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Dr. Joel Rosen: All right. Hello everyone and welcome back to our first relaunching of the less stress life podcast. I’m really excited to join forces with our guest, Dr. Krista Burns. She’s the founder of the American posture Institute. She’s also an author of the book The posture principles and a TEDx speaker. Dr. Crystal has two doctorate degrees and is a leading expert in the charge against postural decline. She has been featured on media including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, radio, and global women magazine and is an international lecturer who has spoken for professional audiences on four different continents. She’s been featured in the prestigious stages, including the World Congress of neurology, neurological disorders, and the World Congress of falls and postural stability. So Dr. Krista, thank you so much for being here today.
Dr. Krista Burns: Thank you, Dr. Joel. I’m really excited. And thank you for the opportunity of sharing how we can, you know, change our posture system to help us be more resilient to stress and prevent fatigue.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yes, excellent. And you know, I appreciate your time. And I heard your name through mindshare recently. And I heard your story in terms of how you lived in Italy. And there was a concern with your certification, so you had to look outside the box. So why don’t you give the listeners your own sort of stress background story and how you got to where you are today?
Dr. Krista Burns: Yeah, so my stress story starts even before that when I was a young, young child, my first goal, my dream was to be an Olympic athlete. And I trained every single day to be a freestyle skier, to the point where I was ranked 12th in the nation of all skiers and females. And I actually moved away from my family because I didn’t come from a ski town. So instead of just skiing on the weekends, I actually moved away from my family to live with another family to ski and train. Even in the summers, I would fly to New Zealand and South America to have opposite seasons and endless winter. So you can imagine that for the first 18 years of my life, that was my only goal was to become an Olympic athlete.
I even had a world two-time world champion, silver medalist sat me down and told me I was a champion. But the one thing he said Is he said, Christa, you have what it takes just don’t get hurt. And those words stuck with me. And what I didn’t tell the silver medalist at the time was that I was already in chronic pain. And I used chronic pain as almost a badge of honor, like okay, well, I’m in pain, but I’ll still ski harder, I’ll still live more weight, they’ll still run faster. And it was the morning of us Ski Team selections and Winter Park, Colorado. And it was I didn’t know what at the time, but that was my last competition. I never competed, I fell and injured my spine. And at the time, I didn’t know much about allopathic medicine, or my options, if you will. And so I listened to my coach. And my coach said, the best thing that you can do the conservative route, is to get injections in your spine. So I said, Great, let’s do it. And so I started at the young age is 18 years old, I would fly to the practitioner each week, and I get injections in my spine under anesthesia. And I was told that this was the best solution for my back pain. What I didn’t realize is how invasive that procedure would be.
So now fast forward, not only could I not ski, I could barely walk, the amount of pain that I was in when I’d been over to put my shoes on in the morning, I would yell out in pain because it was just so intense. And so I literally watched my Olympic window pass me by because I had back pain. So from that point on, I became obsessed with solving this problem of back pain. I thought this is so common, how come you know a young athlete who’s in shape? How could I not overcome back pain? So I became very obsessed with that solution, which led me to get a couple of doctorate degrees. That’s forward to moving to Italy and starting a practice. And once I specialized in postural correction, what was so amazing is that my practice grow. But then in addition to that, I was able to finally heal myself and help thousands of patients who had been in chronic pain previously. So it’s amazing how stress at the time, it’s hard to see beyond our stress when we’re in a stressful time of chronic pain or a stressful business situation that I found myself in, you know, as I was trying to grow my practice. And yet, when we look back, our mess really becomes our message, right? I had this chronic pain that led me down the road of opening a new door of solving it for other people so other people wouldn’t have to go through the pain that I did. In business-wise, I now train other practitioners, chiropractors, physical therapists, medical doctors, our signature postural correction systems, because I invested the time and went through the education to get to the point where we created some of the best systems and so the stress at the time able to get through it now has become my way of teaching other practitioners our signature postural correction systems.
Dr. Joel Rosen: That’s an awesome story, Krista, and lots of lessons to be learned from that in terms of what stress is. So the podcast’s name is the less stressful life and I think a lot of people think of stress as real psychological stress. My job My relationships, my finances, you know those things. But really, there’s a lot of lessons in that the competition of training, the physical nature of that and, and how much wear and the tear gets placed on the body, the actual stress, I know from competing and putting pressure on yourself and having that “ang” stuff of am I gonna do?
