Untangling Yourself from Work
From the desk of Sarah J. Rogers, LMT...
We all have patterns that weave themselves into our daily lives. Sometimes these patterns are noticeable and other times, they are so deeply habitual that even if someone were to point them out to us, we might not see them.
Learning how to identify our habits as they are present in our movement patterns is one thing – taking steps to untangle ourselves from those habits is another. One of the most common movement patterns these days involves some or all of the following:
-sitting for long periods of time
-working on a keyboard
-sitting at a desk that is not at an ideal height for us
-talking on a phone
-hunching over our work
Over days and months and years of combining these patterns, our bodies begin to feel it. Perhaps your upper back and shoulders feel like they are screaming? Perhaps your forearms feel tight and strained,? Perhaps your neck feels like it has a crick in it? Perhaps your lower legs are tight and crampy? Perhaps your thumbs throb?
Long-standing work environments combined with modern technology have put us into a permanent state of internally rotating our shoulders, leaning over our work, and overusing our forearms and thumbs. Consequently, the musculature that would oppose these movement patterns becomes weakened and strained. Imagine stretching out a rubber band. As you stretch it out, it becomes weaker and more prone to tearing. In our bodies, these lengthened and weak muscles are resisted by the tightened opposing muscle groups. So, what can we do about this?:
-stretch tight muscles
-relax lengthened muscles
-strengthen weakened muscles
As these concepts apply to chronic upper body conditions present in those who work extended hours seated at a computer, some recommendations would include the following:
-stretching out pectorals and biceps
-strengthening the back muscles
-strengthening the external rotators of the shoulder
-strengthening the core
OMBE has great resources for anyone experiencing the deconditioning or chronic discomfort that can come from daily work habits. Consider making an appointment for massage and stretching and/or visit one of our many wonderful Pilates and yoga classes!
Looking for exercise/stretching ideas? Contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah J. Rogers, LMT
Licensed Massage Therapist
Sarah J. Rogers is a licensed massage therapist and an internationally certified personal trainer. She received her training at The Cortiva Institute in Watertown, MA and The American Academy of Personal Training in Boston, MA. She is a member of the American Massage Therapy Association and of the American College of Sports Medicine. Having received her BA in Anthropology and History of Science at Smith College, she shares a deep intellectual and philosophical connection to her clients and work.
Sarah works with each client to develop a comprehensive treatment to suit each client’s goals. She incorporates neuromuscular therapy, advanced osteopathic stretching, myofascial release, stretching, and personal training. She also integrates relaxation, meditation and motivation techniques. Sarah understands and appreciates the various ways in which people use their bodies to get through their every day lives, and enjoys the process of tracing the source of discomfort and injury.
A life-long athlete, Sarah enjoys yoga, running, swimming and biking among other things. Sarah has coached swimming, participates in special education wellness programs (Cantor Youth & Special Olympics). Sarah believes that holistic and traditional health should be equally accessible to every individual. She participates in the Collaborative Health For All initiative by Jill’s List in collaboration with Boston Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.
"Good for the body is the work of the body, good for the soul is the work of the soul and good for either is the work of the other." -Henry David Thoreau.