NiaMassage

Musings from the Massage Chair & Table

This is NOT what Sheryl Sandberg meant by “Leaning In”

With so many young people using cell phones, texting has exploded with expanded data features, and addictive interaction on social media. With prolonged use of cellphones, tablets and laptops, many chiropractors and massage therapists are treating ‘Text Neck’, or leaning into the screen.

Before this happens to you, these are tips that you can do to help deal with it –

  1. Dial the font size up on your screen. Whether you use your tablet, laptop or cellphone most often, sometimes the font size will cause you to squint or lean in to the screen. This isn’t what Sheryl Sandberg meant by the term. On your computer, Hold down CTRL + the dial on your mouse, and dial to your preferred size of font. On the tablet/smartphone (Apple), go to General > Accessibility > Larger Text > Drag Slider Right. Check your Android phone or tablet in the settings area, for similar prompts.
  2. Take time to look away and focus. Leaning into the screen also affects your eyesight, akin to moving to movie projector closer to the screen. It also puts a ton of pressure on your neck, as it’s holding up your head in a position that it was not really designed for it to be. For every inch you lean into the screen it adds 10 pounds of weight to your head and neck. Take a few minutes to look away from your screen, and focus on a faraway object.
  3. Look up. When you lean in to your screen for a prolonged time, it is about the
    Take a few moments to look away from the screen.

    Take a few moments to look away from the screen.

    same as repeating the same action over and over. This contributes to headaches and stiff necks. Allow your head to loll back, and lower your shoulders. Don’t worry; your head won’t fall off, even though it just may feel like it. Close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Definitely do this several times a day – It gives your neck and eyes a break.

  4. Use the dictation feature. One of the great things you probably never use on your phone is the dictation feature. As often as I am live tweeting (#Gladiator4Life), I have learned that dictation helps to keep up with the program, and keeps you from looking down SO often. I use the mic, and clip it in my ear. Just make sure that you proofread what it is writing, on your behalf. (Dang autocorrect!) Once the software gets used to your style, it tends to make corrections on its own.
  5. PUT THE PHONE DOWN – I get it – when I was in junior high (mumblemumble) years ago, I had classes with my best friend on EARTH all day for a year. I LOVED it; School was a daily hangout all day long. Then, we’d get home, and then get on the phone for hours. We even watched Jeopardy over the phone. This was back in the day when even the house line had a minutes plan. I truly understand what it means to just want to share every single thought with your friends all the time. But at some point, you just have to put the phone down. It’s hard to disengage at first, but actually talking in person does have its’ perks.
  6. Get a massage – Of course getting the muscles to relax increases flexibility, range of motion
    Prolonged texting with your neck craned forward without taking a break can cause a myriad of problems.

    Prolonged texting with your neck craned forward without taking a break can cause a myriad of problems.

    in your neck and relieves headaches. Prolonged texting with your neck craned forward without taking a break can cause pinched nerves, arthritis, and over time, disc degeneration. You are far too young to have to deal with that. Get a massage, or maybe an adjustment, if the problem cannot be solved with just the massage. These treatments are a great compliment to each other.

Note – This blog post is dedicated to Michele McDonald, who gave me the inspiration to write this post. If you have any questions about massage, please feel free to ask away!

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Reasons for Chair Massage in the Office

Although many offices do have some type of Wellness Sessions occurring at the office, many don’t see it as a true benefit to the workplace. Here are 3 quick reasons to have Chair Massage as a part of the workday-

1. It takes the excuse of “I don’t have time” out of the equation. The chair is already there, and you have a few minutes in your day to take care of yourself. It is a matter of priority. Where are you on your Priority List?

Your ears and shoulders should be like exes; they should be aware of each other, but nowhere near each other.

Your ears and shoulders should be like exes; they should be aware of each other, but nowhere near each other.

