Improve Posture: Neck Back & Shoulder Relief

10930103_sMindful Awareness to Improve Posture, Relieve Pain

Posture Power is a class in mindful awareness with movement and awakening to the effects of our self-talk to improve posture. It developed from the works of Barbara 10929991_sConable, Marion Rosen, Stanley Keleman, and Thomas Hanna.

Posture Power teaches awareness of your body’s unique structure and function. When your body is stuck in an old pattern, your shape may reflect your beliefs as a child. Or you may have become so used to tension, that you forget what freedom from pain can be like. You may have diminished sensation of how to move. You may not know how your body is connected in balance. This is called an incorrect map. Unconscious habits can shift as you correct the map, improve posture from an internal awareness of what you have created, and find more choices to move.

Extended driving or working on the computer can create rounded shoulders or a neck that is jutting forward. Even standing 10930119_sfor hours, doing dishes, folding laundry, or pleasurable activities like gardening or texting can reinforce the habit of ignoring discomfort. When you lose the sense of your body’s pain, you create tension in some muscles, and weakness in others. Motor vehicle accidents or other injuries resulting in chronic pain may leave some muscles still guarding to prevent pain. Efforts to improve posture by forcing your body into how you “are supposed to look” only creates more tension. True pain relief for rounded shoulders, tight neck, back pain comes from creating new habits.

How you breathe, walk, sit and move also reflects unconscious emotional habits. In a Posture Power class, or private session, I work with how you embody beliefs in the form of body metaphors, such as “holding me back”, “be-littling”, “a pain in the neck”, or “walking on eggshells”.

15291346_sBody metaphors refer to areas of the body you diminish (neck retracted into the chest like a 3101573_s“turtle shell”) or augment (“all puffed up”) or directions of movement and limitation (“I give up”), or directions of freedom (“clicking your heels in joy”). You can improve posture and prevent pain as you:

  • align the head and neck to shoulders and spine
  • re-establish a natural rhythm of movement from the head down to the legs and feet
  • awaken sensory awareness into the freedom to move easily,
  • develop an inner sense of centeredness

Other resources

Barbara Conable’s work,1 and website have YouTube clips of easy to follow strategies to learn and practice.

You might enjoy reading Louise Hay2, or Thomas Hanna3 Marion Rosen4 or Stanley Keleman5.

Ortho-Bionomy Sessions: Relax into Ease

31373517_sTo improve posture, it also helps if you first have a sense of comfort in your body. Then it is easier to notice the inner sense of discomfort, for example, if you do repetitive movements or have  held one position too long. You can shift before tension becomes stress.

Ortho-Bionomy® sessions have the principle of finding ease in your body. You learn skills to seek comfort to improve posture and prevent pain. Call 503-708-2911 to schedule a Posture Power class, or an Ortho-Bionomy® session for greater ease!


  1. especially the DVD Move Well, Avoid Injury.
  2. Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life
  3. Somatics by Thomas Hanna
  4. Marion Rosen: “This work is about transformation – from the person we think we are to the person we really are”
  5. Keleman’s Emotional Anatomy and many other books