Whether you work at a desk, in a classroom, or in a shop, many people these days often endure long hours in "closed-chest" posture. It is SO important for those in this type of situation to remember to stand up and "spread your wings" for a little while. The "swan stretch" can help you more effectively combat the long-term postural effects of this type of daily routine, ensuring that you feel healthier much longer into life than those who neglect to stretch throughout the day or week.
For this stretch you will need to stand in front of an average sized doorway that has enough wall space on either side to securely place your hands. Stand facing the doorway, just before the threshold. Raise your "wings" (arms) up like a swan getting ready to fly away. Place your hands on either side of the door opening, upon the wall (or woodwork, if applicable). Step one foot slightly forward and gently lean your upper body through the threshold, passing your head and body between your raised arms, to achieve a nice comfortable stretch to the upper chest and anterior shoulders; you may feel this stretch into the arms as well. Return to your starting position, both feet together. Adjust your hand position up or down on the wall to alter the specific area being stretched. Repeat the stretch, leaning through the threshold, with this new hand position.
Repeating this process, find your areas of restriction and stretch them out nicely. If you are prone to high anxiety, experience high stress at work, or are one to easily become tense simply from sitting too long, we recommend repeating this stretch multiple times throughout the day.
The "closed-off" chest posture can contribute to neck, back and shoulder pain, headaches, digestive disorders, and so much more. Be sure to spread your wings today and give those muscles and organs some nice, healthy space. *As always, use caution when performing stretches. If in doubt, talk to you doctor before performing any new activity.
For more stretches, or to schedule a relaxing massage, give us a call at The Great Escape in Chadron 308.432.4558. By appointment only.
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.