The more tests, studies, and scientific evidence we gather, the more we realize how much our ancestors intuitively knew the secrets to good health. This is not to say that modern technology and ingenuity are pointless — far from it. Injecting a little age-old wisdom into innovative solutions can be the key to healing our bodies in a natural and effective way. (That’s why we created the Etalon Posture Bra!)
Centuries-old practices like yoga and qigong are highly effective holistic therapies that only recently have been recognized by the scientific community. What these mind-body disciplines have in common is a meticulous focus on breath, posture, balance, and relaxation. This is especially true in qigong, a system rooted in Chinese traditional medicine and martial arts that combines gentle body movements, controlled breathing, and meditation . The practice centers on the idea of qi, referring to our body’s energy or life force. The concept is rather simple: Qi is able to flow more easily through a body that is relaxed and in its natural alignment.
Qigong’s Secret to Better Posture
The problem most of us face today is that we’ve veered far away from our individual body’s natural alignment. But all is not lost. Modern posture advice typically calls for directives like standing up straight, pulling the shoulders back, and lifting the chin. While none of this is necessarily bad advice, it’s often not all that helpful. You may end up forcing your body into an uncomfortable position and putting more strain on your muscles than necessary — that extra tension is certainly not good for your qi. It’s also exhausting.
Better posture doesn’t come with just standing up straight when you happen to think about it. It will take time and effort to change the postural habits you’ve built up over time. Daily activities and habits — like sitting at a computer for hours at a time or carrying a bag on the same shoulder — can lead to muscle imbalances that will physically change your body. Through gentle, conscious movements, a qigong practice can help reverse these long-standing habits to help you return to your body’s natural posture.
Learning To Stand
Toward Harmony, a tai chi and qigong studio in Massachusetts offers a good tutorial on basic qigong standing alignments. Watch a demonstration video from them here. Below are some key points they discuss in learning how to realign your body’s natural posture through a simple standing position . Focus on the following areas:
- Your feet. Keep your feet parallel (as comfortably as you can) and hip-width distance apart.
- Your knees. Have a slight bend in your knees.
- Your spine. Lengthen your spine. Give yourself a little help by placing your fingertips just below your ears and gently lifting.
- Your chin. Instead of lifting your chin, let it naturally sink down a little as you lengthen your spine and lift your head.
- Your shoulders. Relax and broaden your shoulders.
- Your chest. Allow your chest to soften and sink but not collapse.
- Your pelvis. Instead of tucking or tilting your pelvis, simply let it sink with gravity.
Each of these movements should be done gently. It may take time for you to bring all of them together and to do so while remaining relaxed. The ultimate goal is to bring your body back to the way you naturally stood and moved as a child.
Age-Old Advice Meets Modern Technology
Remember that the effects of poor posture are often years in the making. Reversing them will take time. But there’s not just one key secret to better posture. Incorporating ancient practices like qigong — which has been shown to improve muscular strength and postural control (among many other benefits) — with modern exercises and technology can help you correct muscular imbalances, relieve neck and back pain, and get your body back to its natural alignment, all at your own pace .
The Etalon Posture Bra has been designed with the slow-and-steady principles of qigong in mind. Our technology helps you eliminate the habit of slouching by gently broadening your shoulders, helping to lengthen your spine. This small adjustment promotes better alignment and muscle memory over time. All you have to do is wear it. And don’t forget to relax, too — it’s the most important thing for your qi!
- Yoga and Qigong for Health: Two Sides of the Same Coin? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9312231/
- Toward Harmony – 3,000-Year-Old Posture Advice https://www.towardharmony.com/on-balance-blog/2018/9/20/3000-year-old-posture-advice
- Qigong for Muscle Strength and Static Postural Control in Middle-Aged and Older Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial