Is your job a pain in the neck? What about the lower back? Feet and knees? Is the job you do 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, affecting your body’s ability to function normally? Let’s face it, many of us spend 30 or 40 hours a week, week after week, year after year, doing the same exact thing, over and over and over again.
As a massage therapist, I see the effects the workplace has on my customers every day. Most of my customers come to me because of chronic pain in the their neck, shoulders or back, due to hours of sitting at a desk, cradling a phone while working on a computer.
Often I see customers with pain or headaches due to the effects of a chronically stressful life. Occasionally, I’ll see someone with foot, knee or back pain due to standing on concrete floors for hours.
The benefits of regular massage therapy
The quickest and most effective way to combat the stress you put on your body from doing the same thing day after day is to do something different!
To offset the effects of sitting at a desk all day, stretch the specific muscles that are tight. Have regular deep tissue massage to lengthen and work the tension out of the muscles.
Here are a few tips to help you feel better in no time:
1. Practice correct posture while sitting at your desk. – First, put both feet on the floor and sit up on your sits bones. Imagine a string attached to the top of your head. Feel how you immediately lift upward, now slowly lower your shoulders down and back without moving anything else on your body.
2. Stretch! Without changing your sitting position, put your left hand under your chair. Lower your ear toward you right shoulder. Put your hand on your head and feel the pull on the left side of your neck. Now, without moving anything else, slowly move your chin toward you underarm and continue the pull on your head. Feel the difference in the stretch? You should feel this deep in to your left shoulder and the neck. Now do the other side!
3. Check your ergonomics- make sure your wrists are level, your shoulders are relaxed and your eyes can look straight forward at your monitor. If you have to twist, lean forward or lift your shoulders or hands to work at the desk, you are causing undo strain on your body.
4. Stop carrying your handbag, briefcase, suitcase on the same shoulder! Try to switch hands throughout the day. Our habits can contribute to neck and back pain, so if you always do things the same way, switch it up and try something different to even the work old on both sides of the the body.
5. Learn how to sleep without putting your arm under your head. If you sleep on your side, odds are that you are sleeping with your arm up under your pillow to lift your head. Sleeping in this position can cause already tight muscles to cramp. If your hands or arms are falling asleep during the night, do yourself a favor and invest in a pillow with the depressed center. The roll on the pillow will support your neck so you don’t have to use your arm to lift your head. Then, train your self to sleep with your arm straight out in front of you or by your side. Your neck will thank you!
6. Find a qualified massage therapist to help you relieve the muscle tension in your neck and shoulders. I recommend weekly massages for 6-8 weeks to help change and re educate your muscles. Even a 30 minute, concentrated massage will help reinforce what you do with your daily stretches.
If you spend 6 weeks of concentrated effort utilizing the talents of a licensed massage therapist, and do 5 minutes of stretching at your desk, 2 to 3 times a day, you will reduce or eliminate the pain in your neck, shoulders and back! At Serenity Spa, we teach our customers the exact way to stretch, right there at your desk. Its simple and very effective in helping reduce pain and tightness.
Give us a call at 245-6484 and schedule a massage. If you can commit to a series of 6 weekly therapeutic massages, and do your daily stretches, you will feel like a new person!