Relieve Stress While You Work
Take a good look at how you're sitting right
now. Are your shoulders slouched? Is your back hunched?
Poor posture is more than bad for your back;
it can be bad for your disposition. Better posture allows you to
relax your muscles, sit comfortably and reduce stress, movement
With some 800 muscles in the body, even the
simple act of sitting before the computer screen presents a
In an attempt to improve our posture, many of
us will sit up too rigidly. We overcompensate with an arched
back and strained neck — a position that's impossible to hold
for any length of time.
The key is to find that neutral position that
will bring maximum comfort and the least stress. When you're in
that position, you will find it comfortable and easy to sustain.
So how can you tell if you're in that ideal
neutral position? When you combine awareness with gentle
movement, you encounter stressed areas, which then can be
corrected. "When you use movement to get feedback about how
you move, that information can then help you move better,"
says Ralph Strauch, a certified instructor in the teachings of
Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984), who was considered the master of
Based on Feldenkrais' teachings, we bring you
three exercises to get your posture perfect without ever leaving
But before you begin these exercises, first
assess your seat and how you sit in it. Shift around on your
chair, and try resting your buttocks at different spots on the
seat. Experiment with sitting far forward on the chair without
using the backrest. You may have to move your chair farther away
from the desk.
As you sit upright without use of the
backrest, resist the temptation to force yourself into a rigid
position. Place your feet flat on the floor. Think about your
back. Does it feel arched?
Next, intentionally slump your lower back;
round your back and let your head drop forward. Slowly arch your
lower back and bring your head up and shoulders back.
You've experienced the two extremes of
slouching and arching. Sitting up straight is not about
extremes. With feet flat on the floor, try to find a neutral
place for your pelvis that lets you sit up tall yet doesn't
require you to work hard any muscle group.
Now that you've found that neutral posture,
you're ready for this short series of relaxation exercises.
Think about your movements as you do them. Go slowly and easily
and don't force anything. If you encounter any discomfort, stop.
With your feet flat on the floor, tilt your
pelvis forward so your lower back rounds, and then tip your
pelvis backward so your lower back arches and your belly
protrudes a little. Keep your neck, shoulders and stomach
relaxed. Repeat several times slowly.
This will not only help relax your lower body
but will further instruct you in finding that neutral pelvic
position that is not tilted to either extreme and helps you sit
up straight comfortably.
Sit up straight on the forward part of the
chair, pelvis in neutral position, feet flat on the floor.
Slowly twist to the right side, turning your head in the same
direction while keeping your shoulders relaxed along the way.
Observe how other muscles besides the
twisting muscles near the spine jump into action. The right
shoulder may rise up toward the ear or move backward. As you
repeat, create more efficiency in the movement. Relax more of
the body each time. Do the other side.
Basic Twist With Variation
Do the same slow twist to the right while
turning the head all the way to the left. This is impossible to
do with hunched shoulders. An excessive arch in the lower back
will also make it a struggle.
Sit tall yet relaxed. Observe how the muscles
around the shoulders and chest may want to force the motion.
Herbal Supplement for Relieving Stress :
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