In the last two weeks, I received a number of emails from people who realized that their recliner, and other furniture, was likely contributing to their chronic pain issues.
So today when I got online for a private with a new client today and she was deeply ensconced in a plush recliner, with her chest literally pushed up into her throat, I was not surprised.
After chatting with me for a few minutes to tell her story—— which included COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and type II diabetes, I asked her to get out of the recliner and find a hard chair to sit on. Lo and behold, her breathing improved noticeably.
She wasn’t amused when I told her to throw out her recliner. Or give it away to someone younger and healthier. Because in and of themselves recliners aren’t bad, if used sparingly, and the user isn’t suffering with chronic pain issues.
There is a recliner in my Mother’s bedroom. She has been bed ridden for many years now but we bought it shortly before she could no longer walk and because it has a very cool feature that stands you up out of the chair when you are ready to get up.
My children got the most use of this beast of a chair by a wide margin; playing a game where they tried to stay in the chair as it was electronically moved into the fully upright position.
Personally, I love it. It envelops me in a luxurious cocoon and encourages my body to succumb to mid-afternoon slumber. I would often visit my mother in between appointments and luxuriate in its comfy confines.
I wouldn’t say she is lucky that it never saw much of her backside, because she would obviously prefer not to be in bed 24/7, but I am now sure of the fact that it wouldn’t really have served her had she had the opportunity to use it.
Other types of furniture can hurt us as well, depending on the issues we suffer from.
Beds can be as injurious as recliners when they don’t serve us and they don’t work for people for all different reasons. A bed can be too soft. It can be too hard. It can be too worn and concave in the middle.
And the same goes for desk chairs. I recently traded in my Herman Miller Aeron—voted the Chair of the Millennium, I kid you not—for a hard folding chair (I gave the Aeron to my wife). It’s not that I didn’t love the Aeron, I did and still do but I simply decided that comfort didn’t actually serve me since I sit at my desk for longer periods than I should. In the Aeron, I would tend to slide down and back, letting my pelvis tuck and splaying one foot up on my desk. In my stiff and hard folding chair, for whatever reason, I sit with my feet planted on the floor and my pelvis in a good neutral position.
The lesson to be learned I guess is don’t get too comfortable, especially if you are suffering from chronic pain issues.