Throughout this series, we have looked at many ways in which you can improve your posture. We’ve given you tips to improve your driving posture, your desk posture and your standing posture. All of these tips can help you change your posture and prevent stiffness and discomfort.
In the last of her posture blogs, massage therapist Nicky McClean looks at how stretching, range of movement and relaxation can improve your posture.
- Use pectoral stretches. Stand with your forearm at 90 degrees against the wall, take one big step forward with the leg nearest the wall and look into the centre of the room. Stay here for 30 secs and then repeat on the other side.
- Ensure you have full range of motion in your neck by stretching every day in the shower. Stretch forwards, to the side and in a circular motion.
- To improve the range of motion in the shoulder and open up the joint, rotate your arm in a large circle forwards and backwards. You can also pretend you have ball under the hand and do figures of 8 against the wall.
- Use a warm wheat bag to relax tense neck and shoulders. This is a great way to unwind in the evening.
- Give yourself a circular finger massage to the jaw joint and behind ears to ease grinding and clenching
- Take deep lateral breaths when you go to bed, as this loosens ribcage before sleeping. Place your hands on your ribs and breath outwards and inwards to encourage this.
- Put two old pillows in one case for a firm pillow that isn’t too high – this provides better support for the neck as it doesn’t move about as much as two separate pillows.
Remember – the most important thing about posture is to be aware. When we are busy or thinking about other things, it is easy to forget about our posture and slump. If you get yourself into the habit of being aware of your posture, you are more likely to notice when you need to make adjustments.
Place reminders where you will see them often. Try sticking a post-it reading “Posture!” on your computer, on your sun visor and in your purse or wallet. Every time you see them, you will remember to check your posture and modify it if necessary.
If you feel that your posture is causing you extreme discomfort, book yourself in for a sports massage to relax your tight muscles.
Nicky is available on Tuesdays and alternate Saturdays. You can call, email, or book online.