Why I'm Writing This...
To remind you, you’re not alone!
In my 20 years of teaching, upper back and neck pain two of the most common issues I work with.
I am very familiar with upper back and neck pain—including the chronic pain I manage in my upper back due to my profession. The constant motion of leaning over, pulling springs and working with people (supporting their bodies, manipulating their bodies etc) puts a strain on my upper back on a regular basis.
So, I take about 5-10 minutes (almost) every day to address this chronic pain in different ways. Since I've been doing this new tiny habit routine, I've able to manage and reduce my pain and feel great. The results are priceless. It used to be much worse and it’s consistently getting better because I make time for those few minutes of self-care. If I were to neglect myself and just push through it, I believe I would be in much worse shape and the pain would affect me every day.
I want to be able to be at my best for my loved ones and clients, as I’m sure you do as well.
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I intending to share a self care moment with you about writing in my gratitude journal but instead it became a very vulnerable moment and I had to decide if I was going to choose to break out of my comfort zone or pass up this opportunity for self growth. #selfcare #selfcarethreads #selflove #selfgrowth #gratitude #igtv #igtvfollow
- According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, neck pain is even more common with 1 out of 3 people experiencing neck pain at some point in their lifetime.
Self-Care in 5-Minutes
Taking a little bit of time for self care can save you SO much more time to do the things you love to do with the people you love the most. What’s 5-10 minutes a day of prevention compared to weeks or months of recovery?
Having a regular stretching routine is important for overall health in your body. Maintaining the flexibility in your body takes the stress off of your muscles and ligaments, improves your range of motion, and improves your posture, all of which makes you less vulnerable to injury. Fewer injuries mean less pain and more joy!
I'm excited to show you six stretches (for your upper back and neck) to help you find this joy I talk about often. Each exercise is simple enough to do even if you have no Pilates experience at all. I do these exercises myself and encourage them as a home routine for my private clients. Each video is about 5-minutes. Doing just a couple of these every day can make a huge difference!
- I suggest only doing a couple of these stretches every day.
- Stay in each stretch on each side until you feel your muscles release and lengthen a little bit.
- Typically I don't suggest how long you should be in each stretch. Pay more attention to how it feels. Each stretch on each side may feel different. If you focus more on how long you’re in the stretch rather than how it feels, it may hinder your progress.
- These are supposed to help you feel better. If you feel stiff or sore the next day from any of the stretches, I recommend you pause your routine until any soreness or stiffness has passed.
- Make it exciting: Try 1-2 each day and swap them out.
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Self-care (mind) challenge #4... . . Hate how your weekends blow by? Feel like you blinked, and summer was suddenly over? The secret to making life feel less like a three-second GIF on an endless loop and more like a 12-hour Game of Thrones marathon is, yep, doing new things. . . #selfcarechallenge #selfcare #new #trythis #thursdaythoughts #dailychallenge #mentalhealthday
6 Stretches to Relieve a Sore or Tight Neck & Upper Back Pain [Playlist]
Now when doing these exercises remember to breathe. Breathing is important because it transfers oxygen into the muscles and improves your blood flow which helps power the muscles so they can move with more ease and less strain.