I’ve recognized a pattern of poor posture in the vast majority of gynecomastia surgery patients. It’s a coping mechanism that helps people hide something that is very embarrassing. For gynecomastia patients, hiding gynecomastia by slouching the shoulders hides the prominence of breasts with or without a shirt. On more careful analysis, some patients not only slouch their shoulders, but also bend their spine in the mid thorax to create what I call the “double fold.” In the photo above, you can see two parallel, horizontal creases of the patient’s upper abdomen. These creases come from the folded posture of his chest area. The combination of slouching the shoulders and bending in the mid thorax is a powerful way to hide even the most prominent gynecomastia cases.
However, poor posture has consequences. Physically, it can cause malalignment of your skeleton and muscles, leading to back and neck pain, muscle strain and fatigue, arthritic joints, digestive and mood disturbances and breathing complications. Hiding gynecomastia by slouching your shoulders can also make you appear unconfident and weak. Not only can this make a bad impression on family, friends and strangers alike, but poor posture could affect your chances of landing a dream job. It suggests insecurity, as if you are trying to hide something physical or mental.
I came up with my Gynecomastia Zone Classification system many years ago to describe, more accurately, the areas of the male chest often affected by gynecomastia and in need of treatment. There was nothing available to me at the time that worked as well as my system and it’s still true to this day. I’m hard at work publishing the classification so that others can benefit from the system and all those involved in gynecomastia (doctors and patients) can be on the same page.
This repetitive behavior actually “trains” the musculoskeletal system to shorten or lengthen bones and joints, causing stress that can result in a permanent malalignment. I have seen many patients whom I have tried to straighten up in my office, only to find it impossible because they were “frozen” in that position!
Gyno Hunch is something that I focus on in my practice because it is the only visible aspect of gynecomastia recovery that you can correct without surgery itself. It is the first and most important step. Improving posture is easier said than done, requiring a conscious effort to modify your behavior, but it will ultimately help to speed up both your physical and mental efforts on your path to full recovery.