Quick & Painless Feel-Better Fixes November 16 2013
At Soulstice Spa we see hundreds of customers every month and in the process we notice patterns showing up in people's bodies. Tight hips, aching lower backs, creaky necks, swollen feet .... these are just a few of the all-too-common symptoms we see walking through our doors.
Many of our daily life activities create or contribute to these issues, and with awareness and some minor fixes, they can be greatly improved with minimal effort! The key is becoming aware of our bodies throughout the day and making small corrections consistently. Below is a list of common things we see and our quick & easy fixes:
Stiff and Sore Muscles: If you wake up stiff and sore, give your body time to warm up before leaping into action. Every morning, be more conscious about moving more slowly, breathing more deeply and perform a few gentle stretches to begin the day.
Tight Forearms and Hands: Many of us use far too much grip and pressure necessary, and this puts unnecessary wear and stress on the arms and hands. Pay attention and relax the arms and hands when gripping the steering wheel, holding your children, and - most of all - while texting and typing!
Sore Lower Back and Inflexible Hips: Don't sit when you can stand! Many muscular and skeletal imbalances are created by too much sitting... in cars, on airplanes and at desks. Too much sitting tightens hamstrings and hips, and can in turn lead to lower back pain and sciatica. Whenever you have the choice of sitting or standing, opt to stand. And if you must sit for long periods be sure to counterbalance by stretching to counteract its effects - strengthen your core and stretch/open hip flexors and hamstrings.
Swollen, Achy Feet: Whenever possible, spend time without shoes... Many shoes (especially men's dress shoes and women's high heels) do a number on the feet, ankles and lower legs. Symptoms of wearing unfortunate shoes are inflammation, plantar fasciitis, tight calves, and cramping in the lower legs. When at home, give your feet room to breathe by wearing socks, slippers or going barefoot.
Creaky and/or Stiff Neck: Most of us are staring over and into a computer screen, desk or reading material for a large part of the day. Parents are toting young children around, and many women are dragging around huge and heavy over-the-shoulder purses. All of these things create postural imbalances and - in particular - a forward rotation of the neck. (If you wonder if this is you, stand naturally then look at yourself from the side, in profile, in the mirror. If you notice that your jaw and chin are thrusted forward, this is typical of an imbalance in your cervical spine.) To correct this, take time throughout the day to check your posture by opening your chest, lowering and bringing back your shoulders, tucking your hips and keeping your neck held in alignment with your spine. Keeping your posture in check will do wonders for your neck stiffness and immobility.
Minor changes, applied consistently each day, will help alleviate the most common aches and pains and help prevent them from turning into more chronic conditions down the road....