Where are your Shoulders?
Every week I work on folks whose major complaint is neck pain, shoulder pain and low back pain. Massage therapy can certainly help to ease those aches and pains, work out the knots, and offer some relief from this discomfort. It is important to know that many of these aches and pains are the result of poor posture in the workplace. Even though massage therapy can help you feel better, if you don’t address the underlying cause, the pain will never really go away.
As I walk through the offices here, I see people slumped over their computers, holding the phone up to their ear with their shoulder, twisting and turning in odd positions to reach for things or read documents as they type. I see others walking across campus holding heavy bags or purses over their shoulder, pulling that shoulder up to keep that bag in place.
These recurrent postural deviations are the biggest contributor to neck, back and shoulder discomfort.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, every year about 1 million people strain their necks, hurt their back or strain their wrists so badly that they need serious medical attention and cannot return to work for days.
A few simple tips:
Pay attention to your posture. Are your shoulders pulled up? Relax them; make an effort to check their position throughout the day. Shoulders down! Use a cross body bag or back pack to carry your things.
While walking, pull in your belly. Make sure your shoulders are down and back.
While sitting, your back should be supported by your chair, and your feet should be on the floor. When typing, shoulders should be relaxed and elbows close to the body and supported. Wrists and hands should be in line with the forearms.
Get up every half hour to move and stretch.
These simple changes can make a big difference in your comfort level. Then, when you get a massage, the benefits last a lot longer.
Vicki Feit is Licensed in massage therapy,certified since 1979. Worked through the years in a small private practice in Toledo while raising a family and working full time. In 2007 Vicki had an epiphany that led her to enrolling in a local massage school, and obtaining her license with the Ohio State Medical Board. She is certified in oncology massage therapy, and is clinically certified in aromatherapy. In April, 2011, UT Physicians hired her as a massage therapist. She was thrilled to land this position. Vicki has always had a passion for customer service, and this is the ultimate service-to help people feel better through touch applied with intelligence, control & purpose.
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