Tension Anyone?

OK, so I was contemplating on what to write on…then after a day of work, and treating everybody’s neck, upper and mid back tension, I decided to write a bit on that.  You know what I am talking about, that nagging tightness, sometimes it’s just where the neck is, or perhaps the upper back, where the neck meets the back, perhaps it is in between the shoulder blades, OR, it may be all of the above.  I hope not for your sake, however, I see it all too often.  What are the culprits you may ask?  The main one today is computers.  We often do not have good posture to start with (hmm, let me adjust – there, much better).  You need to make sure that you are not slouching, straining your neck, or reaching awkwardly for the mouse.  Oh yes, the mouse.  Too often, people who work on computers come in with a mouse trap.  This is where the trapezius muscle (the one on your upper back along the top) gets all in spasm, on the right side, which is your “mouse” side.  So, I nick-named it the mouse trap J  Anyway, take breaks, ideally every ½ hour to 45 minutes.  Here are some great stretches:
Look away from the screen
Roll your head in circles, and then do it the opposite way. 
Stretch your left ear to your right shoulder, and then do the opposite. 
Put your chin to your chest, and then extend back. 
Clasp your hands behind your back and stretch them back. 
Shake out your hands. 
Massage your forearms. 
Just a few tips, they only take a few minutes!  Take your time, breathe with them and do not force the stretches.

Another main cause of tightness is stress.  Often this comes with work.  Some of the patients that I have noticed with this type of tension (and this by all means is not a limited list) are: teachers, architects, lawyers, administrators, CEOs, and upper management, stock brokers, parents, you get the idea. 
I want to emphasize that this is not something you have to live with.  And you should not live with it.  Over time it accumulates and gets harder to unwind.  Acupuncture, tuina, and cupping are great at unwinding the reprogramming the muscles.  Treat yourself now, unwind yourself, and then get on a maintenance program where you are coming in periodically to keep it happy. 

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February 14th, 2007

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