Well, the stress of flying across the country in different time zones and being away from your family, of course, the stress of the injury, the stress of the injections, and the impact that’s having on you physiologically in the body from breaking that down. And, and probably I would imagine, the in-betweens of maybe the diet being on the go all the time could have been less than perfect. So there’s a lot of lessons in there in terms of what stress actually is. And then the other lesson too, is that you said your mess became your message. And I think a lot of people that have overwhelming stress and fatigue, they are perhaps with their limbic system, and the emotional context that they put on things completely justified in feeling This is not fair, you know, why did it happen to me, no other person has this that I had, and they would be right. But you know, it doesn’t serve them in their ability to get better. Whereas from the sounds of it, you took on the mentality of that’s my message. Now I have to learn, you know, everything I can about this, I need to figure out how I can get myself better. And actually, the byproduct of helping other people was me getting better. And I think there are lots of lots of lessons in that. May I ask why you took that, that slant on things?
Dr. Krista Burns: Yeah, you know, and in the moment, it’s not always easy to see beyond the stress. And so I want to acknowledge that for people that if you’re feeling particularly stressed out right now, there’s value to that, and there’s a there’s validity to it. However, when we can move forward and be triumphant beyond it, and then we can really take that motive that we’ve had, and turn it into a positive way that we can become stronger. I mean, if we think about the word stress, there’s distress, there’s a huge stress, your stress is positive stressors, we will never eliminate stress from our lifestyle. The question is, how do we respond to it? And does it become huge stress, a positive stressor, or a negative stressor?
And if we think about becoming stronger, what we know from weightlifting as an example, you go to the gym and you’re stressing your system, in order to build stronger muscles, we actually become stronger from stress. Now, there’s a breaking point, if we you know, lift weights that are beyond our capability, then that could be destructive. But if we see this as huge stress, and we put the right amount of pressure and the right amount of stress positively, we actually become more stronger and resilient in the end. So always focusing on the result and how we can take these negative experiences or these experiences that happened to us these obstacles within our life, and then giving it a positive spin to and if you can help other people through it, then that’s your experience going through a certain, you know, certain stressor, and then turning around and being able to help other people is very, very meaningful adds a lot of impacts.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Sure, sure. But you gave the textbook answer, right, which is a really good answer. And I’m not taking credit away from that. But there was also when you said to you know, I saw my Olympic dreams kind of go by my eyes that I wouldn’t have known that that was my last competition. Was there an inherent in your body of always seeing the plus side of things? Did you learn that feeling sorry for yourself didn’t work? Like what was it inside of you that made you come up with the perfect answer to looking at the stress in a huge stressful way?
Dr. Krista Burns: Yeah. And to be honest, I was depressed. I mean, you know, when you work your entire life For one thing, and then that’s taken away from you, I didn’t have a backup plan. You know, it was just that was my life plan. And so then when I entered college, it was a feeling of I’ve worked so hard, always directed on this one goal, like what do I do now? It was almost overwhelming of now I have so many other options, like what should I narrow my focus on? And I’ve always had an interest in health and fitness. And so I thought, How can I take this in a way that combines my unique experience and my passion for health and fitness? And how can I drive that energy in a way that’s going to be positive and meaningful? So I mean, I would certainly acknowledge the fact that I had, you know, it was depressing. It was like, I felt sorry for myself, I didn’t know what to do with myself. And then on top of it, I’d always been a high-level athlete, and I couldn’t move like I couldn’t walk, you know, and so it was just the feeling of, you know, my body changing my body image. And, you know, the negative like, feeling depressed about what do I do now?
