The Posture Theory in Wikipedia

(A review provided by Paula Price, and then deleted by extremely biased, and prejudiced editors in 2007)

It is now available as an ebook here.


The review was provided by Paula Price under the Wikipedia ID of PaulaIsright who has recently, on 14-4-14, requested that I give her credit for the article, so I am more than happy to do so. In my opinion Paula's writing style is excellent and the review is accurate. Max Banfield.

See the deletion process here.


The Posture Theory
The Posture Theory is a concept used to explain why many people experience a variety of backaches, chest and stomach pains, and other symptoms without any particular diagnoses.
Previously, the symptoms had been regarded as the imaginary complaints of those with hypochondria, because there was no x-ray evidence of disease.


The actual cause of many of these symptoms remained a mystery until the publication of a 1980 essay entitled "The Matter Of Framework." In it, author M. A. Banfield first described how leaning forward with a stooped spine compresses the chest and abdomen resulting in stomach and chest pains, palpitations and breathlessness. In addition, the pressure on air and blood vessels in the chest can result in faintness and fatigue. After years of crooked posture, he postulates, the stooped spine alters the shape of the body’s organs, causing a multitude of symptoms.


The cause remained a mystery because
1. there was no immediate link between cause and effect, and
2. not everyone with poor posture develops such symptoms.


Why? Because other factors contribute, such as a stooped spine, sedentary work (which involves leaning toward a desk), and tight corsets or belts which reduce the chest and the abdominal space.


According to Banfield, slouching pushes the stomach into a vertical rather than horizontal position. Reformed this way, the stomach functions less efficiently, and can result in impaired digestion.


Palpitations can be felt when the chest in pushed back against the heart so the beating is more readily felt on the chest wall.


Banfield goes on to say people with sideways curvature of the spine, have one shoulder lower than the other. When such a person leans toward a desk, as to write, for instance, the spine twists, and the lower tip of their breastbone stabs the stomach, producing pain, weakness, and tenderness.


Another example is low quality vocal sounds that are produced when the a stooped head compresses the throat. For this, postural improvement methods, such as “The Alexander Technique,” have been used by both singers and radio announcers to straighten and strengthen the vocal cords for clear vocal quality.


Pressure on the lungs makes it difficult to take a full breath so the person will tend to take several quick deep breaths every few minutes.


The effect of leaning toward a desk is subtle, but patients find it difficult to sit still and constantly move about in their chairs or get up often to walk about. They seem to be generally restless and ultimately develop insomnia.



Symptoms are more common during pregnancy when the enlarging womb presses against the heart and lungs, and when the increasing weight of the baby puts pressure on the abdominal veins. Women have reported relief when laying down and rolling from side to side.



In his play RICHARD III, Shakespeare seems to have seen the connection between pressure and symptoms when he wrote: "Oh, cut laces in sunder, that my pent heart may have some scope to beat, or else I swoon."


Translated into modern English and Posture Theory context would be: " Oh, cut the laces of my corset to relieve the pressure on my heart which is confined to such a small chest, so that it can have room to beat, and allow the blood to flow from my feet to my brain, or else I will faint."


Indeed, the symptoms were more commonly reported by corseted city girls than loosely- clothed country girls.


The corset compressed the waist and was responsible for countless illnesses and the fainting spells that were so common in the nineteenth century. Women typically relieved the faint by unlacing their corsets, which reduced the pressure on their waists, and by laying down on chaise lounges to allow the free flow of blood between their feet and their brains.


However, women did not believe the connection because they could not see the distorting affect the corsets had on their internal organs.


Only an anatomist could see the horrendous effects the corset had on deforming the insides of a woman.


Anatomists often cut open a woman after she died and saw the compressed and twisted stomach, liver and womb. Statistics showed that women who wore the tightest corsets had the shortest life expectancy.


Fortunately, the corset era came to an end during World War I. The men went to war while the women went to work in munitions factories. There, they could not get enough air into their lungs to do the heavy manual work until they discarded their corsets in favor of loose factory clothing.


The impetus of the theory was Banfield's own healing of his Da Costa's syndrome.


Between 1991 and 2000, he expanded the theory into a 1000-page book with more than 100 references and 300 illustrations. Now in its 11th edition, the book is carried in public, school, and university libraries worldwide.


