Check out this really cool article called “Instinctive sleeping and resting postures: an anthropological and zoological approach to treatment of low back and joint pain”. Be sure to read the actual article in addition to looking at the
awkward pictures. It’s fascinating.
After yesterday’s post highlighting the benefits of a quality diet, and today’s post focused on how resting postures can improve or prevent joint problems, some readers are thinking, “What the hell? Is he gonna live in a cave next?” Well, if I had a choice, I’d live in this quaint cabin. Here’s the deal: I’m obsessed with efficiency. When I was in school, I wanted to learn about the human body so I could improve it. When I started coaching, I wanted to learn how to best move the body with respect to mechanics and anatomy. When I started learning about training, I wanted to know how to optimally train the body. I constantly aim to have optimal technique in any athletic movement whether it’s lifting, shooting a gun, swimming, running, or agilely moving when playing pick-up volleyball. When I am cleaning up around the house, I think of the most efficient method to do each chore so that I don’t waste movement or time walking back and forth. So when there is clearly a dietary method that can improve the efficiency of the human body AND it can be tweaked to use for lifters, then I’m going to use it. It results in recovering more efficiently, but it also results in increasing the potential for long-term health. Like Rob Lowe, I want to live until I’m 150.
So when I see a physiotherapist who has spent many years around tribal and zoological populations, and he observes constants in how they rest, I consider that information relevant. I don’t take it for granted when the physiotherapist says that tribal populations simply don’t have many musculoskeletal problems. I deem that highly relevant. In the same way that a series of adaptations resulted in the evolution of various species, they have adapted to using particular methods of rest that prevent getting gunked up hips, knees, backs, and shoulders. I’m an anatomy and physiology nerd because it helps you and me get better.
Think about it: were our “ancestors” sitting hunched over in chairs on a regular basis? Even if we disregard the “this is how we evolved argument” (which is entirely valid and relevant), we can still observe the lack of joint issues in “tribal populations”. For example, what we call the “paleo squat” is observed by Tetley in this article and “can be very helpful in treating backs”, particularly in opening up the sacro-iliac joint and lumbar region.
Observe these positions and share your thoughts in the comments.