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Friday, October 7, 2011

On a Diet- My purse.

Shoes and purses, purses and shoes, purses, and day bags, and clutches, purses for winter, and purses for fall... and something extra special to lift my mood on one of those horrible days. I love my purses; probably even more than my shoes. My purse in action is like my apartment away from home; everything I need is tucked safely between the gently worn leather.

As a four year old, I was like Linus, from Charlie Brown. My blanket and I were inseparable. As an adult I'm still like Linus, except instead of my blanket I'm attached to security of my fashion forward keeper of wallets, cell phone, keys, makeup, and random crap I collect through out my day. I go nowhere without my purse (or an equivalent).

Dr. Oz, recently did a show on purses after a medical journal concluded a study about increased neck and shoulder pain in woman age 26 and up. I was confused at first; how can there be a connection between my fabulous Folly&Corinna bag and the tension in my neck? The article explained that over the past 10 years (2002-Today) our purses on average have gained 5-8lbs. We are loading up our purses with more electronics; while not substituting out more traditional daily must haves.

On the Purse Show Dr. Oz did, he weighed the purse of every audience member. The weight range  ran from 5-15lbs with the median at 8lbs. For good spinal health our purses should weigh in the range of 3-5lbs (with 5 as a maximum).

When we load up our purses like a Santa Claus bag, and carry them on our arm, the weight of the purse pulls the shoulder down. Which causes the hip to push out and the neck to strain. Modern Medicine magazine recommends reducing the weight of the bag and to use the longer strap for tote'n around town. 

When we run around with our purse hanging off one shoulder, the shoulder hikes up to lock the purse to our person. When the shoulder hikes up the muscles can freeze in a contracted position which create a stiff neck effect and can lead to intense migraines. In addition the opposite hip hikes up to balance the alignment which in turn can cause a curvature of the spine.  To reduce this discomfort health care practitioners recommend First, reducing the weight of the bag, and secondly to use the long strap as a cross-body strap. 

Like so.

Changing the way we carry our purse can help to reduce purse related alignment issues. Putting our purses on a diet is a preventative cure for future alignment related neck, shoulder, and back pains. Before you leave the house, check your purse. Get rid of the clutter and stick to the basics. 

In your Purse you should always have: your wallet, some mad cash, cell phone, keys, Advil, a serving of almonds, a small tube of hand cream, lip chap, a pen, your business cards, and a tide to go. That's all you need. 

There is no need to pack your purse like an overnight bag or in preparation for a ten day hike. If you need to tote around extras pack a separate bag and keep it in your car or office.

 Protect your alignment; starve your purse. 

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