Change your posture, change your mind

restorative anatomy May 03, 2023
heart growing and blooming from inside the brain

I have had a history of challenges in balancing my mood. For me, having a mood disorder most often shows up as over reactions to situations that derail my train. Then I can’t stay on task. What I have learned is that it is not just my mood that changes, but my circulation. By supporting my circulation with breathing and posture practices, I can often change my mood.


I got my first glimpse of this during a craniosacral massage. I was having a very hard time composing myself going to the session. I am not sure if I was on the verge of a panic attack or a depression attack, but The Voice in my head was running rampant with horror stories and attacks on my character. It took all my energy to convince myself to go to my appointment and then drive the car where I needed to go. My upper body was tense, and my head felt squeezed.


Once I arrived, I told my practitioner that I wasn’t feeling well. He could see by the look on my face that I was on edge. Putting a gentle hand on my shoulder, he escorted me right to the massage table. His calm manner helped me to start breathing. As he felt around my head and neck he commented, “Of course you don’t feel well with your neck and jaw this tight!”


As he manipulated different areas of my head, my thoughts slowed down. Within twenty minutes, I couldn’t remember why I was so upset. My heart felt peaceful. My whole body relaxed. I asked him what he did. He told me that I wasn’t getting good circulation around my brain, so he mobilized my bones and muscles to open the fluid flow.


“But it stopped The Voice nagging in my head,” I told him.

He laughed and replied this wasn’t his goal, but it didn’t surprise him. He explained that when the circulation is impaired anywhere in the body, especially around the brain, it is dangerous. So, the body has many mechanisms to protect the circulation. If any of these mechanisms are activated, it can trigger the survival mode in the nervous system. This means the emotional part of the brain takes over and the logical part of the brain is deactivated. Then The Voice can stream fearful, negative nonsense and the logical mind is not online to bring it under control.


“So, The Voice in my head is connected to my circulation stress?” I stammered.

“It appears yours could be,” he said with a shrug.


"If you change the alignment of a human form, you will change the psychology of that person." ~Ida Rolf


While I didn’t understand how this worked at the time, I scheduled osteopathic or craniosacral massage sessions regularly to support my mood balance. I started to research how I could change the circulation in my brain for myself. First, I discovered that by aligning my posture, I could balance the circulation around my brain. Here is an image to show how the flow around the spine is affected by different neck postures. &

But sometimes that wasn’t enough to quiet The Voice in my head. Then I found an amazing book by Stanley Rosenberg, “Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve.” This book explained how the nerves and the circulation affect each other. It also introduced me to an eye exercise that shifts the tension of the neck muscles to balance brain circulation. It only takes a few minutes to practice. Here is a link to a video by Teresa Posakony that describes this eye exercise.

This book was one of the inspirations for developing the Ease Keys and teaching nervous system Self-Regulation for stress relief. I have spent many years working through mental and emotional exercises to combat The Voice in my head telling me terrible stories about myself. It turned out that a major trigger for The Voice was circulation stress. So, it wasn’t until I included physical exercises that addressed alignment, posture, and breathing that I found lasting relief. Now I understood other ways The Voice could be activated, and I had the power to do something about it.

If you want to see if changing your posture, changes your mind, you can try some of the Ease Keys for free by registering here:

Tools for stress relief

Follow this link for more information on balancing your nervous system.