NiaMassage

Musings from the Massage Chair & Table

Spring is on the way, I think…

The First Day of Spring was a few days ago, wasn’t it? Even the squirrels are confused.

 

Isn't it Spring already?

Isn’t it Spring already?

Here are some key items Weekend Warriors should have in your War Chest to enjoy your activities, and look forward to the next weekend –

BioFreeze & Dr. Hoy’s – both of these products are great for cooling sore muscles and keep them from feeling worse. Even though the scent does wane over time, the staying power is there! (I get no compensation for endorsing these products. I buy these products, and actually use these on my own clients.)

Topricin– this product is great for achy joints. (Again, solely a recommendation, no compensation for endorsing this product. I buy this for my family members.)

Tennis Ball – great tool to take care of  knotty muscles and achy feet. Just roll it over a knot or your sore feet. For places you just can’t reach, put the ball in a sock, so it stays where you put it.

NM Picto Blog

Foam Roller – to help massage larger areas than a tennis ball can cover.

Taking an Epsom Salt bath will help muscles feel better after an active day out. The heat from the bath will help increase circulation; the salt feeds magnesium to the muscles through absorption and helps you relax. (This is a highly contested theory, but seems to work for many.) To relax even further, you can add 12-20 drops of lavender essential oil to 1 1/2 cups of Epsom salts, then add mixture to bathwater. Adding the oil to the salt helps the oil diffuse in the water, as opposed to simply floating on top.

Tied boughs of rosemary hanging in the flow of bathwater or floating in the tub will help muscles feel great, too! The  hot water from the tap rolling over the boughs helps release some of the essential oils into the bath which will help ease tension in muscles.

Just a few ideas here to help you enjoy your weekend activities! What are your favorite ways to feel better after an active weekend?

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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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