2. It reduces pain in tension areas of the body that tend to be overused – the head, neck and shoulders. Leaning into your computer screen, peering into your cell phone, poring over paperwork, or even cradling the phone between your neck and shoulders all contribute to sore muscles that can create headaches, eyestrain and afternoon lethargy.
3. It creates a refreshing afternoon break in the day. It’s after lunch, and 5 PM seems like a LONG way away. What do you have to look forward to- Going home? With that last break of the day, getting a quick massage can give you a calorie free quick burst of energy and a well needed (and well-kneaded) stress break! Adding peppermint (essential oil or even candy) to the session can help increase concentration on tasks.

Of course, there are many more reasons – what is your reason to have Chair Massage at your office?

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A Pain in the Neck

A Pain in the Neck

Ever wonder why your shoulders and neck hurt so much? The muscles in steady use or overuse get trigger points, that refer pain to other locations. Sitting at your desk, leaning into your tablet or smartphone, getting into an accident and playing an instrument are among the causes for neck and head pain. The Xs in the photo are the trigger points, the blue areas are where the pain is referred. Take a break 2-3 times an hour to stretch, and give those muscles a rest. If the issues persist, a massage may be a great way to relieve the trigger points! Make sure if the area is sore, and you do get a massage, let the therapist know if the pressure is too much; they can always adapt to help you feel better. (Photo source: Real Bodywork app)

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How to survive AmericasMart Atlanta

Hi, this is Sonia, your Positive Attitude Adjuster with a few tips to survive the International Gift & Home Furnishings Market® at AmericasMart Atlanta!

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The Campus is HUGE! Pace yourself, and don’t get intimidated.

First – have an idea as to what you are looking for. The campus is huge, and it is easy to get intimidated trying to survey everything all at once. Map out your day & stay focused! Take breaks often, stay hydrated, and filter your fliers & handouts. See if you can get online catalogs, to cut down on carrying so much.

Second – as I said before – the campus is huge; Wear some comfortable shoes! You can always tell who is new to the Mart- they have beautiful high heeled shoes in the morning, and by the end of the day, they’ll be barefoot. You have no idea as to what’s in the carpet, so please, for your sake wear shoes that won’t have your feet talking about you by the end of the day! (And if they are, get a foot massage!)

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Third – TAKE A BREAK! There are massage therapists all over buildings 2 & 3, that are looking to help you have a great experience while you’re here, so take advantage of the services – Treat your body AND your feet!

Fourth – Don’t try to carry everything home. Your back, neck and shoulders can only carry so much; You are NOT a pack animal! Get a modest piece of rolling luggage and put the work on the floor, where it belongs. There are plenty of shops in Building 3 that sell rolling bags.

Lastly – The AmericasMart has many social media accounts, including an APP! If you are trying to streamline your visits to the shops, or discover new ones on your trip, get the app – it’s a great resource.

P.S. – It’s a few days until the show, so be on the lookout for an external battery for your phone/laptop. Service isn’t great for AT&T users, but there are a few Wi-Fi spots in building 3, so pack your patience!

I hope that you have a GREAT time the next time that you are there, and I hope to see you! I tend to be between buildings 2 & 3, so I’m looking forward to seeing you!

Have a great Mart!

Sonia

MHS Mary Kay 6 11

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You Really Don’t Have Time?

I hear more often than not “I don’t have time to get a massage, even if you came to my office.” So from what I understand, you are OK with dealing with pain and stiffnness in your:
Neck and Head – Leaning forward toward computer desktop monitors, laptop and smartphone screens contribute to a stiff neck and eyestrain. Taking frequent breaks to have your eyes focus on more 3-D objects approximately 20 feet away can help your eye muscles relax, and not be contracted to focus on flat, 2-D objects closer to your face.

Shoulders– Your ears and your shoulders should be like exes; Aware of each other, but nowhere near one another. Your shoulders should be relaxed, and not rolled forward

Good Door Stretch

Excellent Shoulder Stretch (Image Credit- http://www.Abbotcenter.com)

(slouching posture). If you lean against a wall, your shoulder blades shouldn’t be the only things touching the wall. Stretch your pecs in the doorway, doing a forward lean, to help release the tension in your shoulder blades.

