The ABC’S of Health
By Dr. Jo Gjelsten
Mind Over Body… You GOT THE POWAH!
You do? Yeah, you do! Sit at your desk for 2 minutes with your hands behind your head and your feet resting on top, for about a minute or so, perhaps after you’ve been slogging through the mud, and after the boss pops in. This pose, according to a study by someone who likes to put her feet up, (Psychological Science) actually makes you feel “alpha” Al, and increases testosterone Thelma! Or you might stand behind the desk, leaning forward for 2 minutes on your palms like you’re about to yell at someone, and get the same result. Each pose can lower cortisol, a stress hormone! You want cortisol in times of acute stress, or in the morning to roust you out of bed, but not too much all day as it’s implicated in blocking weight loss among other things. A revolutionary thing this “poses that influence hormones” discovery, but the apes have know that for eons. They just hadn’t invented desks yet. So you can actually boss your body into being bossy, or at least confident; enough that subjects who did this were more likely to take a chance on a 2 dollar all or nothing bet than those who didn’t. In fact, the “low power” posed group had their arms and legs crossed, and sat with their legs together and hands clasped in front of them for one minute, like good little children I’m thinking, and their testosterone levels were lower and cortisol higher. So it seems that open “expansive” postures give you confidence, and closed postures make you meek, or at least more submissive, or even depressed. That whole idea that curling up into a ball when you’re really upset, it would seem, ‘taint ‘fa nuttin! So the opposite happens when we’re happy, like when we win something, or our team wins a game, or when our spouses take out the garbage. We throw our arms up in the air, palms out, grinning ear to ear, turning in circles for all to see! Hey!! Guess who just took out the garbage..hooray!!Athletes experience an increase in testosterone before a game, and after, but only if they win, so don’t expect the big guy to be in a partying mood after the loss. For those who win though, this burst of “T” gives them an edge for their performance; nature does provide doesn’t it? Ok so they’ll be fighting over the shaving kits in the women’s locker room. So Dr. Jo says posture is important for many reasons. As a Chiropractor, I am constantly telling my patients to sit up straight with shoulders back; an “expansive” pose. This is because I like to see them using their bodies the way they should bio-mechanically to avoid pain, something I found out personally years ago after a severe back problem, now not a problem, forced me to become a Chiropractor and writer of pithy articles. But I even demonstrate how much older and sadder I look when rolling my shoulders forward, head forward and down, crying my eyes out, then show how many years younger I now look with shoulders back, smiling, and my patients really believe the age thing; why? Because it’s true! Do the standing up straight, with shoulders back, head held high, a smile on your face and a martini in your hand and you’ll see how much better you are at doing this in front of a mirror, with your own before, slouching, and after, going for a job interview poses. Now I can add that slouching reduces testosterone, and this is great for the guys who will IM