Can your Posture make you Angry?

Spinal tension building up internally....

Spinal tension building up internally....

Every now and then a piece of research pops up in my inbox that makes me think. And this was one of them.

Some researchers have looked into the relationship between our posture and our emotions, in this case Anger. They looked a current and usual anger in relationship to posture including: shoulder elevation, protrusion of the head and hyper extension of the knees.

There concluded that usual anger – which for me meant “background anger” was associated with shoulder protraction. Shoulder protraction – what’s that? It’s rounded shoulders – we all know what that looks like on someone.

As a chiropractor, who measures posture as part of my analysis of overall health and wellbeing, I found this interesting, because so many people I work with have rounded shoulders. And when I look at the average teen / twenty something, that posture if becoming endemic.

So the latest research seems to be saying that your posture could make you more angry. So I thought of the following questions as a test or starter to see if your posture might be affecting you? 

  1. Do you get angry inappropriately
    For example, you yell at your kids when they just did something small
  2. Is your reaction often bigger than the event called for? 
    For example, you blow up because of small, unimportant things, and you can see you're doing it but you don't stop
  3. Are you able to express angry appropriately or does it build up inside? 
    For example, you are angry a lot of the time or quite often but you constantly deny it, yet secretly you know...

So why might this be?

Research from the 1970's has shown us that our spines contain a huge amount of emotional receptors (denser than the brain and the gut). So this new research adds to the growing body of evidence that says look after your spine.

I'll be interested to hear your feedback on this, so do let me know if this makes sense. 

As a small child said to his grandfather - "Grandad why are you angry?" Grandad: "I'm not angry", small child - "well can you tell that to your face......."

References

Journal of Bodywork Movement Therapy. 2016 Jul;20(3):457-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2016.01.002. Epub 2016 Jan 18. Angry posture. Rosário JL1, Diógenes MS2, Mattei R2, Leite JR2.

Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel. Author: Candace Pert, Foreward Deepak Chopra