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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Posture Has Far Reaching Health Effects: Jeff Saffir, DC, of The Pain Free Body in Poughkeepsie, NY

Apr 28, 2015 06:14PM

Jeff Saffir, DC

Proper posture does more than make us look good. According to research published in the American Journal of Pain Management, our natural stance can hurt or help every aspect of how our bodies function, from breathing to hormone production. “Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture,” the study concludes.

In light of the far-reaching effects of posture, the study’s second conclusion is surprising: most physicians never talk to their patients about how improving posture can improve health. “In fact,” the study says, “neither comprehensive postural nor structural evaluation is a routine part of training in physical diagnosis.”

Jeff Saffir, DC, owner of The Pain Free Body in Poughkeepsie, NY, calls these findings “extremely important and terribly sad.” He says a big part of the problem is that posture is a misunderstood word: in the context of health, posture isn’t about putting a book on your head. “When your body has normal structural alignment, there should be no effort for it to be upright,” Saffir says. “Holding yourself upright with muscles is not the answer, because it just causes a different set of problems. The answer is getting structural correction so your body stays upright by itself, with no conscious effort on your part. Then you can receive those broader health benefits on a consistent, predictable basis.”

Read the original research in “Postural and Respiratory Modulation of Autonomic Function, Pain and Health,” American Journal of Pain Management, 1994, volume 4. For more information, contact The Pain Free Body at 845.485.5656 or visit