So if you’re ever experiencing that feeling, and you know, it’s recognizing that you will get beyond it, and then being able to take it in a way that what did I learn from this combining it with your unique passions. Because what’s amazing about you know, moving forward in your life is you get to have all of this experience that builds you to where you are today. And you can choose to pivot and go away from it. Or you can choose to a position which means even the right place at the right time, and own it, and use that as your foundation that builds that combined with your passion that you can then turn into a career turn into impact turned into lessons that you’re providing to other people. So yeah, I mean, there were definitely a lot of stressful moments, and their times of feeling lost times of feeling, you know, ashamed. How did this happen to me feeling like I let down my family, honestly, it was one other feeling that I had as well? But I was able to take that and channel it towards something more positive. And now every day, you know, when I go into work, I’m so passionate about what I do. It’s not just about making money anymore. It’s about truly helping people. Because I felt like I needed that help at that time in my life.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, it’s such an important lesson. It’s the intangibles. And I think we have to go through trials and tribulations to make us stronger and to be able to weather the storm if you will. And it’s really our scars that make us beautiful and define us. And I think that those that are suffering that don’t necessarily move the needle or the chains may be unaware of that and need to get out of that broken loop and say, Okay, how can I use the wind to harness me and propel my sails than it is to push me backward. So awesome information. So what I want to get into though, which I’m really super interested in are the postural principles that you’ve come up with. So just as a quick aside, that was what happened to me, I was a weight trainer, I was, I played soccer, and I really badly injured my back. And I’m from a traditional family, and I kind of went in the split in the road, whereas you said, Okay, let’s do whatever we can to get me better. I said, Hell, no, I’m not having surgery. I’m not and I had huge herniations and I was the weirdo of my family. You know, what, why wouldn’t you just do what the allopathic doctors are telling you to do? And I had an exercise physiology degree, I was a trainer, I thought, you know, this is what I want to do. a chiropractor helped me and I like, okay, like a serendipitous blast of light. This is this is it? And so what I’m really interested in is to hear how these postural principles originated. What’s the genesis of it? What does it involve? What can our listeners look at to help? So, a lot of stuff we can still talk about here?
Dr. Krista Burns: Yeah, wonderful. Well, if we think about posture, I want you to just think about that word. And as I said, the word posture, something probably happened, I just thought you did it, you stood up a little bit straighter, right. And everybody who’s listening, you heard me say the word posture, and inherently you probably moved around a little bit, right? So we hear this one word, and we actually change our entire physiology. There are very few words in the English language, where you say a single word, and people change their entire body position. Okay? So the posture system, the whole goal, the reason we have a posture system, is actually to actively resist gravity, what is gravity, it’s actually a stressor to our body. So we’ll never get rid of gravity, gravity is never going anywhere. It’s a fact of life. But if we don’t actively resist gravity with upright posture, what happens is we tend to get more and more hunched forward. And we think about this primitive posture. When we’re babies, we come out in a fetal position, and then we grow up, we become upright. And then we think about later in life throughout the lifespan, as we get older, we tend to become more hunched forward, right. And so we have this stress on our body ever-present stress, which is gravity. Now, we’ve always resisted stress. And we’ve always resisted gravity through upright posture. What happened with more recent decades is whereas we used to work outside, right, we used to work outside, we built things with our hands.
We were more active throughout the day. With the onset of the digital age, two things happened, we became more sedentary and everything, not everything, but a majority of our work was outsourced to computers. And so now we’re these dynamic, athletic beings that are designed to be upright. And with the onset of the digital age, we’ve been seated in chairs, and hunched forward, staring at our devices, or looking down to our smartphones. And so this amount of pressure and stress on our internal organs, is not how we’re designed to be we’re designed to be upright, and yet we’re compressing down in a permitted posture. And there are many consequences of a primitive posture. You know, the research out there demonstrates that as we go in geriatrics as we get older, and what happens first, as we start to lose our upright posture. After that, we start to have a decline in cognition. cognition is just a fancy word for our thought processes our ability to think properly. And so what happens now is we used to associate this with older age, you start to have signs and symptoms associated with dementia as an example. Now, because from the time we’re born, we have these devices as part of our life. And we’re in the slump over postures. we’re now seeing earlier onset decline in cognitive associated with dementia with brain fog with ADHD and children.
And so it’s because not the only reason one of the contributing factors is because we’re in this slumped forward posture. So when we talk about having less stress in our lives, we talked about de-stressing our system, one of the greatest ways to reduce stress to your system is to have an upright aligned posture system. And then throughout our entire day, 24 hours a day, now we’re resisting stress in a more powerful way, instead of going back into our primitive posture. So the posture system is designed to resist anterior gravity. So anytime that you see maybe on yourself, maybe you see it on your children, maybe if they grab their smartphone, and they’re looking down in the slumped forward posture with a C shaped spinal curvature, this is a very stressful posture to your system. And what happens in response is we actually have a change in our chemistry. So research has shown throughout multiple studies, that when we have this slumped forward posture, we’re less powerful. So we have more cortisol, that’s output, cortisol is associated with stress and weight gain. versus if we have an upright posture, then we have a higher level of testosterone, we have better body image, more confidence.
