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How to Help Your Teenager Stop Slouching

Yes, we’ve all seen it. The sullen, broody teenager slumped forward over their mobile phone paying homage to their hypnotising digital deity. I don’t know a parent that hasn’t looked at this amorphous mass of hormones and attitude and rightly wondered, “That can’t be good for them!” But aside from repeatedly barking, “Stop slouching,” or “Pull those shoulders back,” what can you do to improve your teenager’s posture? Fortunately, the neurology of the teenage brain has revealed some surprising things that can help…

IMG_7981It reveals that as the teenage brain is developing emotionally it hasn’t yet fully developed the centres of the brain involved in memory, mental flexibility and self-control. That means that you not only have to address the physical causes of slouching but the emotional causes too. 

Let’s first look at addressing the physical causes of slouching…

When you slouch the front muscles of your neck and your chest muscles become overly contracted and your shoulders roll in. This can place a lot of pressure on the muscles, ligaments and nerves of the neck and upper back and can cause spinal misalignments. These chest and neck muscles need to be stretched regularly in combination with chiropractic adjustments to help realign the posture…

Now for the emotional causes of slouching…

Since the developing emotional brain hasn’t developed control it can make the teenage brain more sensitive to emotional stress. And what is a way to protect you if you’re feeling emotionally vulnerable or uncertain?…Hunching forward.

The right-hand side of your brain is involved in maintaining posture, conscience and is also involved in relationships, empathy and caring for others. Encouraging your teenager to care for someone else or to volunteer to help out with a charity or community group will activate the part of the brain involved with postural control. This means that your teenager can improve their posture simply by caring more for others than just yourself. 

It’s interesting to note that chiropractic adjustments to improve postural alignment also have been shown to increase the blood flow to parts of the brain involved in the emotional development and also reduce the levels of the stress chemical, cortisol. This demonstrates that your posture and emotional state (particularly in developing teenagers) are irrevocably linked.

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