Stretches

Upper Trapezius Stretch

Our muscles tend to tighten throughout the day due to environmental and emotional stresses. Taking time to stretch reminds your body of its full capacity of movement and therefore staves off the effects of limited movement we associate with “aging”. This is a stretch for the neck and upper shoulder. (Upper Trapezius)

First, place your hand on the opposite side of your head.

Next, take a deep breath in and then out. On the out breath gently move your ear towards your shoulder while you gently deepen the stretch with the pressure of your hand. Hold this stretch for either 2 seconds or for a cycle of 5 breaths depending upon the recommendation of your therapist, and the messages your body gives you. A stretch should never hurt. Pain creates a protective response that causes your muscles to shorten.

Finally, release the stretch and switch to the other side.

Wrist Flexor Stretch

Our muscles tend to tighten throughout the day due to environmental and emotional stresses. Taking time to stretch reminds your body of its full capacity of movement and therefore staves off the effects of limited movement we associate with “aging”.

Our wrist flexor muscles are used anytime we use our hands, as they are in charge of not just our wrists but our fingers as well. For this reason they are used in activities such as grasping with our hands or typing on the computer. To start this stretch first straighten your right arm, and extend your wrist so that your fingers are trying to point towards your ceiling or your nose. With your left hand gently grasp the fingers of your right hand and pull towards you with only 10% of your strength. A stretch should never hurt. Over stretching a muscle could cause injury.

Many times discomfort in your forearms and wrist can be due to tightness in the muscles of your neck and chest. Your massage therapist will most likely be working in these areas as well to relieve tension.
 

The Doorway Stretch

Our muscles tend to tighten throughout the day due to environmental and emotional stresses. Taking time to stretch reminds your body of its full capacity of movement and therefore staves off the effects of limited movement we associate with “aging”.

Tension in your chest can cause discomfort in your upper back, neck, and down your arms into your forearms and wrists. This is a gentle and effective way to stretch your upper and mid pectoral muscles in your chest, offering you relief from discomfort in these areas.

Find an open doorway. Step with your feet just behind the threshold and place your hands on the woodwork of the doorway at shoulder height. Gently lean into the doorway until you feel a slight stretch.

Hold this stretch for either 2 seconds or for a cycle of 5 breaths depending upon the recommendation of your therapist, and the messages your body gives you. A stretch should never hurt. Pain creates a protective response that causes your muscles to shorten. Repeat with your hands at different heights in the doorway just above or below your shoulder height. Explore what feels good, and listen to the messages of your body.
 

Neck Stretches

Our muscles tend to tighten throughout the day due to environmental and emotional stresses. Taking time to stretch reminds your body of its full capacity of movement and therefore staves off the effects of limited movement we associate with “aging”. This is a stretch for the neck and upper shoulder. (Upper Trapezius, levator scapula, paraspinals.)

Step One: First, place your hand on the opposite side of your head.
Next, take a deep breath in and then out. On the out breath gently move your ear towards your shoulder while you gently deepen the stretch with the pressure of your hand. Hold this stretch for either 2 seconds or for a cycle of 5 breaths depending upon the recommendation of your therapist, and the messages your body gives you. A stretch should never hurt. Pain creates a protective response that causes your muscles to shorten.
Finally, release the stretch and switch to the other side.

Step Two: Rotate your head to one side and then the other. Hold this stretch for either 2 seconds or
for a cycle of 5 breaths depending upon the recommendation of your therapist, and the messages your body gives you.

Step Three: Move your nose towards your right hip and then your left hip. Again hold these
stretches as recommended by your therapist and be careful to listen to your body and what
feel correct for your unique needs.
 

Hamstring/Gastrocnemius Stretch Stretch

Our muscles tend to tighten throughout the day due to environmental and emotional stresses. Taking time to stretch reminds your body of its full capacity of movement and therefore staves off the effects of limited movement we associate with “aging”. This is a stretch for the back of the leg and gluts. (Hamstrings, gastrocnemius and gluteals)

First, lie on your back on a comfortable surface. Have your stretching rope with you.

Next, place one leg on the ground while wrapping the rope around the foot of the other leg. The rope should be lying across the balls of the toes. Gently lift this leg with straight knees Hold this stretch for either 2 seconds or for a cycle of 5 breaths depending upon the recommendation of your therapist, and the messages your body gives you. A stretch should never hurt. Pain creates a protective response that causes your muscles to shorten.

Finally, release the stretch and switch to the other side.

If you notice that your view has shifted, instead of shifting the mirror, straiten your spine. This is a great way to improve your posture and strengthen your core while going about your busy day.