The"monkey stretch" is an excellent way to help resolve pain and tension in the shoulders, neck, arms and upper back. As fascia (the intricate webbing that holds the body together) becomes restricted under the arms, it can pull on the surrounding tissues limiting movement, reducing blood and lymph flow, and contributing to pain and dysfunction.
A proper monkey stretch is done by grasping a sturdy bar or ledge overhead, then slowly dropping the body down by bending the knees (feet still anchored on the ground). Leaning into the stretch towards the extended rib cage, as well as gently twisting from side to side can intensify the stretch and identify areas of further restriction.
Stretching is an important self-care technique and should be done at least every other day, or 2-4 times daily when combating chronic pain. A healthy stretch should feel slightly uncomfortable, but never painful -- it should produce a general sense of well-being. (Be cautious and talk to your doctor first if you suspect bone breaks, muscle tears, or other serious injury.)
Call The Great Escape 308.432.4558 in Chadron for other stretches to try. Be sure to "Like" and "Follow" our Facebook page for health tips, special promotions, and more. Remember to share this self-care tip with your friends.
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Jerri W., LMT, CWC
Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Wellness Coach with over 25+ years of experience in pain management, relaxation techniques and lifestyle education.
Heather R., LMT, CWC
Certified Wellness Coach and Licensed Massage Therapist with a passion for helping others achieve optimal wellness through healthier living.
NOTICE: The information provided herein is meant for educational purposes only. We accept no liability for your use of the information provided. As always, use your best judgment and if in doubt, please consult your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action for your particular situation.