A sharp poke between the shoulder blades was the way teachers used
to encourage good posture in their students, but today they would have to use subtler
persuasion to get kids to stand or sit straight. Or they could blind them with
science.

An American professor of management organisation has led a
study
that shows adopting a “dominant” posture is important not only for
feeling in control of a situation but for coping with pain.

Instead of curling up into a ball when you are in pain —
which will only make the pain worse — you should try sitting or standing up
straight, pushing your chest out and expanding your body, the researchers say.

These behaviors can help create a sense of power and control
that may in turn make the procedure more tolerable. Based on previous research,
adopting a powerful, expansive posture rather than constricting your body, may
also lead to elevated testosterone, which is associated with increased pain
tolerance, and decreased cortisol, which may make the experience less
stressful.

They think the same probably goes for emotional distress: chin up!

And here is some interesting advice for caregivers:

Caregivers often try to baby those for whom they are caring
to help make things easier and alleviate stress. In doing this, they force
those they are caring for in a more submissive position—and thus, according to
this new research, possibly render their patients more susceptible to
experiencing pain. Rather, this research suggests that caregivers take a more submissive
position and surrender control to those who are about to undergo a painful
procedure to lessen the intensity of the pain experienced.

Would good posture help prevent some of the bullying so common today?

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet