Why ergonomics and good posture is critical for physical and mental health and how we correct postural issues
My Poignant Experience of Back Pain
Living with pain was not fun when I worked full time and studied part-time ambitiously. Fortunately, my private health insurance covered alternative therapies such as physiotherapy, osteopathy, kinesiology, myotherapy, remedial massage, and acupuncture consultation several times a year.
Through referrals from friends who suffered back pain, I was lucky to find an experienced and well-educated physiotherapist with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy, a Bachelor of Clinical Sciences in Osteopathy, and a Diploma in Kinesiology.
With many years of experience, my physiotherapist has become a catalyst in improving my physical and mental health. He served as a therapist and an educator for me. He helped many patients to heal naturally, with no medication.
In addition, as a holistic medicine practitioner, he referred me to remedial massage, myotherapy, acupuncture, and hypnotherapy practices. These alternative therapies addressed both physical and mental health issues from different angles.
He was the first medical professional who introduced me to the importance of magnesium, Vitamin D, Vitamin K2, alpha-lipoic acid, and the most researched fitness supplement, creatine, for my muscle health. He advised me to consult a naturopath about these nutrients.
Unfortunately, my family doctors did not even mention these beneficial nutrients when severely suffering from muscle and joint pain. The physiotherapist also suggested reducing extreme running, which caused extra inflammation and pain for my muscles and joints.
Apart from healing dynamics such as listening to the body’s critical messages and taking corrective actions timely, the best knowledge I gained from the consultation with my physiotherapist was ergonomics. Ergonomics is a workplace practice that can also apply to homeworkers.
The primary purpose of ergonomics is to eliminate discomfort fatigue and mitigate the risk of injury at work. It was critical in my workplace as I had to use computers and desk phones all the time at work. An occupational therapist provided some guidelines in earlier years, but I learned the practical details from my physiotherapist.
My problem stemmed from eight hours of office work followed by six hours of research in academic libraries to complete my postgraduate degrees. In addition, two hours of extra time to enter my notes to a desktop computer at home was exacerbating my muscle pain. Fortunately, an angel-like supervisor taught me to drink from a fire hose and achieve more with less effort.
In the 80s and 90s, we had to use tiny microfiche indices and paper journals in academic libraries to acquire knowledge. There were no online journals, no laptops, and no smartphones to capture information easily as we do nowadays. I had to find, read, and cite at least ten scholarly papers daily to complete my literature reviews for master’s and doctorate theses.
Body and mind are inseparable, as I touched on in an article related to emotional regulations leveraging my learning from the interdisciplinary studies of psychoneuroendocrinology. The body’s discomfort directly or indirectly affects our mental health and life satisfaction. For example, balancing hormones and neurotransmitters is critical for our mental health.
When I consulted my family doctors about my muscle pain and discomfort in those days, they usually prescribed potent anti-inflammatory and pain-killing medications. They killed the pain but caused me more suffering in the long term. Fortunately, I discovered alternative physical therapies such as physiotherapy, kinesiology, osteopathy, myotherapy, remedial massage, and acupuncture, improving my mental and emotional health.
As the details of these therapies are beyond the scope of my article, I plan to introduce them in another post. The critical point is that these alternative therapies improved my posture, reduced my muscle and joint pain, diminished chronic stress causing inflammation, balanced my hormones, increased my energy, and improved my overall health and well-being. Here are the three key points that I learned from my physiotherapist to improve posture contributing to physical and mental health.
Thank you for reading my perspectives. I wish you a happy and healthy life.
Please note that this story is not health advice. I shared my experience, observations, and perspectives for information purposes only. If you have any disease symptoms please consult your healthcare professionals.
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