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September 2012

You’ve Lost The Weight Now Stand Up Straight™
By: Joseph Ventura D.C.

Your client/patient has been wildly successful in completing a weight loss program. Perhaps the weight loss was combined with a little “nip & tuck” to help complete the transformation. But talk with many of your weight loss clients and you will find that there is still a lingering disappointment they can’t quite put their finger on. The problem is they still see the same person in the mirror and it’s preventing the return of the self-confidence they thought was buried under the fat.

Weight gain from a pregnancy, over-indulgence or medical issues causes ligaments and tendons to stretch and lose elasticity. This weight gain usually changes the body’s center of gravity and causes poor posture.



The postural changes are very predictable and will cause a person’s posture to shift from the picture on the far left to the picture on the near left. This posture profile is commonly known as Forward Head Posture (FHP) because the head rests forward of the shoulders. Several major studies have shown the relationship between FHP and overall health and performance. Some of these studies are provided at the end of this letter.

The reason this is important for your patients, is that FHP is not self-correcting. The muscles, tendons and ligaments, once stretched, do not snap back into place simply because the excess weight is gone. FHP affects over 100 joints, dozens of muscles, taxes the body’s balance system, can reduce lung and heart capacity and affect athletic performance. It can cause injuries to happen sooner and take longer to heal. AND, it can be the reason a patient’s self-confidence isn’t 100%. They see their past image in the mirror in the form of their still poor posture.



As you can see in the picture on the left, the patient has lost a substantial amount of weight. Notice anything else?

Using sophisticated posture analysis software, the patient’s posture profile was analyzed and a Posture Number™ was generated. The Posture Number calculates the total deviations of five anatomical landmarks from normal: The higher the number the greater the deviations.

The Posture Number in the pictures has barely changed even though a great deal of weight has been removed from the client’s body. This is seen over and over again in analyzing pre and post pictures.



A Word from the National Posture Institute

When poor posture is established due to the reasons Dr. Ventura has discussed above, it’s time for YOU to help your clients identify and correct their poor posture.  Correcting posture begins with a digital/picture analysis, which will help clients to be aware of their posture status.  Then, you can sit down and discuss with your clients about their posture issues and potential damages it could cause if not improved; eventually design a series of personalized exercises to improve their posture. But, your job isn’t done yet; periodically you should meet with your clients, take a picture of their current posture and compare it with the old ones to let them know their progress. If it’s needed, make any modifications along the way to help your clients feel comfortable and confident with their posture improvement. 


SPINE, 2005
• “All measures of health status showed significantly poorer scores as C7 plumb line deviation increased.”
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2004
• “Older men and women with hyperkyphotic posture have higher mortality rates.”
American Journal of Pain Management, 1994
• “Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse, and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture.”
Archives of Internal Medicine 2007 - Loss of Height Linked To Heart Disease And Early Death
• “Height loss was associated with a 42% increased risk of coronary events such as heart attacks, even in men who had no history of cardiovascular disease.”


About the Author:

Dr. Joseph Ventura, one of the National Posture Institute's Board of Advisors, began his practice of sports injuries in 1978. He has treated numerous high school, college and professional athletes, and was the team physician for a local community college and high school. He was also one of the treating physicians at the U.S. Open Tennis tournament in 1985.


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