The Wonders of Reverse Stretching
Amidst the pandemic, the world was pushed in a pause. And while some had the privilege to be on a vacation, some are still forced to work. After all, our bills won’t sleep forever. Thus, working from home became a trend. Making most of our days managing e-mails, juggle from meeting to meeting, and enduring long hours of sitting while taking notes.
Really taxing sometimes but as they say, “a little bit of stretching goes a long way!“
My colleagues and I often acknowledge that our work takes much on educating our patients on taking better care of their bodies. The majority of the time we discuss relevant anatomy, different functions of the body, the problem that they are dealing with, and finally, its remedies.
As a therapist, I have a goal to constantly seek simple yet memorable techniques for patients to use and help them feel better regardless if they are at home or at work. In this case, that’s both.
I often conduct seminars on safety and ergonomics for manufacturing industries and businesses where workers use computers extensively. One of the ideas I always pitch in is the concept of “reverse stretching”. It sounds complicated but it is really a simple hack anyone can apply.
Many injuries result from sustained posture or position of your arm and leg. If you are performing any work or activity that forces your body into an extreme position, stretching it in the opposite direction reduces accumulated fatigue in the tissues of the body which are working to hold that position. A lot of these problems can be avoided by simply switching positions or going in “reverse”.
These are some things you can try, though may sound minimal, but shows how stretching is essential:
Flex it out
Make it a habit of stretching every 15 to 20 minutes or so. No matter if you are painting a baseboard or crouched pulling weeds, take some time to stand up, straighten your spine, and arch it backward for 10 seconds.
Give it a nod
Perhaps you are on a ladder looking up, bending your neck backward. When you come down from the ladder, slowly and gently bend your head forward, stretching your chin to your chest for 10 seconds.
Shake it off
Okay, admit it. We have all done this one. You are holding the cordless phone next to your ear by tilting your head and shrugging your shoulder while doing something else with your hands. Multi-tasking at its finest! As soon as you can, gently tilt your head to the opposite shoulder for 10 seconds.
Moving the opposite way somehow helps you pull through these trying times. So, let’s give it a go and get stretching!