When I was a kid, my grandmother was always reminding me to “stand up straight.” She believed the good posture was important in a lot of ways. She told me that people would make opinions about me based on my posture, she claimed that poor posture would lead to back pain and poor health in general. She even told me that good posture helped circulation, and improved coordination. My shoulders were rounded a little bit, and I tended to slouch. I was probably the most uncoordinated kid I knew, and I was that one girl in my gym class who couldn’t touch her toes. But, even so, I was just a kid, and didn’t see the wisdom in her words, or the point of waking around the house trying to balance books on my head.
Over the years, I’ve learned better, but it’s taken me a long time. It wasn’t until 8 years ago or so, when I finally started to focus on my recovery from multiple sclerosis that I started paying attention to my posture. I noticed that when I stood straighter, my back hurt more, but I had more energy. I started using one of those big exercise balls instead of chairs. Over the next 6 weeks or so I noticed that my back hurt less. Eventually, I reached a point where I had the best posture I was able to have.
Recently I made two big changes. I started standing more than I sit, and I started taking CBD oil for the multiple sclerosis. I can honestly say that I now understand all the advice about posture. The CBD oil loosens up the muscles in my shoulders and back. For the first time in my life, I can put my shoulders back straight. The rounding of my shoulders is almost gone. With this, my back is starting to move back into proper alignment. I’m not going to kid you.. it hurts a little bit, and I the muscles in my back get sore. They have been weakened by years of poor posture, and need time to rebuild. But, I have noticed more benefits to my improved posture than drawbacks. My coordination really has gotten better. So has my overall body control. When I swing a foam sword now, it lands exactly where I want it more often than not. I’m dropping things less, and running into fewer walls. I can stretch farther, and it seems that things take less energy than they did just a few weeks ago. When I walk to get in my 5,000-20,000 steps each day, my knees and hips seem to hurt less when I concentrate on keeping good posture. I’ve always wondered how fitness coaches can bend at the hips. In the past, whenever I bend over, I do it from the waist. That’s changed, and now, thanks to improved posture and stronger core muscles, I can bend from the hips. Granted, I can’t touch my toes that way because my leg muscles are tight and need to stretch a bit, but I can bend from the hips. It’s probably a small thing to most people, but for someone with ms who has never been able to do it, it’s a big deal.
I’m sure some of my improvements are simply because of the CBD oil, but I’m equally sure that some of them are because of the improved posture and the stronger core muscles that go along with that. I’m going to continue to work on strengthening my core muscles and improving my posture and see what else improves.