The year flies by and before you know it, it’s autumn heading into winter. As we start to rake leaves, put away outdoor furniture and start our holiday shopping, we might be left with sore and overworked muscles. It’s time to start thinking about prevention. Before you find yourself rubbing your neck and shoulders, consider booking some regular massage treatments to help alleviate the built-up tension and prevent the foreseeable pain and dysfunction associated with the holidays.
Stress takes a toll on our bodies. Massage can help ease that stress, and treat acute and chronic conditions ranging from anxiety to back pain and sports injuries. Massage promotes healing and can speed up recovery time if you’ve been injured. And it can feel great. Massage works on its own as a wellness strategy, but also as a complementary treatment to physiotherapy, acupuncture and chiropractic. And it’s very effective – you’ll probably start to notice a difference immediately.
What can you do at home?
You don’t have to limit your treatment to an appointment with a massage therapist. There are many stretches and activities you can easily do at home, or the office, that can complement professional treatment and keep you feeling mobile and limit pain.
Here are some easy neck and shoulder stretches that you can do at home to treat and prevent dysfunction:
For your neck:
Hold your chair seat and bend your neck to the side until you feel a gentle stretch. Repeat on the other side.
Gently bend your neck down to feel a nice stretch in the lower part of your neck.
Holding your chair, tilt your head back to the opposite side until you feel a stretch. Repeat on the other side.
Pull your collar bones down and gently bend your neck back until you feel a stretch.
For your shoulders:
Turn your head to the left, and bend your head down to feel a stretch above your right shoulder blade. Repeat on the opposite side.
Hold your chair with your right hand. Turn your head slightly to the left. With your left hand, push the back of your head down (gently) and to the left. This should create a nice stretch on your right side in your shoulders.
Another great home care tip is to use a tennis ball to get those achy upper back and neck tender points. Simply place a tennis ball in the marked spots and apply pressure for 30 seconds. Follow that with heat for 20 minutes and you’ll quickly feel relief.