The beauty in Cheongsam is in a Perfect Spine


Chinese New Year is just around the corner.

You have prepared a whole list of to-do-things that need to be done before Chinese New Year.

If you are bored with your plain old hair, you need to get your hair coloured in harmony with your Chinese rooster year zodiac. You need to get your manicure and pedicure appointment fixed and maybe eyelash extension too.

Finally, you have decided that you’ll be wearing the latest trend of Cheongsam on the first day of CNY to suit your new hairstyle, new nail groom and extended eyelashes. By this time, you may want to integrate intensive fasting program into your to-do-lists in attempt to squeeze perfectly into your new Cheongsam.

To all amazing beautiful women reading this, I can’t wait a minute longer to share with you the one thing I discovered that we absolutely can’t afford to miss out on. That is your perfect posture to go along with your perfect Cheongsam. In our popular quest for culturally imposed standard of beauty, many of us unwittingly disregard the importance of skeletal alignment.

In other words, you should be shifting your attention- not to your nails, breasts or design of your Cheongsam but to your posture. Without a straight spine, you can wear the same gown with Gong Li but looking ill, depressed, lacking in confidence and actually quite silly too.

What constitute good posture?

What I noticed from years of running Critical Alignment Therapy classes and courses is the increasing numbers of postural defect issues concerning children and adolescents at school age, ranging from 10 to 17, which is a serious 21st century problem among young generation.

More parent came to me to express concerns about their child’s posture. “I told her to sit up straight but she won’t listen” is often what I hear.

So what the child does after receiving such commandment? She will lift the lower rib cage up with the misconception that is equivalent to sitting straight. That keep the nagging mum and angry dad satisfied for a while and after five minutes, it becomes a little slouching and when mum bring the attention back, she readjust it to be upright again. So, many people alternate their position between slump and tensed posture over and over again and found out after some years their natural height declines by at least 3cm.

What most parent and all others fail to understand is that the type of posture a person has much depends on the types of spinal curve she has developed over the years. Different types of spinal shape will bring different habits and preferences into their daily postures.

Naturally, a centered spine should require no effort to sit up straight and no need for reminding. All physical activities are not helpful here and it simply reinforces a faulty way of moving. When there is a bend in the upper thoracic region and a lack of movement in the lumbar, it stops the passage of movement in those strain areas. The upper body’s weight does not move through it. The deformation always starts from the spine.

Everywhere in the world, naturally aligned people is so rare that the misaligned body structure has become a norm. Nobody knows what a naturally aligned body looks like. Even the medical professionals are not well trained about the elements of good posture and how to put it into practice in a relax manner.

When the spine is out of alignment, an upright posture could not be sustained with independent effort. People keep struggling in their posture creating more tension, conflict and agitation because for as long as people carry themselves in all activities, they have to be constantly reminded to stay upright that way. It becomes new stress in life and repeatedly feeling guilty when they slouch again. For some cases I came across, such stress can lead to conflict in parent and children relationship. Most children avoid coming into sight with their parents.

What is good posture?

There is no good posture. You receive good posture when you understand all the factors which suppress good posture. We were once connected when we came to this world. Our original state is still with us. We do not need to become somebody new, it is returning to the old value of the body which is the body in the connected state. In this state we are in neutral and we lost it because tensions suppress that.

I am the fortunate few who came to know a body education and movement techniques developed by Gert Van Leeuwen. Other than CAT, there is no solutions that I am aware of in the field of posture alignment practice that is based on such specific detailed, thorough and profound of natural skeleton alignment of the spine. So, undoubtedly most parent remarked “I wish I could have known this earlier” after being introduced to this amazing techniques of CAT.

So to all young people at age or at heart, you need an appointment with your Posture Therapist to groom your spine too, just in time for CNY. It is about becoming older and straighter.