Friday, 19 April 2013


Nearly a month after I began General Postural Reeducation (my memory tag for 22 March 2013), I have noticed three intriguing side effects.

My posture has definitely improved to the point that I am aware when I am standing or sitting correctly - or nearly so. I still have to stretch my spine out a little more through the various exercises I have been given. Sometimes though, when I am on a run and have loosened up, it feels like I am just about there. There is a sense of recognition. Which brings me to the first side effect.

Checking out in the mirror how I am standing when I clean my teeth, I have a feeling of recaptured youth.

In part this is because my body just sags less with my shoulders back and standing up straight. In part my neck does not seem so scrawny with my head no longer thrusting forward.

But I think the main reason is something much more subtle: a subconscious remembering that this is how I stood as a child, before the burden of my troubles and struggles. It is almost as if I have shaken off the weight of intervening years.

Which leads me to the second intriguing side effect.

Although I have changed my posture - and continue to change it against resisting, tight muscles - this new way of being seems familiar in another way. It is not just the memory of youth, but the discovery of the man within.

Looking at the people around me, I am aware that many of them have poor posture too, but many more have what I suppose I should call normal posture. I feel like I have joined that group. What might sum up the strangeness of this sensation is the feeling of empathy with the man in an advertising hoarding. It is me they have been trying to reach after all. There is a sense of recognition.

I don't know if anyone else notices anything that different. I showed my wife the picture of different postures from my last posting. Although I feel I was as contorted as one of the wrong postures, she didn't see it. So the changes are perhaps subtle, but at the same time I feel I am becoming normal, in the physical sense at least.

Although all the above is largely psychological - not to say anal - the third side effect is even more so.

It is a quiet feeling of peace and confidence. Although I don't really lack either, there is something new happening. Perhaps not just from postural changes, but the developments in my experiment in remembering every day that passes. I feel somehow more relaxed and grounded. Walking down the street with my centre of gravity balanced as it should be, rather than in a chin forward rush, taking on the world.

There have been several times over the past few days where, out and about, I have joked with strangers in a way I haven't done for ages.

Perhaps it comes from feeling more comfortable in my own skin.

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