Story of the oldest posture therapy

We are not certain about the exact origins of headweighting as means for posture correction but there is evidence that late 1800s at etiquette schools Victorian young women in Europe where instructed to carry book on heads to improve posture.

One can well imagine carrying hard objects on head is an effective way to correct slouching but very impractical and debilitating. To prove the point, just place a book on your head and feel how slightest movement makes it fall.

Victorian Posture Correction

Victorian Posture Correction

The first documented record goes as far back as 1893 when John Corker filed a patent for a device called Gravity Helmet pictured below. Later, in 1912, another inventor by the name of A. Hamilton patented a device called Physical Developer. His objective was “…to develop the muscles of the neck, spine and lower limbs by placing the same upon the head and walking about”.

Gravity Helmet

Gravity Helmet, Image USPTO

Physical Developer

Physical Developer, Image USPTO

While the weight of Gravity Helmet strengthen cervical muscles, its hollow shape has a low the centre of gravity, thus not susceptible enough to sliding when the head is tilted. Further, while Physical Developer helps to keep the body aligned, but the rigid metal material is not designed for everyday convenient usage. One does not want to even imagine the consequences of having those metallic discs fall on body parts.

Later a device simply called Headweight aimed at physical training was patented in 1971 that incorporated lead shots to add weight. The weight of lead shots helps to strengthen neck muscles. But fastened headgears, in general, fail to offer the feature to align the spine. Alignment mechanism is perhaps the most important feature of any posture trainer. This fails to train the reflex system that very much governs the spinal alignment. With a stable headgear one can continue to slouch with no corrective consequence for posture.

Other devices with similar functions known as Neck Trainer, Fluid Filled Neck Exerciser, or Weight Bearing Headwear were patented later. These are very effective neck exerciser, but strong muscles alone do not necessarily translate into correct posture. Their failure to train the righting reflex makes those rather ineffective posture correctors.

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Headweight, Image USPTO

Neck Trainer

Neck Trainer, Image USPTO

Fluid filled neck exerciser:

Fluid filled neck exerciser, Image USPTO

There have been attempts to make devices that are visually more appealing. Weight Bearing Headwear is a good example which conceals the weight as skullcap under a hat. Similar to other muscle exercisers, those also fail to offer a mechanism to train spinal alignment.

On the other side of spectrum a patent for headgear called Advanced Posture Monitoring Device was filed in in 1994. It is essentially an electronic tilt sensor attached to a hat that sends an audio signal when the spine is out of alignment. The tilt sensor, on the other hand, fail to train the muscles that uphold the body in the new correct position. So, the effect is rather short term.

Weight bearing headwear 2006

Weight bearing headwear, Image USPTO

Advanced Posture Monitoring Device

Advanced Posture Monitoring Device, Image USPTO

The evolution of headweighting devices shows how so far the devices fail to be effective, or practical. Building  upon those shortcomings inspired us to come up with Posture Crown.

Posture Crown facilitates both the skeletal strengthening through its weight, as well as training righting reflex through its sliding function.

manufacting specification

Posture Crown