Friday, 23 March 2012

Stretches for Tight Shoulders

Raise the shoulder slowly and hold

I like these series of shoulder stretches. They’re simple and easy to do. I’ve shown them to folks who work in offices and to assembly line workers who pack and sort.  They can be done almost anywhere. (A pilot I know does these stretches in the cockpit during long intercontinental flights).

1.  Slowly raise one shoulder as high as you can. Actually hold the position from about 1/2 minute to 1 minute.

Pull the shoulder backward and hold
 2.  Keeping the shoulder at the same height, pull it backward and hold (for another 20 seconds to 1/2 minute). Now push the shoulder down the back as far as possible. Please hold for another 20 seconds or so. Raise the shoulder all the way up to the top again.

Slowly push the shoulder forward and hold
 3.  There's only one more direction left - forward. Slowly push the shoulder to the front and across the chest as far as possible. Hold...20 seconds or so.

4.  Finally, return the shoulder slowly to the start position.

Stretch the other shoulder as well. Doing so creates a healthy balance across the upper back and into the neck.

These stretches are part of a series of "body manipulation" movements found in Chinese Chi Kung. To Chi Kung practitioners, we're not just simply stretching the shoulder. We're manipulating the joint and every muscle attached to it - from the inside out. The practise is completely different from regular stretching. In fact, it goes right into the marrow of the bone.

Try these stretches when your shoulders feel stiff and tired. They'll breathe new life into your entire upper back!

1 comment:

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