Thought we would post a few ‘self help’ massage tips that you can do at work or at home in case you can’t get to central London to see us. Of course nothing comes close to a real massage, but they might help in between your sessions! This first post deals with neck and shoulder tension and tightness – one of the most common complaints of our clients
Tilt your head back, and with each hand, squeeze the flesh at the base of your neck on either side of your spine. Then, slowly roll your head forwards, still squeezing tightly. Hold for a few seconds, then return your head to an upright position. If the muscles are particularly tight you may find you can’t grab much muscle. Then go the other way, exhale and relax your neck, letting your head drop backwards. Now, rest your elbows on a desk or table in front of you, allowing your head to drop forward slightly. Massage your neck from your shoulders to the base of your skull using your fingertips to make small deep circles into the muscles on either side of your spine (don’t apply pressure to your spine itself). Place both hands behind your head, with interlocking fingers. Drop your head forward and allow the weight of your elbows (don’t pull down) to push your head gently down, stretching the muscles of your neck and down your back.
Nine times out of ten shoulder tightness is a result of knotted rhomboid muscles. The rhomboids are made up of rhomboid minor and rhomboid major. Minor is located above major and both join the vertebrae to the scapula (shoulder blades). They move the shoulder blades toward the spine while maintaining shoulder posture and helping raise the shoulder blades. Sitting or standing with rounded shoulders for a long time stretches the rhomboids constantly
Begin this exercise standing or sitting with your back straight. Your chin should be tucked in slightly and your shoulders should be back slightly. Slowly tighten your rhomboids by squeezing your shoulder blades together as hard and far as possible provided the exercise is pain free. Hold for five seconds and repeat ten times. You can also try simulating a massage (again, it is a poor substitute) by standing with your back against a wall, with a tennis ball positioned on the point of soreness/tightness. Then lean back, squashing the tennis ball, and move the pressure point with small movements up and down and side to side. Hopefully these can help ease some rhomboid pain
Have a great week!