And we’re actually more powerful our neural chemistry changes within our brain. You know, another research that I wanted to bring up, is they just found and this was from 2019. So all these studies are so recent, because of the onset of the digital age, now then you add the pandemic of more people staying at home, or people doing things virtually, or spending more and more time seated in front of a computer. And I’m not anti-tech, but I’m a huge advocate of having healthy tech habits, right. So we don’t have to get rid of technology in our life. But we have to stand up in a way where we have a proper posture system. What they found is that we’re more resilient to stress meaning we have less cortisol, when we have an upright posture. And you think about the words uplifted and depressed. Think about these two words. When I’m uplifted, I’m upright, right, and I’m having an uplifted mood, I’m positive. Whereas when I’m depressed, what does my posture look like? I’m depressed and compressed, and I’m hearing I’m closed off. And so we see a direct correlation between a depressed mood and depressed mood effect and put in poor posture. And we see a positive impact of the correlation between a positive attitude positive mode, but recovery from a bad mode just by having an uplifted posture. So I love this connection between stress and posture. And when I talk about it, it’s not the only thing we need to do for our stress. But what’s cool about it is it’s something that we can instantly control and have a quick win. So they’ve shown that if you straightener posture system, then you can overcome a bad mode much quicker. So it’s not the only thing we need to do to prevent stress in our life. However, what if there was something we could control that no matter what life throws at us if we had a stronger posture system? What if we felt better instantly? What if we started breathing better, and we were more balanced, and within alignment, we might as well utilize what we can control to prevent stress.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, it’s really cool. As you talk about it, you know, a lot of things go through my head, and sort of the analogy of when you frown, you physiologically have that emotion containment with that. And when you smile, you physiologically have those emotions with fat ingrained. Same thing with posture as well. And now when I’m looking at your bio, and I see the neurological connection that you have, I know we could go down that rabbit hole with balance movement disorders, cerebellar stuff, you know, I was taught a long time ago, if you see someone like really hunched over, they have a bad brain because they are needing that information being sent to their brain of where their body is in time and space. But before we get there, I want to talk about the person who has this on their radar. Because ultimately I would imagine you said your people are you educate the doctors, the educators that teach this, and I can see your passion. And I can see how you would want the end-user to know this as well. But a lot of times Chris says you know, prevention doesn’t sell a lot of the time you know it what sells is the fire is burning, and I need to put it out. So I would imagine, initially, the end-user is the one that is really aware of their posture. And they know it stinks and they want to figure out how to fix their posture. But there is so much more utility with feeling distressed and feeling confident and boosting hormone levels and so forth and so on. So how do you bridge that gap by not just going to the actual provider and the educational tools that you give? But how do you bridge that gap for Hey, you need to know more about posture and stress than just your posture doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing?
Dr. Krista Burns: Yeah, the first thing I would say is body awareness. Next time you’re in a bad mood. I want you to just notice how you feel or when you feel stress coming on. What does your look like. So number one is body awareness and being aware of how we respond physically to stress with our posture system. Number two is I want you to be able to control your respiration. So here’s what happens when we have poor posture. When I’m slumped forward like this, what’s happening is I’m compressing what’s called the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the principal muscle of respiration. It’s located right here underneath my ribcage. Now, when I compress when I have some form of posture, and I’m compressing my diaphragm, what happens is I can’t take full respiration in and out. In fact, I want you guys to try this on yourself. You can try it yourself. Go into a slump forward posture, take a full deep breath in.
Dr. Joel Rosen:
Dr. Krista Burns: right, right. And then now sit up straight and take a full deep inhalation exhalation,
Dr. Joel Rosen:
lot more air coming in.
Dr. Krista Burns: Absolutely. And so what happens is, when we’re slumped forward, you’ll see my shoulders nothing. I have to engage my whole posture system to take one inhalation exhalation and what happens is I have shallower respiration, I’m using more energy to take in one inhalation. So what we’ve seen from the research is just by having upright posture, then I’m reducing hyperventilation. hyperventilation means I’m breathing really fast, but I’m not actually taking in as much oxygen as I would if I was breathing slower and deeper, and what has hyperventilation associated with sympathetic output. And so when we go into a hyperventilate Tory state, which is we can directly control with our posture, we go into hyperventilation, then we’re again going into that sympathetic more cortisol output. So I want you guys to start being aware of your body posture, when you have a stressor coming at you, or when you’re dealing with, you know, something that would normally be a stressful time, just be aware of your posture. And then number two, be aware of your breathing. If we can control our respiratory response, then we can control our stress response.
