Traffic gets worse. It’s your busy season at work. The kids are arguing. Your shoulders tense, your neck aches, you feel as if your head is gripped in a vise! The head, neck and shoulder areas are the places where we hold much of our tension. Learning how to release the tension in the muscles can help us relax and “de-stress.”
Why Tense Muscles Hurt
Your muscles tighten to protect you during fight or flight situations. That was important to your prehistoric ancestors, but not usually today. When your muscle shortens and holds position it then metabolites, the waste products from muscle activity get trapped, causing pain. The pain is released when the muscle regains its natural length.
Stretch Away Tension
- Neck roll – Stretch you right ear to your right shoulder, keeping you left shoulder pulled down. Roll your head down so your chin is on your chest. Continue on to the left side. Do rolls from side to side. NO Rolling to the back.
- Shoulder Shrug/Circle – Press your shoulders up and down and roll backwards.
- Pick fruit – With one hand, reach up as if you are picking an apple from a tree slightly ahead and far above you. Go from one arm to the other, building up eight times on each side.
- Give yourself a massage – Use your right hand to work on your left shoulder and left hand on your right shoulder. Work your fingers gently but firmly, beginning with your shoulder blade, moving up toward the neck and including the scalp.
- Standing body roll – Let your head roll forward until your chin is on your chest. Keep rolling down as your knees begin to bend. When your hands are hanging near your knees, rest there a moment and slowly roll back up. Work up to 10 times.
At work, at home or wherever you are, take a few moments to release stress. Use these exercises once an hour, if necessary. You’ll feel better and prevent tension from building in your body.
Original article published by Mercy Wellness Center.