What happened to The Posture Theory in Wikipedia

In about 2005 friends of mine began telling me about a new internet encyclopedia called Wikipedia, and suggested that I add a summary of my theory to it. However, I didn't do that for various reasons. I then I learned that there were guidelines which recommended that authors don't write about their own ideas as other editors might object to it, and they preferred that contributors were independent.

Nevertheless I had a lot of information, particularly from history, which other authors were unlikely to know or add, so I joined with the purpose of helping to add to the "sum of all knowledge" by including about one paragraph of useful information per week.

Nevertheless, about that time I received an email form someone who she said she had read my book in her local library and complimented me on how interesting it was for improving her understanding of her own ailments, and how it had helped her treat them.

I therefore asked her if she would be prepared to join Wikipedia and write a page about my theory and explained why. She was kind enough to agree so I then suggested that my 1000 page book was quite complicated, and that I could make the difficult task easier by writing a summary myself which contained the main concepts, and that she could then review it and prepare the article in her own words with whatever additional information which she thought relevant.

The process continued and she did join Wikipedia and add the text for the page called "The Posture Theory".

When I first read it I was very impressed with the clarity of her writing, and because of the fonts and layout of Wikipedia pages the article looked much better than anything I could have presented in the past, and other editors joined in and made it look even better.

I then spent some time asking her to make minor improvements, and then suggested that add some information about the many symptoms of poor posture not showing up on x-rays and previously being regarded as the imaginary ailments of hypochondria.

Soon after that, on 28th November 2007, an editor suggested that the entire page be deleted followed by six other editors in six hours, with only the woman who provided the article recommending that it be kept, for the reasons which I quote in the table below . . .


Theory of health promulgated by one author in one book. Not recognised by health scientists in general. Limited support from authoritative sources (no results on PubMed beyond the 1980 paper. Delete. JFW | T@lk 21:13, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Speedy delete as a copyright violation. Simple refactoring of this page. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 21:35, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Delete as original research edited by single-purpose account. Speedy if copyvio is confirmed. --Blanchardb-MeMyEarsMyMouth-timed 21:40, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Speedy delete as copyvio per Hoekstra, so tagged. Ten Pound Hammer • (Broken clamshells•Otter chirps) 21:46, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Delete Speedy or slow. Non-notable in any case. Tim Ross·talk 22:47, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Delete per nom, WP:FRINGE, WP:OR. Bearian (talk) 00:38, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Delete as one guy's theory. Someguy1221 (talk) 03:13, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Delete per nomination. Masterpiece2000 (talk) 04:50, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Do not delete This could help a lot of people!```

See here.


As you may know, in general, anyone can review another persons ideas as long as they do just a summary, and mention the authors name, with links to their essays or books or website, and as long as they don't fraudulently claim that it is their own idea.

Nevertheless several of those editors accused the writer of the page of violating my copyright???

The others also said that it is original research and just one man's theory which isn't in the medical research literature.

However, Wikipedia's widely promoted purpose it to provide information from all parts of society, not just medical books and journals, so their bias makes that objective impossible and is therefore ridiculous. It is the equivalent of going back to the dark ages or before books and the internet took knowledge to the general public

Also, it may be true that I am the only person to have been able to co-ordinate a lot of information together in one theory, but the idea should be judged on it's merit, not on how many people thought of it. Also, bits and pieces of that theory have since been copied by other editors and plastered all about in an uncoordinated and very messy way in dozens of other Wikipedia pages because none of those bits are wrong, and Wikipedia needs them.

They have essentially replaced one good article with a silly mess.

A discussion then proceeded for about a week during which times I provided the evidence that the writer had not breeched my copyright, and that all of the claims I made about previous publications could be verified by making phone calls or checking newspapers from the relevant dates, but the page was deleted anyway, without a reason being provided.

There was the opportunity for me to appeal that decision, but the editors had ignored all the evidence so I didn't think that there was much point in further discussion and just moved on to other articles with the intention of maybe doing something to reverse that decision at a later date.

Anyone who wants to put the theory back into Wikipedia, unchanged, is welcome to do so, but there is the risk of it's text being altered by other editors in the future to discredit the idea.

The text of the article which was deleted can be seen here