I see more and more people with upper back / shoulder / neck tension in the clinic now than ever before – we all spend so much time with our heads tilted forwards looking at mobile phones / laptops / tablets, increasing the strain on our upper back / neck muscles. Here are some self-care tips to keep those tense shoulders at bay!
Desk Massage Exercises
Sit comfortably with your back supported against the back of the chair,
feet firmly on the ground and hands and arms open and relaxed.
1. With a deep breath in (through nose), raise the shoulders towards the ears and hold them raised for a few seconds. Then slowly breathe out (through mouth) and drop the shoulders. Repeat several times.
2. Place your left hand on your right shoulder. Squeeze gently and then release. Repeat down the right arm to the elbow. Repeat several times. Place your right hand on your left shoulder and repeat the exercise.
3. Place the fingers of both hands at the base of your skull; apply slow circular pressures down the base of the skull to the base of the neck.
4. Facing forward tilt your chin to your chest and ‘draw’ a smile on your upper chest with your chin turning your head from one side to the other very slowly – gently stretching & releasing tension in the back of the neck and upper shoulders.
5. Now close your eyes and relax your face muscles. Be aware of your eye muscles, your jaw and your forehead. Place the fingers of both hands on each side of the temples and slowly massage in a circular motion. Repeat several times.
6. Finish by cupping your hands over your eyes and holding for several seconds, helping to relieve tension and tightness in the face and around the eyes.
If you work at a desk all day, please try to get up and walk around every hour for a few minutes, get a drink of water, go and speak to a colleague (rather than email!).
Hopefully these tips will help relieve the tension.