By Jim Notto
Your mother told you to do it. Your gym teacher told you to do it. If you were in the Army maybe your drill sergeant told you to do it. Now I’m telling you they were right. Sitting up straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed can help relieve your GERD symptoms. Besides, it makes you look better, too.
Proper posture helps align your spine properly and expands the front of your torso which in turn makes it easier digest your food, allows gravity to work in your favor so stomach acids have a more difficult time rising upward into your esophagus, and helps you to breathe deeply and fully which is a huge benefit to anyone trying to live without acid reflux (if you don’t know why this is so, get my book and read chapter fourteen).
Try it now. Sit up so that your spine is erect, head balanced on the top of your spine so that it takes as little muscular effort as possible to keep it up. It helps if you tuck your chin in very slightly.
Move your shoulders backward so that they are squared with your torso; and then let your shoulders drop downward, releasing the usual muscular tension it requires to hold them high, while keeping your spine erect.
Now breathe in slowly and evenly, allowing your chest and abdomen to expand fully. If this feels uncomfortable you can be fairly certain you’re carrying a lot of residual tension in your muscles. A relaxed person breathes in a naturally full manner (and they probably don’t suffer from GERD). Just keep with it up to the level that feels comfortable for you. You can practice expanding your breathing little by little, but don’t push yourself too hard. Small increments add up to big gains in a shorter amount of time than you may imagine.