Back On Track

Are you head and shoulders above the rest?

One of the noticeable benefits of massage is that touch increases body awareness. I’ve met quite a few clients that have told me that massage has helped them to feel connected with their body. It should be something we can do quite easily but in a busy, stressful life this tends to result in awareness of mental overload rather than a physical or body check-in that clues you in to how you should feel. The body was not designed to sit for long hours. Long hours hunched over a desk or behind a wheel. I don’t think our evolutionary ancestors complained of screaming neck and shoulder pain, tight hips, lower back pain and a resulting protruding belly, did they? If they did, they were the ones tending the camp fire for far too long! If anyone can find reference to this, I would be interested and The Flintstones don’t count!

Seriously though, when you can make the connection between lifestyle and bad posture – and massage may be the only way in for you – you’ll be taking the first steps to getting to feel the real you. One of the best ways to assess body posture is when someone is lying on a massage table.  Any usual holding patterns or tension in the body is usually relaxed leaving the ones that are more chronic or functional in nature. Being able to realign the body reinforces healthy and natural movements. Specific massage techniques can loosen muscles, relaxing joints for more range of motion. Correct alignment of the body can also decrease abnormal wearing of the joint surfaces, reduce stress on ligaments and lower the chance of injury. And let’s not forget the internal organs which may not speak so loudly and so frequently as tight back muscles but will, in time, have a word or two to say!

So here’s a few things to think about and hopefully try …

Back to Action…

  • Desk Job : Try using an app like ‘Time Out’ that gives you break reminders (often you can customize these too) so that you can stretch, walk around. It helps to give the brain a rest too and to check on your nutritional needs.
  • Desk Job : Check that your work station is ergonomically designed.  Is your computer at eye level? One inch of forward head tilt is stressing the neck with the equivalence of an extra 10 lb weight – ouch! Does that chair or ball you are sitting on support your back properly? Is the desk too high resulting in hunched shoulders?
  • Sleeping : Try sleeping on your back – this keeps the neck and shoulders lined up with the body and supports the spine.
  • Riding a Bike/Swimming: Great sports, but bikers/swimmers how many of you have to admit that your neck feels jammed up? Do your neck muscles feel tight because you have to constantly crane your neck to look ahead in the distance or come up for air?  You are not going to stop riding/swimming, right, so try stretching your spine once a day or after working out.  Stand against a wall and lengthen the spine, even dropping the head to the chest. In fact how many people have made rear-view mirror adjustments in the car drive home after a work day?  That’s usually because from morning to evening your spine has bowed to the pressure of gravity. At night your spine can replenish with intervertebral fluids.

Correcting bad posture only serves to empower you and improve your health because good posture does go a long way to getting your back on track.

Looking forward to your comments…