Lower Back – Locking your knees does nothing good for the lower back. It tightens and compresses all the lower back muscles in to one small area. Remember when you sat in the back seat of the car as a child on long road trips, all stuffed and cramped back there? Well, now you know how your lower back feels! Bending your knees slightly, not so bent that you are slouching, will help all muscles responsible work together to help you stand better, be more agile on your feet, and tilt your pelvis to give your lower back muscles more room to move.

High Heels– I know, your legs look GREAT in your favorite pair of stilettos, but being in

High heels look great, but is it worth all the pain in your feet? (Image Credit - webmd.com)

those shoes does more harm than good. You already know about your Achilles tendon shortening, heel pain, hammer toes, and your toes crammed into too small of a toe box contributes to bunions with prolonged use of high heels. What about your overall posture, hip displacement and muscle pain, especially your calves, shins because you’re walking on your tiptoes? Massage would be great to help your muscles in your lower back, thighs and calves feel better and help articulate your ankle to improve mobility.

Backs of Legs/ Sitting all Day – We spend WAY too much time sitting down. Whether it is at the computer, behind the wheel, on the couch, et cetera, we weren’t designed to be sitting all day long. Even if we work out after sitting all day, the detriment will outweigh the benefits. Take breaks and walk around throughout the day if at all possible. Stand when you can, and make sure you slightly bend those knees!

Taking care of yourself, a few minutes each day will do WONDERS for your overall health, stress levels, and your personal well-being. If no one has told you, you are definitely worth all the effort that it takes to take care of yourself. If you don’t, how will you do what you love to do?

If you want to feel better at work, talk with your massage therapist to come up with a
customized stretching regimen so that you feel better throughout the day. If I happen to be YOUR massage therapist, why haven’t you called me yet?

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Are You a Pain in the Neck?

You’ve been sitting at your desk, leaning into your computer screen, bent over your laptop, or hunched over your smartphone. After a bit, your neck feels a little stiff, your eyes feel a little out of focus. You begin to rub your neck, and wonder why you feel so tired.

Leaning forward into your screen for long periods of time, whether it is your laptop, desktop or phone stretches the muscles in your neck and increases the tension at the back of the head. The neck muscles and cervical spine are not designed to stay like that for LONG periods of time. The average head weighs between eight and ten pounds. For every inch you have your head out of normal resting posture, it adds approximately 10 pounds of weight AND tension to the BACK of your head! This weight and tension pulls against the eye muscles that connect to the back of the head, pulling on the retinal wall, and creates that out of focus feeling you tend to experience. This posture also contributes to rounded shoulders, fuzzy thinking, lack of concentration, lower back pain, among others.

OK, so what do you do about it? Retraining your muscles is a great way to help get your posture back to where it needs to be. Here’s a few great stretches most you already know how to do –

  • Tilt your head up towards the ceiling, and lower your shoulders. Then, bring your chin to your chest. This helps the muscles in your neck release and relaxes the tension in the shoulders.
  • Gently tilting your head from side to side, while extending the opposing hand towards the floor helps as well.
  • Pulling the arms back, squeezing the shoulder blades strengthens the muscles there to help give a stretch the pectoral muscles in the chest. This also helps increase the volume of oxygen in the lungs, clearing up that ‘2 o’clock fog’ you are probably experiencing.

    Seated Stretches

    2 Great Stretches to help you throughout the day.

  • Straighten arm over the head, bend at the elbow, your hand behind the head. Place other hand on bent elbow, gently pulling towards the ceiling. This stretches the backs of the arms, but also releases the tension in the tops of the shoulders.

‘Stretching at Your Home or Office’ by Bob Anderson is a great stretching resource. Here’s a great link for Desk Stretches that you can also use.

Other things to consider:

Look at your desk in your space, and see where you are in relation to

your screen. If you’re leaning into your screen, you can get a computer monitor arm to bring the screen closer, or you can always dial up the font size.

Monitor Arm

Monitor arms keeps you from leaning too far into your computer screen.

Wireless Keyboard and Mouse combos are great tools to use at your desk. You can still sit in a comfortable position, arms not be overstretched, or with your wrists feeling strained.

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