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Align your neck and shoulder line and your face looks youthful!

No one wants to age prematurely. Did you know how much the widow's hump changes our appearance and facial features?


When your head is correctly aligned, it feels like it is floating on the top of your spine. When your shoulder line is properly aligned, it shapes your body. When your neck is free you will look better, feel better and your facial appearance opens up. No wonder In Chinese medicine a neckline is called a ‘lifeline’. It is a distributor for circulation through the entire body resulting in feeling energised.


No more widow's humps!


Widow's hump, also known as buffalo neck, hunchback or Dowager’s hump, is a sign of excessive fat deposition on the back of the neck. Now it is becoming common among young people - and a sign of the digital age. So what happens to us? The new name is ‘Digi hump’!


The hump appears as a result of the weakening of muscles around your thoracic spine and neck. When those muscles weaken, other muscles have to do their job for them. This puts additional muscles under constant strain from overuse. That is now getting only too common in our world of computer screens and other devices. When the posture is “attacked” from the neck the chain carries on to the jawline resulting in a double chin.


The widow's humpis a sign of a lack of circulation. As it grows the tissue often becomes inflamed. Fluid retention is the body's way of defending itself. Over time the hump also begins to harden, preventing the cervical spine from moving, causing the entire shoulder area to tense and the hump to begin to grow bigger. This causes tension throughout the body and prevents free movement of the diaphragm. As breathing becomes shallow, the heart rate and blood pressure rise. Overall this shortens the flexor muscles and stretches the extensor muscles. If you are in a bad position for a long time, wear will start to enter your body and poor muscle metabolism will lead to muscle hardening. The posture can then change permanently.


 

Questions to Marja


Tell us Marja, why have you presented neck exercises as a beauty regime?


Absolutely, neck exercises should be part of the regular beauty regime, but also because it affects our overall well-being. For every centimeter that your head protrudes forward from its normal alignment, you add a huge amount of force onto your neck. Just take that force and compound it over every day, months or years. No surprise then for how and why your spine curvature changes.


“Posture erosion” may result in structural changes particularly in the neck, upper back and shoulder areas and all this can be seen from the face. You may not always notice the deterioration. Over time, a habit of poor posture develops an abnormal curve of the upper vertebrae together with a mass of tissue at the lower part of the neck. A lesser known factor is how much this hump changes our face and how our appearance becomes more fatigued.



 


How should we exercise our tight shoulders and a tired face?


The advice to ’pull the shoulder back’ or look in the mirror is not enough to correct this. There are great stretches that will help strengthen the muscles surrounding your thoracic spine and bring your head back into proper alignment. Yet, even more necessary is to sense the position without a mirror. In order to adapt to a new position to work, you really need to be able to sense and feel what it means when the head placement is correct and the neckline supported.



 

What kind of results can we expect from correctly designed exercises?


As the weight of the head returns to the correct placement and the top of the shoulders and shoulder circle is aligned shaping the entire upper body, not only it will reshape the posture but is a real facial lift. That is what we learn in Method Putkisto face classes. When you really relax your shoulders and slide down, the whole appearance becomes more beautiful - it's like the lights return to life.


More importantly our upper body expresses emotions and the way you carry yourself has an effect on your emotions, mindset and self confidence.


 

Test if you are on your way to a widow’s hump:


Place your palm between the thoracic and cervical spine, just at the top of the upper back, just before your neck. Can you feel a ‘pump’ of soft tissue there? Hope not, but if yes - that is a problem.


The more forward your head sits, the more stress is placed on the base of your neck.


 

Clients say:


“I’ve really wondered who I am and what beauty is. My shoulder line has improved considerably. My arms and hands have found the right place as the shoulders begin to be in place. The neck feels longer and the head really floats over the atlas.”

Jaana


 

TOP TIPS

  • Exercise, stretch, strengthen, and lengthen the short tight muscles around the chest, neck and shoulders. When the blood circulation in the head increases the metabolism improves. Learn to do these exercises correctly. They don’t take much time and do them regularly.

  • Change position whilst sitting but only if the muscles start working properly. Skills need to be learned. Upper body mobility improves posture and increases muscle tone.

  • Breathe correctly, let your stomach and sides expand by inhalation. Deep breathing relaxes the upper body and improves posture. Keep the delay at the end of breathing, it will help relieve stress.


 

FACT BOX

  • Kyphosis results from chronic forward-leaning posture. It has been related to older people and carries the nickname 'widow's neck’.

  • If left untreated, the result can be spinal degeneration, disk problems and neck fatigue.

  • Those with a widow’s hump can experience intense headaches in addition to their neck and shoulder pain.

  • A widow’s hump won’t go away overnight. It can take a long time to correct itself - months even. And, if you wait too long, it’s almost impossible to make it disappear completely.

  • Keep osteoporosis from progressing to prevent the spine from developing compression fractures, which increase the forward curve of the upper back.

  • Symptoms of tense neck vary from headaches to migraines, imbalances

  • Backache in the lumbar spine, numbness and pain radiating to the upper limbs

  • Upper limb weakness, burning sensation and numbness around the neck

  • Bruxism (teeth grinding or jaw tension)

  • Osteoporosis makes you drop your head forward more than normal and then pull it back and up to see forward. It’s those two things that cause the bump in the upper back.


  • Method Putkisto Institute has educated Facial Instructors since 2022.


Melt away neck & shoulder tension - Targeted course starts Monday 8th April 2024. Read more here >>

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