Monday, 7 May 2012

Shower Massage

Stretch slowly and carefully from side to side

ight neck and shoulder muscles can be opened up and relaxed with a combination of heat, massage and stretching. What better way to do this than by gently and slowly stretching those very same muscles…while standing in the shower.

For muscles that are especially stiff, I recommend the shower massage before going to sleep at night and after waking up. In other words, twice in one day.

The reasons –

At night, the body rests and heals itself. The downside to this is that while we are resting the circulation of the blood tends to slow down. The temperature of the body also drops, ever so slightly. Further, we might hold one position of sleep for a long time which means that certain muscles may stiffen up even more.

Close your eyes; stretch slowly and gently

You don’t want to take muscles that are already tired and stiff into that kind of sleep environment.

1.  Once in the shower, let the spray fall on your neck and shoulders for at least 2 or 3 minutes before stretching. Never perform a stretch before the muscles are warm.

2.  Once the warmth of the water has eased into the muscles, slowly start with some very simple neck and shoulder hand massages. Simple things, such as massaging up and down along both sides of the neck with your fingers. Or reaching across with your hand to the opposite shoulder and massaging what you can reach.

3.  Once the muscles have “opened up”, try some very simple stretches – moving your head very slowly from side to side; stretching your shoulders up, forward and back very slowly and gently.

4.  Close your eyes and let your mind drift into the spray. I recommend 10 – 15 minutes (yes, seriously) in the shower.

Slowly raise your shoulders and hold

The quality of sleep will be greatly improved after a shower massage. And the healing process will be helped so much more because the muscles are warm, open and relaxed.

The reason you should repeat the shower massage in the morning is to take away any residue of stiffness and fatigue that might have stayed in the neck and shoulders from the day before. It’s also a great way to relax and refresh the muscles in preparation for the stress of the coming day.

Yes, another 10 to 15 minutes in the shower before breakfast. If you can manage the time.

Neck and shoulder health is not just important for the upper part of the body. The entire musculoskeletal structure can be affected. A stiff upper back distorts the alignment of the lower back and hips which in turn affects the knees and so on.

As in the martial arts, everything is about balance and harmony!

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