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Why do we hunch in the cold?

Woman wearing hat, scarf, gloves, puffer jacket in the snow
Wrap Up This Winter

Instinctively, we turn our backs to the wind to protect the front of our bodies, especially our unwrapped faces, which are highly sensitive to cold. However, the back of the neck is also highly sensitive, so we tend to contract to make the surface area smaller and hunch our shoulders to provide a barrier to inclement weather.*

The cold also causes blood vessels and muscles to contract to conserve heat and direct blood flow to the internal organs. This can lead to a habitually hunched posture in cold weather.

What can we do about it?

Practice not reacting to the cold.

How much difference does it make if you don't hunch?

Make sure you keep your extremities warm. Insulate your hands, feet, and head, and the rest of you won't feel so bad.

If you have been particularly cold, make sure to unwind when you do get into the warm.

Have a stretch, lie down in semi-supine, and allow your muscles to expand again.

The Alexander Technique is an umbrella skill that you can apply to all your activities – work, sports, housework, gardening, acting and musical performance, hobbies.

I work with you to identify habits that affect your day-to-day movement patterns and I give you a process to follow to alter those patterns so that you can move with a feeling of lightness and ease.

I use my hands to give feedback to your muscular system and you’ll experience different ways to move, for example by lifting a limb for you or guiding your head and neck throughout a movement.

Improving your posture makes you look younger and feel better and protects you from injury.

Kathy Hulme Alexander Technique and Massage Specialist
Hi, I'm Kathy!

*source 'High-density thermal sensitivity maps of the human body'

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