But here’s how you cannot control your stress your respiratory response. If you think to yourself, okay, I’m going to breathe slower, but you’re still in a slump forward posture, you’re not going to get there, because you’re still hyperventilating, even if you mentally think that you’re breathing slower. So you got to go up right into a nice upright posture, which the neural chemistry of that is going to already make us feel better. And then from here, we want to control our respiration with nice controlled inhalation and exhalation so that we prevent hyperventilation. And we have controlled respiration that brings us into parasympathetic, which brings us into that rest and digest more of a peaceful healing mentality. And about a couple tips that I want you guys to implement in your daily lives are things that constantly drag us down, we tend to be what’s called flexor dominant, meaning that we go into flexion with a lot of our habits. So we want to think about how we can go into more extension. So right now if you’re, if you’re watching this, if you’re listening on your device, or you’re watching on the computer, then I want you to think about the position of your cervical spine or your neck, what tends to happen is they look down in this position, by simply bringing our devices up to eye level, then we’re looking straight on. Now with our smartphones, it’s really hard to hold our devices out here in perfect posture, like I’m not gonna hold anybody accountable for that because I can’t even do it, my arms get tired. But what you can do is if you bring your elbows in close to your body, here, they’re supported. And now from here, I can hold my device up in a way that I can do everything I need to I can text message, I can check my notifications, and I’m not looking down. So if we can prevent looking down, and we can actually look up in a way where our arms are supported. Now we’ve reduced the amount of stress coming in onto our neck and our cervical spine. A really interesting research study came out in 2015. Showing that we looked down on our smartphones, we had 60 pounds of pressure onto our neck 60 pounds of pressure. I mean, imagine if you went to the gym and put 60 pounds on your head, like how that would feel it’d be crippling right? Like it would just be it would be so much stress to our system. And yet, every time we look down to our device and the spikes for a position, we’re adding that amount of stress, and you add gravity on top of it. And it’s a lot of stressors coming down in the system, we’ve got to bring those devices up to a level. Something I wanted to mention about preventing fatigue is what’s called a posture break. So every hour of work, I want you guys to take 30 minutes, excuse me 30 seconds, and do a posture break. So there are only four minutes of your daily total that we can all commit to having four minutes of a healthier day. What you do for the postural break is we want to go anti-gravity. So instead of being compressed a flexion, we’re going to take 30 seconds, you’re going to bring your arms out wide, your palms will be facing out, press your chest forward and drop your head back and hold for 30 seconds. And what you’ll notice at the end of the 30 seconds is you feel nice and stretched out. So these muscles that become tight from going forward, they’ll feel stretched out, you’ll feel like you’re better posture instantly. And you’ll notice that you pay attention better after your posture break. And here’s why. The part of our brain that controls our posture system with a descending pathway. We also have an ace ending pathway called the reticular activating system. You guys have probably heard of the reticular activating system. It’s what keeps us alert and awake. And so when we stimulate our posture system to go up, right, we’re actually stimulating the part of the brain that keeps us up. alert and awake and upright. So we take a posture break, we have better posture, we’re resisting stress. And we’re more alert and awake, we go back into our work.
A good example of this, is it Have you ever fallen asleep in class before, I can raise my hand and say that I have. So if I’m Imagine you’re back to your, you know, your scariest college professor, and you start to fall asleep in class, what happens to your posture system, you tend to go into a sunflower position, right as you fall asleep. Now imagine if that Professor called your name, what would be the first thing that you would do? Instead of straight, I wasn’t sleeping, what are you talking about? So we have this natural inherent response that when we want to wake up, we straighten our posture system, you think about when you wake up in the morning, you’re probably in flexure, in a flexed position, you know, with your pillow in bed, and then you want to wake up, so you stretch out, we go into an extension to wake up. And so there’s that direct correlation, again, with our energy, and with our posture system. So not only do we have less stress, and we’re upright, not only do we have a better model, not only we feel more uplifted, but we’re also preventing that fatigue that can drag us down. Otherwise, we think about those words, and it makes so much sense. So a couple of tips.
