HAPI Guide Summer 2017 | Page 16

HEALTH Habits are hard to change, and when you sit eight or more hours a day in front of a screen it’s no won- der our backs and hips are out of kilter. Low back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease report, affecting almost 30% of the population. It is one of the most common reasons for missed work and visits to the doctor’s office, and the World Health Organization estimates the costs associated with it to be $100 to $200 billion worldwide. According to Kathleen, the problems often start in infancy. We keep babies on their backs for hours at a time, so they don’t strengthen the back and neck muscles they use when they lift their heads to peer around and crawl. We put shoes on them because they look so cute, and when they do walk, it is on hard flat surfaces that don’t stimulate and strengthen the arches of the foot. When kids (and adults) then sit for hours in front of a screen, or hunched over a cell phone, it’s all downhill from there. Kathleen has now written a new book called, Healthy Posture for Babies and Children (Inner Traditions July 25, 2017). It is intended as a man- ual for teaching parents, teachers, and kids how to restore their natural alignment. The book: Explores the principles of natural alignment in accessible ways to share with children  Details simple and fun exercises--for kids and adults alike--that “remind” the body of its natu- ral patterns and movements  Explains how innate movements and natural alignment play an essential role in the devel- opment of a fully functioning body and nervous system If you have a child to care for, Kathleen Porter’s book provides a graphic and easy to follow guide for preventing back issues in later life. As for the rest of us, her books can help us all recover the nat- ural posture that babies are born with and people in many other cultures around the world are able to preserve throughout their lives.  Reviewed by Miriam Knight INTERVIEW Kathleen Porter is a longtime movement educator and author dedicated to sharing revolutionary insights about skeletal alignment that released her from decades of chronic tension and pain. She has traveled the world learning from people who have maintained into adulthood and old age, the innate natural alignment demonstrated by all healthy babies and toddlers. Kathleen is focused on bringing awareness of these principles to the mainstream so that more and more people can find relief from an epidemic of posture-related pain and health issues. She is the au- thor of Natural Posture for Pain-Free Living: The Practice of Mindful Align- ment, Sad Dog, Happy Dog: How Poor Posture Affects Your Child’s Health & What You Can Do About It, and Healthy Posture for Babies and Children. Listen to Miriam Knight’s interview with Kathleen about natural posture here: LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW