Relax take it eeeeasy
April 13, 2013 10:23 AM   Subscribe

How do you keep your back, neck and shoulders relaxed?

Hey guys, just wondering, do you have any tps and tricks for relaxing your back/neck/shoulders? Over the course of the day whether I am sitting around or walking around I tend to tense these especially if I get stressed. Let me know!
posted by dinosaurprincess to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
I do a lot of yoga, and it helps immensely. Failing that, here's my trick to get your shoulders aligned properly. Stand up, tuck your tailbone in, and hold your arms straight out at your sides, perpendicular to your body. Slowly lower your arms without changing the position of your shoulders. Your shoulders shouldn't be rounded forward or back at this point, and your shoulder blade should be sort of "plugged in" to your back.

Now don't change anything. If you slide out of this, do the exercise again.

Hope I have explained this fairly clearly.
posted by sweetkid at 10:50 AM on April 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

Move your shoulders and arms around slowly, pull your head back, and be conscious of what feels nice and relaxing. Remind yourself to take a break and assume the position(s). Walk. Stretch. Exercise. Get a foam roller. Fall in love with it.
posted by herrdoktor at 11:18 AM on April 13, 2013

These massage cushions are pretty soothing.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:44 AM on April 13, 2013

I gave up on fixing this myself and instead get regular massages at a local massage school. It's inexpensive and the students are very determined to prove themselves.
posted by cranberry_nut at 12:55 PM on April 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

When I was learning voice therapy (which focuses a lot on posture and relaxation), I was given three ways to correct posture, and I find different people finds different ones helpful:
* Imagine someone is pulling a hair on the top of your head directly upwards and you are hanging from this hair
* Imagine someone is pulling the hair at the nape of your neck directly backwards
* Imagine you are holding an invisible trumpet. Put it to your lips. Now drop your arms.

None of these are perfect, but they all get you to reasonable posture.

Of course you then have to remember to use these exercises every time you notice your posture being poor during the day. The more you do it, the more you will stay in good posture, and hopefully the less tension you will carry. There's no shortcut around just having to learn to improve your posture though - sorry!
posted by kadia_a at 2:00 PM on April 13, 2013 [3 favorites]

posted by Jacqueline at 2:14 PM on April 13, 2013

I did a bunch of tai chi and we learned a "lengthening the spine" exercise that I've found useful, and tai chi as a whole helped me become more aware of and more in control of my body.

But it's quite an investment, and the paradoxical fact that I had to learn was that relaxing my body requires some work and attention for me. Maybe some people can just let their minds go free and the body goes with it, but I sometimes find my body holds on to tension that I've banished from my mind, so I've got to make an effort to get it out.

But a bit of booze and a dumb comedy is pretty good short term solution too.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:40 PM on April 13, 2013

Open your mouth and waggle your jaw until it feels loose.
posted by nicwolff at 4:18 PM on April 13, 2013

Sit towards the front of a desk chair and spread your legs. Drop your head down between your legs and push it forward, so your spine is curved and your head is as far back (towards the back of the chair) and as low, as possible. Hold that position for about thirty seconds. If you do that once or twice a day, it should loosen you up.
posted by Susan PG at 6:05 PM on April 13, 2013

Yoga is great when I have the patience for it. Usually I don't.

Active-isolated stretching on the other hand, takes less patience and works immediately.
posted by callmejay at 8:34 AM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

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