Again, I want you to be aware of how you respond to stress with your body, I want you to be very aware of your respiration. And remember that if you’re slumped forward, you can’t control your respiratory response, we got to get you an upright posture, and then take nice inhalations and exhalations nice, deep, and slow respirations. Bring those devices up to eye level is one of the most common causes dragging down our posture is looking down at our devices. And then, of course, take the 32nd posture, break every hour of your workday, four minutes of your daily total, all you’re going to do is bring your arms out wide pressure chest forward and drop your head back. And you’ll notice that you feel stretched out, you have better posture, and you can pay attention better. So those are four simple things that everybody can implement that doesn’t cost you a single dollar doesn’t take a lot of time and will help you instantly have a better posture to have less stress in your life.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, such awesome information. Thank you so much. And it’s always nice to listen to a podcast and get taken takeaways and actionable steps. Honestly, I hadn’t anticipated this from the things that I do with the listeners that I listen to in terms of the stress response, and I know it inherently but when you describe it again, it’s like yeah, that’s, that’s 100%, right? And you can understand that back to the original question in terms of the person who knows that they have bad posture. Now the ones that know that they have stress, need to put it on their radar in terms of making sure their posture is one of their tools in their toolkit to be able to address so that they can have so much farther deeping implications than just aesthetically being hunched over and maybe having musculoskeletal pain, they’re gonna have way better outcomes. So that sort of leads me to my next question. Is there research, Krista that shows that improving posture increases neurochemicals or hormones, or you mentioned, can you tell us a little bit about that? And what’s out there and the research on that?
Dr. Krista Burns: Yeah, for sure. So the first one that comes to mind is power postures. And even withholding a power posture for as little as two minutes, you can change your neural chemistry. So a closed posture is going to be a slumped forward, closed off posture. This is associated with cortisol stress. And then when we go into an upright posture where we have, we’re open, and we’re upright, this is actually associated with more testosterone and dominance. Another research study talks about the mentality that we have in different postures about ourselves, and how are perceived the level of self-leadership. So they were divided into two groups of people. And the only difference between this group of people was our posture. So one group had slumped forward posture. The other group was what had an upright posture. And they asked the two groups of people to recall memories about themselves. And here’s what’s so fascinating. The group has slumped forward posture. 86% had negative memory recall, meaning that they came up with a negative memory, they had more negative things and adjectives of ways of describing themselves. So that was an interesting correlation.
And then we looked at the group in proper posture. 87% recalled a positive memory about themselves and had more positive adjectives to describe their perceived level of self-leadership. Just by changing their posture system, we went from 86% negative with slumped over posture, into 87%, being more positive, about their leadership, about their memories about themselves, their complete body image changed just by changing their posture. So I always tell patients, I always tell practitioners that a change in centimeters can change your entire life. So going from here, to hear has such a profound effect of a cascade of positive health effects when we have proper posture. Another important thing to consider about stress is we have what’s called the amygdala in our brain, the amygdala. perceives fear. And when we have when we do not have fear, when we’re going through cognitive processes or thinking, we use the front part of our brain called the prefrontal cortex in the frontal lobe, now we have the amygdala response, we’re feeling stressed out, what happens is, instead of thinking with our prefrontal cortex, we start thinking with the back of our brain. Similarly, what happens when we’re in the slumped forward posture is that we’re not engaging our prefrontal cortex.
And so when we have poor posture, when we have stressed those two combinations, that we’re using the back part of our brain to make decisions, and we’re not rationalizing, and that’s where we become very responsive, when in our survival brain versus thinking things all the way through. What’s really interesting too, is the front part of our brain not only has the prefrontal cortex for being human, for executive human decision making, for motivation for goal setting for, for controlling our emotions in a socially appropriate way. But also, we have what’s called the motor cortex. So the motor cortex is in the same part of the brain called the frontal lobe as our humanistic prefrontal cortex. Why is that important? Because every time you move, ie exercise, every time you exercise, you’re activating the part of the brain that helps us think and process at a human level. One of the things I always tell patients and practitioners is that when it comes to exercise, everybody needs to be exercising because it helps us have better memory, and stay in the frontal lobe of our brain.
