Hi Hart Beat! I hope you’re week is going well. As I said earlier this week, I’m on break this week from work and the city and am spending time relaxxxxiiiinnnnng. It’s amazing. One thing that I’ve noticed this week not working is how much better my back feels. For years I’ve had what I call “chronic shoulder stress syndrome.” This is 100% self-diagnosed and something that I’ve always attributed to having larger than normal breasts. I’ve seen chiropractics and doctors and they’ve all said that the reason my shoulders are so tight is because of they way I slouch at my computer. ** Currently straightening my back to the sound of cracks and one “oof” ** This is probably true but other than randomly reminding myself to sit up straight nothing much helps ease the pain.
But eureka! Last week I heard great news from a massage therapist that I went to see (thanks mom!). As soon as I walked into the room she told me that the reason my shoulders were so tight wasn’t because I slouch (although that obviously doesn’t help) it was because the muscles in my chest are scrunched so tight. She said instead of working on my shoulders I need to work on opening up my chest and that that will then trickle all the way down to my lower back. Ever since then I’ve been trying a few different stretches and MAN MY SHOULDERS ARE LOOSENING UP.
I thought maybe this might help some of you others out there so here is what I’ve been doing,
- Massaging my jaw. This sounds really weird but whatever. I’ve been just rubbing my jaw lightly every night or so and what it’s been doing is opening up my neck and then, the secret to all, my chest.
- Arching my back. Um, I do this all the time. And every time I do this huge CRACK comes out of my chest. Hopefully a good crack.
- Arm stretches. This one has been a game changer. Every time I’m in the shower and my body is all warm from the water I place my hand on the side of the shower wall with my fingers pointed behind me. Then I straighten out my arm and gently stretch out my chest as much as I can. My arms are super tight but I can feel my chest getting looser and looser every time.
So, hopefully this will help. Obviously I am not a doctor and if you’re really having shoulder pain/problems go see your doc and get some serious medical advice. But, if you’re just wanting to help your posture try these! And please pass on other suggestions. The holiday season is coming and I can feel my stress level rising with each passing day.
Photo by Allan Grant, 1947.