Entrepreneurial Quote of the Day:
“There are two ways of meeting difficulties: you alter the difficulties, or you alter yourself to deal with them.” ~ Phyllis Battome
Hello Fabulous Women!
Spending hours in front of the computer and typing and clicking until your neck hurts, your shoulders ache and your fingers cramp up can be a reality of working in today’s world. I want to share a couple of great stretches/exercises with you all, to help relieve strain and pain in your neck and shoulders and upper back.
I have chronic pain in my neck and shoulders, largely as a result of having been a massage therapist myself for many years, and now exacerbated by all the time I spend on the computer. I’m afraid that I have quite a bit of repetitive strain injury, primarily on the right side, but the left is not so great either!
Hopefully none of you has quite the level of discomfort that I do, but I expect it’s a pretty safe bet that a fair number of you have at least some pain and stiffness on a regular basis.
There are two stretches/exercise that I highly recommend. Now, before you ask yourself why I’m still in pain when I have these two great techniques, let me just confess a little something. I know these two stretches work extremely well, but I can’t even remember the last time I did them.
Yes, that’s right, another sterling example of the fact that knowing what to do and actually doing it are not the same thing.
Today I got straight with myself about the fact that I am not taking care of myself anyway near the way I know how to, and committed to a fresh new start with these poor, much abused neck and shoulders of mine. How about you? Ready to make a change and provide your body with some relief?
Here are the two most effective stretches I have yet to come across:
The Eagle – Amplified:
The first is a modified version of a yoga pose usually known as the Eagle. Standing up, bend your elbows and hold your hands in front of your face, palms facing each other, fingers pointing up. Keeping your fingers pointing up, cross your left elbow over your right elbow. As best you can, bring your right hand toward your body, and wrap it around your left forearm, laying your right palm on the inside of your left wrist or even partway up onto your left palm, as far as you can. Here is a picture:
Some of you will be able to do this with some ease, others may only be able to do a small part to start – don’t worry, whatever you can do will work to begin stretching you to the next level.
Once you have gotten into the position as best you can, you can vastly increase the effectiveness of this stretch by moving around in the following ways while still holding the pose:
First, raise your hands and arms slowly toward the ceiling, keeping the post intact. Hold for a few seconds and then return to the original position.
Second, unbend your elbows slightly, pushing your hands out away from your body, still held together in pose. Return to original position.
Third, push elbows slowly out away from your body, pulling hands toward your face, while at the same time bending slowly forward from the waist. You should feel a great stretch along the sides of your body from your lower spine right up to your shoulders. Return.
Fourth, swing your arms, in position, toward the right, twisting slowly at the waist, up the spine and through the shoulders. Do the same to the left. Return.
When you are done, repeat the whole sequence beginning with getting into the pose with your right elbow crossing over on top of your left one. Once you have done this a few times and know what you are doing, you can go through the whole sequence, once on each side, in only 2-3 minutes.
The Wall Waist Squeeze
This exercise is the best thing I know for opening up the front of your shoulders and chest, counteracting all the time we spend hunched forward. A lot of pain and tension that you feel in the back of your shoulders is actually caused by tightness in the muscles in the front, and a particular muscle (pectoralis minor) that connects the front and back of your shoulders.
It’s very simple:
Stand with your back against a wall, with your head, shoulders and buttocks all touching the wall. Raise your arms straight out to your sides and bend your elbows so your hands are pointing up, and press your whole arms against the wall, so that your shoulders, elbows and the back of your hands are all touching the wall.
Now, keeping your head, shoulders, arms, hands and buttocks all in continuous contact with the wall, slowly squeeze your elbows down toward your waist. *Be sure to keep everything still touching the wall – if you are not paying attention, some parts of your body will come forward and you will lose the effectiveness of this exercise.*
Squeeze your elbows down to your waist as far as you can while still maintaining full contact with the wall, then return to the starting position. Repeat at least ten times, working up to doing fifty squeezes in a row.
Well, I had to do all of those several times to make sure I was describing them all correctly, and I do feel much better! So will you – give them a try! The more often you do them, the better you will feel. I have committed to doing them at least once a day before I start work, and I have a reminder set on my computer so I won’t forget – how about you?
On Track and On Purpose, Business Coaching for Women Entrepreneurs, Business Woman Coach