We lead a life driven by technological advances that truthfully have really caused us some aches and pains.
We sit at computers all day long, we are glued to our phones scrolling through social media, the thicker the pillow the better, working out is more accessible than ever, and let’s not forget our postures while driving. It is more important than ever for us to pay more attention to positions we are putting out bodies in over and over again. Certainly, it is something we are unaware of until we feel an ache or pain. However, we should pay attention and monitor our behaviors from technology before our body start shouting at us to stop.
Of course, who doesn’t love a great massage when you are feeling out of whack, but how crazy is it that even a masseuse can tell you what your bad technology driven habits are… yeah it really isn’t a secret that you scroll through your phone while laying in bed before you fall asleep.
Check out below how a masseuse was able to identify exactly what a writer from Well x Good does day to day (and not by the client telling the masseuse), but because of the alignment and tension in her body.
1. My shoulders are uneven
“As Jean navigated around my shoulders, her first question was: “You carry your purse on your right side, don’t you?” The truth is that I recently converted to a backpack to help with my neck pain, but she was right—that was the side I always carried on. “The shoulder that carries the most weight will be higher because you’re forcing the muscles on one side to become more developed and tense,” Close explains. She told me that I was smart for switching to a two-shouldered bag, but it didn’t quite matter—the damage was done.
She did, however, share a genius trigger-point massage for upper-back pain:
1. To find the most common trigger point in the shoulders, place the heel of your hand on your opposite collarbone. Let the fingers rest loosely across the top of the shoulder.
2. Keeping your hand firmly in place, swing your free arm gently forward and back. As your arm moves, you will feel the top of your shoulder blade bump into your index or middle finger. Gently press down on tender areas while slowly moving your arm back and forth to deactivate trigger points.
2. My neck pain stemmed from my mid-back
My flare-ups usually last for a few days, as a result of a bad night of sleep or a weird crick, but since December, I’d been experiencing pretty sharp, consistent pain in my neck. While I hoped that Jean would work out the knots and leave it feeling light and pain-free, she actually discovered that my mid-back muscles were the root of the problem.
“The head is a heavy object, so many muscle groups are involved in holding it up—especially the muscles that begin in the middle of the back and end at the top of the neck,” Close says. “They also work in opposing groups, so if the back is tight or weak, it will pull on the neck.” Jean’s suggestion? Get a lumbar pillow for the office, so that my back is supported and my neck can get a bit of a break. (Done and done.)
3. I’m leading with my right foot during spinning
While I’m very aware of my neck and back pain, I never would have complained about tight muscles in my legs—unless I had just done endless squats at a fitness class, of course. As she reached my hamstrings, Jean asked if I was a spin junkie. (Guilty.)
How did she know? My right hamstring was one of the tightest she’s ever felt (ouch)—likely due to overusing that leg during SoulCycle by leading with it, she says. “If you are favoring one side, you’re ultimately engaging that muscle more, leading to imbalanced strength and tension,” she explains. She told me that while it might not be an issue today, that much wear and tear on the same leg would eventually lead to some kind of injury or pain (in other words, it’s time for some recovery ASAP).” – Well x Good.
Now, take a scan of yourself. Where do you find tension and unevenness? Once you identify some of these issues, now think about your day to day life. Where do you think you could be getting these issues from. Once you identify where, then next time you are doing these activities, make yourself more aware and pay attention to your body and posture. Make some adjustments that will help for your body to not scream at you in the future.
The changes may not occur immediately within the body, but the more you can be aware and adjust to them, the more your older self will thank you.