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The neck is your lifeline. Even young looks old when the neck gets rigid!


Picture: by Kari Hakli

How to avoid neck and shoulder tension?

Does the silhouette of yourself that you see in the shop window make you cringe? Is that me? When did my posture change like that?


Think about how life could feel when your neck supports your head and posture?

When your posture is supported and your head is aligned, you will feel light as your body carries you. Often it is the neck and shoulder area that pulls the entire upper body out of the alignment.



Do you spend your days at the keyboard or digital devices? Do your shoulders hunch over when you read your mobile phone? Is your neck getting stiff when you're behind the car wheel?

Every now and then a headache, or even a migraine, reminds us that something is not quite right. When our neck really starts to ache, the problem is already long overdue. It is said that the most common cause of neck pain is muscular tension. We all know that tension is the result of physical strain. However, as all the muscles are controlled by our brain and mind, then what are we talking about?



Let's go behind the symptoms for a moment and forget about the aches and tension for a while!

How do you carry your body and how do you use it on a daily basis? Surprisingly, the matter turns on its head as the way you carry your upper body is strongly connected to your mind. We get through life even if we keep our shoulders to our ears. There is no miracle pill that makes our shoulders relax when they tense up. There is one option left: How about if we change our thinking or even the way we use our body?

Here are some tips to start with:


RELAX - No need to tense, instead, relax and feel at ease in your own body. Leave behind the idea of ​​the old-fashioned military postures. Use your energy to get to know your own body, this way you can increase the skill of how to use it and control it.


FEEL YOUR BODY AND EMOTIONS - Do you collect worries or are you a free spirit? Be aware not to pile the burden of life on your own shoulders. Rarely is the tension in the upper body originally muscle-based but caused by stress in our mind. The muscles that move our shoulders up are strong and when tense, can easily bend our entire upper body into the wrong position. To shake off the tension, aches and pains, once and for all, focus on mindful stretching, to deepen your understanding about your body.



Stretching is the best way to improve your upper back. Stretching increases your metabolism, relaxes your upper back and makes you feel great but also look younger. This is why working on your body is rewarding.



FACTS

  • POSTURE - If you pull the shoulders up, the clavicles move into a "v" position relative to the clavicle socket. As the pectoral muscles tighten, they also shorten, causing the position of the chest to slide downwards and the posture to collapse. As a result almost half of the body's weight literally hangs on the scalenes muscles attached to the neck. That's why shoulder tension is so uncomfortable.

  • SHOULDER LINE If the muscles of our shoulder blades tighten they also shorten and diaphragm breathing becomes ineffective. A shallow breather hardly sleeps well. The shoulder ring rests on the top of your ribcage giving your shoulder line a shape.

  • COMMON PROBLEM -Four out of ten women over the age of 30, and two to three out of ten men, have experienced neck pain in the past year. Neck pain is the reason for about every 25 visits to a health centre.

    • By far the most common cause of neck pain is muscle tension in the neck and shoulders, which are also caused by physical and mental stress factors, especially poor working positions and repetitive movements at work or during hobbies.

    • The tension is mostly located in the upper parts of the neck, shoulders and in the region of the shoulder blades. If this becomes chronicle it may results to fatigue, headaches and explains why fingers may become numb.

  • TREATMENT - The most important treatment for shoulder and neck tension or soreness is prevention.



Also

  • Move your upper body.

  • Strengthen the muscles that move your shoulder blades down. The muscles that pull your scapula down are weaker than the muscles that pull your scapula up. The latissimus dorsi actively works together with the lower part of the deltoid muscle and the serratus anterior muscle, pulling your shoulder blade down.

  • Ensure blood circulation in your head by aligning the head position correctly.

  • Relax your neck and its tension by strengthening the deep flexors of your cervical spine.

  • Improve the elasticity of your neck muscles with deep stretching movements and learn to improve the position of your spine and pelvis.

Keep in mind, any trauma causes a defensive reaction in our body. Just in case

  • Have you strained your shoulder muscles, or fallen in a way that hurt your hand, arm, or upper arm?

  • Perhaps at some point in your life, have you experienced a whiplash to the neck or even concussion? The muscles adapt to the new position to avoid the pain. The movements of our arms and hands are always connected to the shoulder blades and, without their correct position, any movement is awkward. So it's no wonder that years later we remember ‘when I fell off a bike or off a horse’. If the causes of the pain are of cervical spine or nerve origin, it is always good to go through more detailed examination, but even so, movement and target exercises can heal you.


Relaxing your shoulders can be easy and enjoyable. Join Marja's 5 day, 5 exercises, 10 minutes per day MINI COURSE: ‘Melt away neck and shoulder tension’.

Leave behind poor posture and move on towards a modern, relaxed and easy, (we call it dynamic) posture. REGISTER HERE




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