Hello, my name is Alison Young and I work at Body Mechanics physiotherapy Practice in Ware, Hertfordshire as a musculo/skeletal and remedial exercise therapist. I thought I would write a short blog on how to relieve tension in the upper body.
With the fast pace of life today and with all the good will in the world we can find ourselves forgetting about our own needs, especially when our focus is on helping others. One of the first signs of tension feeding into the body is upper body tension and is seen in almost all the patients that we treat at our practice.
It is important that we listen and act on our own advice, I can be the world’s worst about not always taking the time to be kind to myself and listen to what my own bodies telling me, so how can we make sure that we are looking after ourselves and relieving one of the first signs of tension which can be in our upper body, particularly neck and shoulders.
Take 10 min’s out of your day (ideally lunchtime) to focus on your body:
- Focus on your breathing, the rise and fall of your chest – is the breath rapid and shallow and if so focus on gently slowing the breathing down.
- Once the breathing is more regulated, slowly turn your head to the left and hold there for 5 seconds then bring back to centre, then turn your head to the right and repeat.
- Then with the chin facing forward incline the head so that the ear goes towards the shoulder and again hold for 5 seconds and repeat on both sides.
This will loosen the muscles of the neck and back (especially the trapezius which inserts into the nape of the neck)
- Then bring the shoulder up, back and down remembering to do this slowly with control and repeat 2 -4 times.
- Then refocus on the breathing, by this time your breathing should be slower and you will feel the tension easing across the neck and shoulders
Why not set yourself a challenge of doing this 2 x daily (or at least once), remember slowly, do not rush these exercises otherwise you will not feel the benefits and please comment back letting me know if you feel the difference!
This practice has really helped me to focus on the ‘Now’ it is also great when you have a busy day or in times of worry or stress, not only does the blood become more oxygenated but your body will benefit so much from these stretches
Alison Young BCMA Registered Practitioner