Body Wisdom Blog

by Donna Brooks

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The Ihunch sHuffle

Did you know that slouching can cause emotional distress and physical pain and limitation? A health psychology randomized trial study has shown that slumped participants used more negative emotion words, sad words, expressed being more at the affect of events and used fewer positive words. You know when you feel badly it’s hard ot have pep and to get out and move!

Do you notice yourself hunching and slouching? All of that tension in yoir neck and shoulders impacts your lower body. In fact, the free movement of arms and shoulders help propel your gait and make walking easier and smoother.
It’s fine to slouch sometimes. Especially if you feel tired, defeated or sad. But it’s not a posture you want to make a habit. So, What can you do about it?
1. Minimize small screen time. The smaller the screen the more slouching. Retro large monitors are better for your neck and shoulders. Standing at a large monitor is even better.
2. There are 29 joints in a human hand. Increasing movement in these joints has a positive effect on your shoulders and any hunch you may have. Try this simple experiment:
Place your hands in a prayer position in front of your heart. Notice the position of your shoulders (caution – if the muscles between your hands and shoulders are not communicating well with each other you may not notice an effect. But don’t worry. You can change that). Now place the backs of your hands together and see if you can feel the difference in the position of your shoulders. It may effect your upper back as well.
3. Free your shoulders. We usually think of our shoulders as rounded forward ( slouching) or pulled back and down. Really the shoulder joints have complexity and can rest comfortably in a nice posture without your having to pin them back and down. 
Notice how your shoulders feel in relationship to your neck, head and upper back. Pick up a couple of tennis balls or small rubber balls and place them in your arm pits. Roll one ball up while you roll the other down. Your shoulders should move with the balls. Do this several times making sure the movement is gentle and easy. Then remove the balls. Notice the differences in your shoulders.
Of course, not all neck and shoulder pain is technology related.But getting a nice natural movement sequence happening between these seemingly unconnected parts can have benefits of:
  • Eliminating strain and overwork in your neck, shoulders, and wrists.
  • Turning and lift your head easily and without pain.
  • Building more upper-body strength through natural, functional movements.