The other day Karen was in for her regular appointment. She immediately showed excitement and said that she “just has to tell me something!” And she added, “something that I think only you will appreciate”.
She then proceeded to tell me that when she got into the car the other day, she had to adjust her rearview mirror to a higher position. Which meant to her that she was sitting taller. Now Karen had initially come in in order to improve her posture and overall wellbeing.
During her initial exam I found quite a bit of NeuroStructural Distortion in her spine. Her posture was worse than what I typically find in the general population. She had an Anterior Head Displacement of 21.6 degrees which made her head weigh almost 400% more.
Typically we measure many indicators of spinal and nervous system health after an initial phase of care and we often find a lot of improvement in the numbers.
What makes working with people even more fulfilling is when they notice that, not only are they feeling better, but that they’re getting better.
Now with overall height, most people wake up taller and get shorter as the day progresses. This is because of gravity creating compression in the spine. The intervertebral discs (which are like jelly donuts) take most of the pressure as they compress throughout the day. When we go to sleep and gravity is no longer compressing the discs, they rehydrate and expand causing an overall decompression throughout the night.
The fact that Karen was noticing that she was sitting taller in her car during the day means that even though she was experiencing the effects of gravity, she was taller in spite of the normal compressive effects of gravity.
In general, throughout the time that people undergo care at the clinic, they typically regain between a half to a full inch of height. I’ve even once seen a more dramatic increase of close to three inches!
These changes are not only due to just one factor such as less Anterior Head Displacement. It can also be due to how your pelvis is sitting on your hips, the overall curve of your spine, a more activated core, and a lowered stress response in the body (which tends to draw us into a ball).
As the spine heals, it decompresses. This can even have preventative effects of either slowing down or stopping degeneration and arthritis. And of course age is a factor, but not in the way you might think.
Age is a factor in that the amount of time you spend compressed affects your potential for recovery and recovery time. However I’ve seen eighty year olds improve their posture, decompressing and finding a new way to experience life. It’s never too late!