Post Holiday Neck Tension

January 09, 2013
angry(?) giraffe portraitBy Christina Gouveia RMT
How has the holiday season left you feeling? Tension in your neck and shoulders? Hunching over due to this cold wintery weather? Massage therapy can certainly help!

If you are feeling as though your shoulders are up close to your ears and headaches are a common occurrence this time of year, this can be caused by seasonal weather changes.  Instinctively, we hunch our shoulders and curl them inward when this colder weather hits, in an attempt to keep warm. This subconscious posture can leave us feeling sore and tight right up into the neck!

A head, neck and shoulders massage stress massage focuses on these areas and can aid in reducing postural tension in the shoulders, easing them back down into their natural position as well as rounding the shoulders out so they fall back onto the table.  As a result the neck muscles are also worked into loosening those muscles which can contribute to headaches.  With the help of a heating pad and stretching by your massage therapist, your treatment can be highly beneficial in reducing discomfort and normalizing your shoulder posture.

Of course, if you can’t make it in to see your friendly RMT, a warm Epsom salts compress to the area and stretching can help manage your discomfort in the interim.

Recipe for Epsom salt compress:

  • Add one handful of Epsom salts to a wash cloth in a warm bowl of water, let it soak for 2-5 minutes
  • Wring and apply to the sore area for 5 mins and repeat maximum 3 times in a day.
Recipe for Epsom salts bath:
  • Add 2-3 handfuls of Epsom Salt into a warm water bath
  •  Soak for a minimum of 15 mins
  •  Drink 1-2L of water to rehydrate your body during the bath
  • Rinse off and rest

Christina Gouveia is a Registered Massage Therapist at the Integrative Health Institute located in downtown Toronto at the corner of King and Sherbourne. Christina has a strong appreciation for alternative medicine and healing. Christina has a strong interest in myofascial work, with a focus to scar tissue both surgical and injury related, orthopaedic testing, pregnancy massage, temporalmandubular dysfunction (TMD), deep tissue techniques and, of course, relaxation.

Image via Adam Foster via Compfight
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