Dragonfly Release’ Guide to Simple Stretches at Your Desk
How many of us sit at our desks without any apparent relief from cramped muscles, which lead to shoulder and neck pain, sometimes with the consequential pain of a headache?
Well, there are some really simple stretching techniques you could adopt to ease those tight muscles! So, try following this simple and easy set of exercises and see if you can help yourself to relieve that tightness.
Stretching Tips to Keep in Mind
During each step, remember to:
Breathe deeply and slowly.
Take the muscle to the point of feeling a stretch (this could be minimal), but not to the point of feeling pain (you’ll have taken the stretch too far!!).
Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds.
Take it easy and go slow in your stretches. It may take time, but you’ll feel the benefits as you progress every day.
Office Stretching Series – 10 Easy Going Stretches
1. Reach for the Sky! – Reach your arms up to the sky and as far back as you can safely go – don’t overdo it. Imagine you’re trying to reach the sky.
2. Side Stretch – While standing, reach your one arm over head and to the opposite side. You can keep the other hand on your hip or in the air.
3. Touch Your Toes – Take off your shoes (as long as it’s OK within your workplace!). Bend at the hip and reach for your toes. Bending your knees is OK, especially if your lower back causes you problems.
4. Circles – Make small circles with your wrists and ankles. Rotate in both directions and with each hand alternate making fists and opening your hand wide. This is an excellent exercise, particularly if you work at a keyboard. Again, don’t overdo it, if there’s pain – ease off.
5. Gentle Neck Stretch – The trick here is to go slow and gentle with neck stretching. Slowly stretch forward and back, side to side, round in circles, and twist to look over each shoulder. Remember slow and gentle – Only do what feels good and don’t overstretch.
6. Arm Stretch – Straighten one arm out in front of you. Now, with the other arm pull the straight arm toward your opposite shoulder. Go slowly. This exercise would benefit those of you who use a computer mouse a lot during the day.
7. Winding Up – While standing, rotate each arm around in big circles both forward and backward. Do one arm at a time. Do this slowly – it’s not a race!
8. Seated Twist – First sit up straight. Twist in your chair keeping your hips stationary, then twist all the way from lower back all the way up to your head, looking over your shoulder. Remember, if it hurts, you’re going too far – small movements are sometimes just as beneficial as large ones!
9. Stork Stretch and Balance – Stand (carefully) on one leg and stretch out your quadriceps muscle (the group of muscles at the front of your thigh) by bending your knee and slowly pulling your foot to your buttocks.
10.Cross Leg Stretch – Sitting in your chair cross one leg over the other so that ankle rests just above the knee, then slowly lean forward to feel a nice stretch in your hip and buttocks. You may find that this stretch may help to alleviate lower back problems and sciatica. Don’t forget to repeat with the other leg.
So, why does this work?
Stretching causes you to breathe deeply bringing oxygen to your brain, which, in turn, releases the physical form of stress that is stored in your muscles. Relieving that stress releases energy, which helps your body remove toxins from your tissues.
For more information on how Dragonfly Release Holistic Centre can help you with its range of services, including its Home/Office care solutions, please visit us at www.dragonflyrelease.com
Jeff Phillips is located at Dragonfly Release Holistic Centre, Bedford, and is a Registered Massage Therapist, Jade Stone Massage Therapist and Reiki Master/Teacher