The Position of The Centre of Gravity is Central to Health
Maintaining a balanced position of the center of gravity is vital for proper posture and natural movement mechanics. Unnatural habitual patterns result in the development of compensatory mechanisms in the form of abnormal muscle tension and structural alignment in order to maintain those patterns. In our modern society, prolonged activities such as driving, working at a computer, use of a handheld device, and excessive amounts of time sitting or standing in static positions can stimulate the body’s adaptation via abnormal compensations. Over the long term, these compensations lead to chronic tension and abnormal pain in the body, that in turn create misalignment of the structure and deformation of the natural alignment of our joints. When joints are misaligned like this, many functions of the body, not just musculoskeletal can be adversely affected. To fully understand this, we must first understand how the human body is structured.
The quadrupedal animal is built like a house, the spine is like the apex of the roof, the limbs are like the structural support pillars at the four corners of the house. If you add a head and tail, this is the basic structure of an animal on all fours. For the structure of a house to remain sound, all four pillars and the roof must maintain integrity. If just one of those structural elements shift or fall out of alignment, the whole house will lose stability. The body is the same way. Everything is connected, and every element of our structure is reliant on and affected by every other element. Neglecting this vital principle of linkage in motion inevitably leads to distortion and deformity in our bodies.
However when it comes to the structure of our bodies, there is one vital complexity that sets human beings apart from quadrupedal animals, and that is the fact that we stand upright. The human animal is not quadrupedal, and if we take for granted the theory of evolution, humans have sacrificed a lot of stability to become bipedal. Of course, this sacrifice was absolutely worth it, and we would probably have gone extinct long ago without it, but it comes at a cost. The spine was meant to be a horizontal structure, however, adapting to the verticality that we have imposed through our evolutionary process leads to a big issue that we have to deal with; Gravity creates compressive forces in our spine.
When we move in a way that goes against natural principles, tension is created in an attempt to negate the force of gravity. When this becomes a habit it is called a compensatory mechanism. This may take the form of always leaning onto one leg when standing, slouching when sitting, or other common “poor posture” habits. When our body is aligned properly and movement is natural, the force of gravity passes freely through our skeletal structure. When our alignment is broken and we feel the pull of gravity, we try to find balance by distorting other parts of the body to compensate for what is out of place.