Massage Therapy and Computer Muscle Stress How To Get The Energy Flowing Again!John Stamoulos
Computers are part of almost everyone’s daily life. This is especially true these days when coronavirus isolation significantly elevates the computer as a vital link to the outside world. Computers have increasingly become a significant tool of employment, as many people make their living at the keyboard. However, integrated as they may be in everyday existence, computers can also be a source of ill health and poor physical wellbeing. Being hunched over a computer for hours at a time can contribute to very painful muscles and can put stress on the whole body. As well it can impair the functions of organs.
The ‘computer user’s’ position looks like this: your back is unnaturally curved over the computer, your head is forward and your arms are stretched out over the keyboard. Over time, this stance puts undue pressure on your shoulders, neck and wrists and can lead to back pain, sciatic issues, and headaches. Moreover, when the body is overextended in this way, it can also lead to such system issues as digestive problems, a compromised immune system, and even shortness of breath. Protracted use of keyboard, mouse or trackball can tighten tendons in the wrists and forearms causing loss of flexibility and pain that shoots up the arm and into the shoulder. Also in the mix is the problem of eyestrain. When you spend too much time at the keyboard even the muscles of the eye can be taxed, causing redness, dry eyes and ocular fatigue.
Massage Therapy and Computer Overuse
One of the most effective ways to help alleviate the debilitating side effects of excessive computer use is with massage therapy. Numerous studies have shown that massage can normalise blood pressure, improve the immune system function, enhance circulation and blood flow, all of which addresses the many symptoms associated with spending long hours at the computer.
Whether the treatment uses Swedish technique or a focused pressure point approach such as Shiatsu, massage therapy serves to reduce fatigue, correct posture, return flexibility and diminish pain. Additionally, massage procedures applied around the eyes’ acupressure can reduce the stress of redness, fatigue and strain on the eyes.
Between Massage Appointments,
Try these techniques at home:
Here are a few at-home ways you can use between your regular appointments to prolong the positive effects of your massage. As you spend long hours at the computer, take some breaks and try these techniques:
– Upper Body Stretching – Use a doorway to undo muscle tightness and pain in your upper back and chest. Hold on to the doorframe with your palms at shoulder level. Lean forward and hold that position for 20 seconds or more if you feel the need.
– Hand and arm massage – Use your thumb to massage up and down from the base of your wrist up to each joint of your fingers and back to your wrist. Squeeze your fingers together then release them and spread and stretch them out. Repeat this same technique up and down your arms, using your thumb on the inner part of your lower arm and your fingers on the outside of the arm. Relax.
– Seated body stretch – While seated, stretch your left arm up straight than slowly arch over to the right as far as feels comfortable. Hold for a few seconds and repeat for the other side.
– Neck stretch – Gently tilt your neck to the right as far as is comfortable to feel the release of tension on the left side of your neck. Repeat for the other side. Roll your neck through completely around a few times to the left and repeat with neck rolls to the right.
– Eye massage – Gently massage around the eye using your fingertips. Start at the bridge of your nose and work across your eyebrows until you reach your temples. Hold at that acupressure point and gently massage that point. Using your thumbs, gently press the inner corners of each eye.
While these techniques will never replace the skill and expertise of a therapeutically trained massage therapist, they can help with strain and pain between scheduled appointments.