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It already has been a long winter – we get it!
You’ve just spent November and December hunched over a stove, siting on the floor wrapping presents, slumped over your computer online shopping, and feeling tight in your neck and throat at family gatherings.
Now you get to come back to work to deal with new job responsibilities that often accompany the dreary month of January.
Enduring holiday stresses right before the dull of winter hibernation can certainly be taxing on the body. That’s why we at Selah Bodyworks wish we could provide on-site corporate chair massages at your office every day!
But sadly, there are just too many employers and not enough time in the day to provide mobile massage therapy at each.
So, here are some things you can do in between chair massages at the office to help alleviate tension that has built up in your neck, shoulders, back, arms and wrists in the meantime.
Start by beginning and ending your day with something good for your body – deep stretching. Attend a yoga class or stream one for free online, as poses such as Cow-Face and the Sphinx greatly reduce tension in these areas. Most importantly, make this time all about you and your peace of mind, as a way to properly thank your body for helping to carry you throughout your day.
When at work, the repetitive movements of typing and writing may cause strain to one’s wrists and forearms, as well as inflict serious strain upon the neck and shoulders. So, be sure to set an alarm to stretch at your desk at least every hour, for 30 seconds at a time. Roll your shoulders forward and back. Slowly circle your neck in both directions. Gently stretch your neck to all sides, putting slight pressure on both your chin and the top of your head. Finally, be sure to extend your arms and circle them in both directions.
Lastly, consider investing in a foam roller, or even a tennis or lacrosse ball, to help alleviate painful knots that can occur throughout the body, especially in the neck, arms, back and hips. While expected to be uncomfortable at first, repeated use will result in lasting pain relief.
When visiting the gym or exercising at home, don’t be afraid to add weight to your chest, shoulder, and upper and lower back exercises. If you want to stick with lower weight, be sure to complete many repetitions. If you increase weight, lower your reps. You can safely increase weight by a pound each week without putting unnecessary strain on your muscles.
Remember, do not neglect your core, as it is imperative to good posture! Pay attention to your abdominal, oblique and lower back muscles in each and every exercise you do, while also incorporating exercises such as planks, deadlifts, and Russian twists to strictly focus on them.
If you cannot get to the gym or find time to exercise at home, try to incorporate strength training into your daily routine. Chopping wood for the fire? Engage that core! Cleaning the floors with a Swiffer? Lift those heels up and extend out onto your knees! Caring for children? Squat as you lift them high into the air!
The neck and shoulders often hold too much tension, both from daily repetitive use and chronic stress. Plus, the amount of time we spend with our heads and shoulders out of alignment increases the stress placed on the soft tissues and joints in these areas.
Consider investing in a wearable device that will remind you to straighten your back, as if a rope is pulling you up from the top of your head. Some devices may beep while others may vibrate; some may be placed at your collarbone while others are designed to fit between your shoulder blades; but whichever you choose, you should expect to be reminded to correct your posture less and less over the course of a couple weeks.
If wearable devices do not work, research vests that will actively and correctly hold your shoulders in position for you. This may feel strange and uncomfortable at first, but it is the most surefire way to correct your posture without having to think too much about it.
Lastly, be sure to book a time slot early for when we next visit your office.
We look forward to seeing you!