Stretch the stress away

April 13, 2018

All wound up? Stretch it out.

 

 

Stretch your body and release your mind.

 

Everyone reacts 50, 75, or 100 times every day with modest fight-or-flight physical responses. In turn, your tension will naturally build throughout the day, unless you take action to break up the monotony - move your body to relax your mind!

 

The benefits of stretching your body are immeasurable. Neck and shoulder tension are common for those who work at desks all day. Myofascial release is a technique common to Chiropractors and Personal Trainers. But, don't fret, with tools found around your home, or one click to Amazon you too can easily perform self-myofascial release! 

 

According to the Mayo Clinic, more than four hours a day of screen time can increase your risk of death by any cause by 50 percent. There’s also a 125 percent risk for cardiovascular disease.

 

One great tool that will help to release this tension is a lacrosse ball (or a tennis ball, in a pinch!). Here's a terrific step-by-step method to release that upper body tension:

  1. Find an empty doorway or on a wall.

  2. Place the ball on the wall and lean your chest into it, just below the collarbone.

  3. Then roll horizontally the length of your upper pecs; avoiding the central sternum. 

  4. You can also rotate your shoulder externally and internally with the ball on the shoulder.

 

Research also suggests that periodic workplace stretching may reduce pain by up to 72 percent. If you don't have a lacrosse or tennis ball handy, here are some simple techniques to do at your desk. 

 

Neck Stretch:

  1. Stand with your knees slightly bent or sit up straight.

  2. Drop chin to your chest.

  3. Clasp hands on the back of your head. Gently push down until you feel a slight stretch.

  4. Hold for 20 second, breathing steadily.

  5. Next, place hand on opposite temple and repeat the gentle neck stretch.

  6. Do the other side of your neck, and repeat 2-5 times. 

 

Torso stretch, or trunk rotation

  1. Keep your feet firmly on the ground, facing forward.

  2. Twist your upper body in the direction of the arm that’s resting on the back of your chair.