But in addition to that, that exercise of going to the gym for 30 minutes to an hour per day, we also have to have more exercise throughout our workday. So even if we go to the gym for 30 minutes in the morning, but then we’re seated and slumped over posture for the rest of the day. Even that exercise in the morning is not enough to offset the ill health effects of being seated in sedentary. So we need to have more movement throughout our workday, meaning having a stand capable desk sitting on an exercise ball or wobble cushion, or we’re moving our body because every time we do a voluntary movement, we’re activating that that motor cortex, which is in the same part of our brain, that helps us think at a higher level. So if we know that poor posture is associated with a decline in cognition, if we know that exercise and movement and better posture is associated with using the front part of our brain, then we can help stay in that rational part of our brain, instead of being in survival mode, or we’re in sympathetic overdrive, our chemistry is about his stress, right, we’re in a stress response, we can stay in that rational part of our brain. So remember, to have a better upright posture. And with exercise, definitely have an exercise routine that you’re doing, in addition to that, add more movement throughout your workday. So don’t just exercise in the morning, and then just sit there and slumped forward posture, get a standing desk to have stand capability, walk around more often, even if you’re seated, move your legs up and down, be moving your arms in place sit on an exercise ball. So you’re actively engaging your core musculature and parts of your brain that control movement, as well as balancing the vestibular system. By adding that extra movement, you’re stimulating your body and your brain in a really positive way.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, such awesome information for sure. You know, you just look at someone who enters a room and they have an upright posture, there’s an air of confidence about them, and certainty about them. And, and, and good health about them. So it goes without saying the other thing that came to my mind is the analogy of aging and the gravity and sort of you have that diagram of sort of evolution where we kind of come upright, and then as we get older, we come back down. And it’s sort of that life cycle. But you can really think of anti-aging or posture as anti-aging, in terms of fighting the forces that drag us down and being resilient to them. So really, really cool stuff. My mind is really spinning in terms of Wow, I never realized how important posture is. And I’m trained as a licensed chiropractic physician, even though I do mostly, you know, internet stuff now with functional medicine. So great, great tools. Thank you so much, as far as you answered the question too, in terms of standing desks, and other tools that clients can have. Two questions that I have is what would be some other additional tools that you have, can recommend in terms of things for their chairs, or their cars to remind them? And then secondly, just sort of a spin-off is, what do you teach practitioners? Do you teach them about having the reason I’m asking these two now because I don’t want to forget? What do you teach practitioners about how everything you just said for the past half hour can be applied? I’m curious to know about that.
Dr. Krista Burns:
Yeah. So starting with the first question, we always recommend what’s called a posture reminder. So after hearing today’s conversation, you guys will probably be more motivated to change your posture. But then what will happen is we’ll go into autopilot you’ve had your posture for years and years before hearing today’s conversation. And so before you know it, you’re back into your slumped forward posture. Now, we have to have postural reminders in place to retrain our body and our we call it posture, habit re-education. So I always give our patients a little bracelet to wear that says to check your posture, and we give them stickers to put in the four areas where they spend the most amount of time throughout their workday. Now, what you can do is just put a little post-it note on your computer, or even just one of those like little red dot stickers or a star sticker. And just put that on your computer monitor. And every time you see it, that’s your posture reminder to make sure that your device is up at eye level. So just by implementing that little sticker, as a posture reminder, you can also set posture reminders on your smartphone to use technology in a positive way to remind you, it goes off every hour of your workday to remind you to take a posture break. So that would be the first thing is we got to have posture reminders of we’re going to be serious about making changes. And then number two is having stand capability.
So even if you don’t want to buy a standing desk, what you can do is grab how many Amazon boxes do we all have right now, right, you can put an Amazon box underneath your computer. And guess what, now you have a standing desk or those old textbooks from college you can use those and put those underneath your computer and still work or whatever you know, your work entails, you can still do that in the stand capability workspace. And the last thing I want you guys to do is to go from being completely sedentary to standing 16 hours tomorrow, we want to have a three to one ratio. So withstand capability, we want to stand three times the amount that we’re seated. So if we look at one hour, we’re going to stand for 40 minutes, and then we’re going to sit for 20. Okay, so three to one ratio of standing versus sitting. And then I always recommend what’s called a posture cushion. So you guys have all seen those exercise balls where it’s an unstable surface. Now what the only problem with exercise as I love exercise balls. But some people tell me they can’t bring those to work because they roll around the office. And so how we can overcome that is what’s called a posture cushion. It’s smaller, it’s like a desk that you set on your chair, and it emulates an exercise ball because it’s an unstable surface. Now, what happens when we have an unstable surface.
