction and as part of his care he often recommended that people follow a body positioning routine – that they lengthen their spine, tuck their chin in slightly, turn their arms and legs out, and take slow breaths – to relax their tight muscles.*

Other manual medicine experts built on these and other observations and noted that the postural muscles followed certain rules and that the patterns of tension were predictable. For example if injured or overloaded some postural muscles will always tighten while others will always weaken.

Professor Pavel Kolar from the Prague School of Rehabilitation brought a very different perspective to the understanding of ideal posture and movement. His approach drew upon an understanding of how babies learn to stabilize their bodies and move; taking a developmental perspective to understand what ideal posture and movement should be like and how best this might be maintained in adults.

Professor Kolar's approach is called Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS). The approach focuses on the correct alignment of spinal and extremity joints and in particular the positioning of the diaphragm muscle and ribcage. People are then taught how to move properly because their posture and how they move (function) are linked together.

For example, the DNS approach looks carefully at the 'mechanics' of how people breathe to better understand the quality of a person's posture and how they move.

The ideal way of breathing is to draw air low down into the abdomen so the ribs expand outwards while the neck and shoulder muscles remain relaxed.

If a person can't hold their ribcage in the correct position then their diaphragm muscle won't be able to work properly resulting in a faulty breathing pattern; their neck and shoulder muscles will be working when they should be resting and with each breath the person's chest and ribcage will move up and down rather than outwards. Over time the neck and other muscles may become incorrectly linked to breathing and begin to do work they aren't designed to do. **

Gradually the person's ribcage will become more elevated and they may find it more difficult to breathe deeply. Holding that 'high chest' position also means the person isn't able to stabilize their spine, and as a result will become more vulnerable to musculoskeletal injuries affecting the low back, neck, shoulder etc.

The PosturePole™ helps people relax their neck, shoulders and upper back. It has been specially designed to respect the body positioning of the DNS approach and:

  • activate the nervous system relaxation reaction
  • use gravity to gently open the chest and lengthen the tight upper body muscles
  • allow each upper arm to reposition itself properly into the shoulder joint
  • encourage deeper abdominal breathing
  • foster a straighter more up-right posture and greater body awareness
  • provide a feeling of ease and lifting of mood

There is a strong mind-body aspect to the PosturePole's™ use; a lengthened spine and open chest encourages a sense of ease and optimism while a slouched posture is a associated with feelings of a need for protection i.e. fear and anxiety. After using the PosturePole™, many people describe feeling a quieter more peaceful state of mind. Many people have found that the pole offers an ideal position for meditation.