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Body Image Muscles

4 Exercises That Prevent A Hunchback And Tech Neck

4 Exercises That Prevent A Hunchback And Tech Neck

4 Exercises That Prevent A Hunchback And Tech Neck

You’re starting to see it everywhere. It’s those people that are slouching around with caved-in chests and heads that look like they’re about to fall off.

This is known as Tech Neck: the mid and upper spine hunching over from sitting down for long periods of time and leaning over a desk. Maybe you even have it yourself! If you do, or even if you don’t, it’s important to know how counteract this so that YOU don’t end up living in a cathedral bell tower (or unable to look up or lift your arms…). Remember, by ages 70-79, 21% of all adults are hunched, and nearly two thirds of the population will suffer from degenerative cervical spine conditions– don’t be one of them.

Exercises That Prevent A Hunchback 2

First, an anatomy lesson: your mid to upper spine already has a natural bend in it that curves towards your back. An abnormally large, permanent curvature is called hyperkyphosis, or in the old days, “hunchback.” In the sitting position, the spine naturally wants to curve a little bit more, which is fine… unless you do it for several hours every day. Eventually the body adapts to this position– the chest, front shoulders and abs tighten while the back and neck muscles relax, which literally pulls your spine and shoulders further forward, out of their proper alignment. The head falls forward, out of its neutral position, weakening posterior erectors and causing pain. These conditions not only make the entire body weak and unaesthetic, they can result in horrific injury and costly hospital bills.

It takes consistent effort to fix these issues and maintain proper posture, but thankfully it’s simple: stretch your tight chest and ab muscles and strengthen your weak back muscles, then keeping your head neutral.

For those so inclined, that could mean hitting the weights. Any back exercise, such as pullups, rows, and deadlifts, will tighten the back and pull your spine back into proper alignment.

Most of us don’t have the time or will to lift the weights though, and that’s fine. For the rest of us, here are four exercises that will fix you right up!

1. The Superman (or Y Stretch)
-Lay face down on the floor, with your arms in a Y shape.
-Then, slowly lift your arms up off the floor, maintaining the Y shape, and keeping your shoulder from lifting.
-You should feel your shoulder blades retract together and your back muscles activate.
-Optionally, you may lift your legs up as well to stretch your abs and tighten your lower back.
-Hold this position for at least 20 seconds, working your way up as you get more flexible.

This exercise pulls your spine back into alignment by pulling it the other direction. It uses the posterior deltoids, latissimus dorsi, and trapezius to pull your arms up and back, which opens up your chest and allows your overly-tight pectoralis and anterior deltoid muscles to relax.

Exercises That Prevent A Hunchback

2. The Bow Stretch
-Wear loose clothes, and stand with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart, firmly planted.
-With your arms up and over your head and your thumbs pointed behind you, slowly bend backwards at the knees, hips, back, shoulders, and neck (relax your head backwards, don’t force it). Let your jaw hang open and breathe deeply and slowly through your mouth.
-Lean back as far as you can and hold it for at least 10 seconds, working your way up as you get more flexible.

This focuses primarily on using what’s called full body extension, which relaxes all anterior (frontal) muscles, including the neck, chest, shoulders, and hips (another muscle group that becomes unbalanced with excessive sitting!). This stretch takes work, especially if you’re not very flexible or mobile, but keep working at it! Eventually you’ll be able to lean back farther and hold it for longer.

3. Neutral Position Head Placement
-Stand up as straight as you can.
-Pull your shoulders down and back.
-Pull your neck up and back, bringing your ears directly above your shoulders

Think of this movement as trying to pull your whole upper body back and then making your ears as far apart from your shoulders as possible. This isn’t an exercise or stretch per se, but more a habit to get into. Try to do this every time you’re standing up. Don’t worry, you won’t look weird, you’ll look confident.

Exercises That Prevent A Hunchback 1

4. Mid-back Foam Roller Stretch
-Buy a hard foam roller. These are cheap and incredibly useful.
-Place the foam roller on the ground, and then lay across it perpendicularly (the roller and your body should make a “t” in other words), resting on the foam roller just under your shoulder blades.
-Plant your feet on the ground, bending your legs and keeping your butt off the ground, then place your hands behind your head and relax.
-Do this for at least 30 seconds, working your way up as you become more flexible.

This exercise follows the same trend the others do: by relaxing, you’re reversing the over-arching of your spine and opening your chest cavity.

One last piece of advice: do these things daily! Make a ritual out of it, and if you keep it up, you can say goodbye to “tech-neck” forever and say hello to your new healthy and confident posture.

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Alternative Medicine Health Videos

Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu Massage

Over the past decade, as more people strive for a balance of mental and physical wellness, they have turned to shiatsu massage in their quest to reduce stress and improve their overall health.

shiatsu-vs-swedish-massage-image

Shiatsu, or finger pressure massage, sometimes called Zen shiatsu, is a Japanese form of physiotherapy. It is often described as the equivalent of acupressure, but this comparison is not entirely accurate, because the technique looks beyond specific pressure points, incorporating other methods such as stretching, breathing and rotating for a more whole-body approach to restoring energy balance. Although many of the claimed benefits have yet to be conclusively proven, advocates assert that it can work to treat many different spiritual, physical and emotional problems.

shiatsu massage

There are different types of shiatsu massage techniques that concentrate on different methods to adjust a client’s chi or qi, but the most common practice utilizes acupressure or acupuncture points. Through touch and sense, a trained shiatsu therapist can detect variances within the body even before physical symptoms may begin to appear. These subtle changes indicate that an imbalance is occurring and, with regular shiatsu sessions, a therapist can work to restore balance before physical symptoms occur or worsen.

Shiatsu massage also fortifies the weak immune system and energizes lymph and blood flow. Qualified shiatsu therapists manipulate the unstable energy channels and correct the balance, which helps protect the body from illnesses and promotes a healthy physical and mental balance. Some of the internal body systems that benefit from the massage are as follows:

• Nervous system
• Cardiovascular system
• Respiratory system
• Endocrine system
• Musculoskeletal system
• Gastrointestinal system
• Reproductive system

You can find a variety of useful videos on Youtube that demonstrate the proper ways to do Shiatsu massage for different areas of the body. Here is a video guide on how to give a Shiatsu back massage:

The neck is also one of the most important parts of the body that is usually ignored. In neck massage it’s really important to massage gently and slowly. Here is a useful video that shows how to give a Shiatsu neck massage:

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Categories
Health Videos Massage

Stiff Neck? Try This Self Neck Massage!

Stiff Neck? Try This Self Neck Massage!

Have you ever felt that you are carrying the entire world in your shoulders? This can be a sign of stiff neck which can be easily fixed, all you need is a partner to help you relax after a long day and the following video to guide you in the process. Learn the pin and stretch massage method to lengthen overworked muscles in the neck, upper back, and shoulders on your own.

Begin by taking a deep breath to get warmed up, the neck and shoulder tend to store a lot of tension, so after this start by squeezing the neck and shoulder muscles as you can see detail in the video. You can also try putting your arms into it as though you are kneading dough. That will give you the right amount of pressure to relieve tired muscles.

Try this quick and easy technique after a hard workout, a long day at the office, or to simply unwind. You can even use the massage method on yourself!