So okay, I want you to picture just your old normal chair, regardless of what your posture is, it holds you up. So if I completely slumped to the side and have this awful posture, the chair still holds my body upright against gravity, I don’t even have to use my brain or my body to do it. So we outsource our brain, our body to our chairs. Now, if we’re on an unstable surface, if I start to slump, what happens is I could actually roll-off, this is a good thing because it challenges my neurology, where it stimulates my vestibular system. When I changed my body position in relation to gravity, my vestibular system activates, and it really centralizes myself, it also stimulates my extensor muscles. So now I have a stronger extensor tone, stronger postural tone, and better balance, and I’m engaging my muscles. So if we sit on an unstable surface, that three to one ratio, we want to stand as much as we can. And then we’re seated, be on an unstable surface so that you’re moving around more often to create more mobility. And you’re actively engaging your brain so that it stimulates to keep you in upright postural design, and with better-balanced alignment. So those are the easy one’s posture reminders, make sure you set a posh reminder on your phone to take plaster breaks, put a little sticker on your computer that’s remind you that proper posture and stand capability. If you don’t have a standing desk, grab an old Amazon box, put it underneath your computer. Now you do have a standing desk. And then from there, make sure that you have an unstable surface to sit on posture cushion, you can put it on any chair, or you’ll instantly have better posture and you’re engaging your brand your body throughout the day.
Dr. Joel Rosen: That’s awesome, awesome information. So and then quickly because I want to respect your time as far as if I’m a provider, and I want to know more information about this. What does your your your institute do?
Dr. Krista Burns: Yes, so we teach certification programs called certified postural neurology certified ergonomists program, which is working with ergonomics, certified posture expert, which is structural postural correction and for pediatrics. And so if you want to check us out the American posture institute.com we have a three-component system of spinal alignment, posture rehabilitation, and posture, habit re-education. So we’ll teach you all those signature systems so you can implement them with your patients and get a get objective clinical results that are evidence-based with your patients.
Dr. Joel Rosen: And if I’m just loving everything you’re hearing, and I’m not a provider, can I go there as well?
Dr. Krista Burns: Absolutely check us out at American posture institute.com also on Facebook facebook.com, forward slash American posture Institute. And I’d also love to hang out on Instagram American posture Institute.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Awesome. So I always like to ask this last question with my guests, because it’s consistent and it’s helpful and given that it’s the less stressful life and there are so many tools Krista that you shared with us that are awesome, and I want to thank you so much. But I always ask Hey Krista, knowing what you know now, what would the wise Sage knowing Krista tell the naive young impressionable Krista that would have sprung her forward a lot quicker, faster, and further than had she not had that information.
Dr. Krista Burns: Yeah, it always goes back to my favorite quote by Dr. Stephen Covey. Personal victories precede public victories personal victories precede public, meaning that anytime you want to have a public victory, it doesn’t matter if it’s winning a ski competition, growing your business overcoming chronic pain, you have to have an individual victory first. So always work on yourself before getting that public victory. So personal victories precede public victories. Anytime I want to go to the next level in business, I always match that with a personal goal. So I’ll sign up for a marathon while I’m simultaneously trying to grow my business because I have that personal victory, knowing that it precedes a public victory. So it always goes back to Stephen Covey’s seven habits, Habits of Highly Effective People, personal victories, public victories,
Dr. Joel Rosen: and you didn’t know that yet. When you’re younger, I mean, I would say like, just to play devil’s advocate, that personal victory in your skiing would have been the first thing. So where you avoid or devoid of the public victory? Cause? Or how would that have been different from what you didn’t know? back then?
Dr. Krista Burns: Yeah, I didn’t realize the amount of impact that it had. I was training for training purposes, right. And so now what I know as a business person is that when I have a personal victory when I can combine a personal goal with a public goal, then I’ll always get there faster. I was training because I was told to train and I was just a machine at the time, I didn’t realize how impactful it was to actually look back and go, Okay, if I achieve this, I know that I’m closer to getting this. And so it’s really about recognizing that you have to overcome just the autopilot of training and train with a higher purpose.
Dr. Joel Rosen: That’s awesome. Do you still ski Krista?
Dr. Krista Burns: I do recreationally. Yeah.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Listen, I’m so happy that you joined us. There are awesome pieces of information. I always go back and listen to these and I’ll get so many different nuggets of information for myself and our listener. And I just want to thank you so much for being here. I want to wish you continued success with your personal and business endeavors. And I always say hey, let’s keep the door open because you’ll know more information in a year or two and be able to do part two of this. But I want to thank you so much for being here today.
Dr. Krista Burns: Thank you again for the opportunity that your job really appreciate you and the amazing work you’re doing.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Well, thank you so much.