I have a confession to make….
The only reason I workout everyday is because I enjoy being pain free.
I hit my pain tolerance many years ago as a professional dancer and decided to go in search of healing. On this journey I discovered so many modalities such as Pilates, Yoga, Self-massage with a foam roller and ball, weight training, walking, running, jumping, trampolining, swimming, prayer, and Craniosacral Therapy. They all work, as long as you practice them, figure out which ones to use when, and listen to your body.
Listening to your body is a two step practice that you will learn in many of my blogs because repetition is the key to learning. I think it’s that profoundly important to share with people in the event you don’t read every single one of my blogs you’ll get the good stuff. The two step process for listening to your body is as such:
- Ask God for guidance, “Dear God please guide me.”
- Ask yourself, “What do you need and how can I serve you?”
I consider these two questions a fast technique for getting good information quickly from God and yourself. Anytime I try to do just step one or just step two alone without both steps together I find the questionnaire to be incomplete. Honoring yourself and the Ultimate Divine Wisdom is a recipe for success.
How does this apply to ergonomics, alignment, neck pain, and back pain?
Pain is the body’s way of communicating with us. When we take the time to receive the deeper message, pain dissipates. Alignment with God and being centered within yourself are the first two steps to being pain free. The body will physically complain when you are receiving messages from God that you are not picking up. I think of them like unanswered messages on your voicemail, except that your body is the receiver. Asking my body the question, “do you have a message for me?”.
Or asking the point of pain “if you could speak what would you say?” is sufficient to experience a shift in pain if not the complete release of pain.
Practicing these two questions and listening from the heart is recommended to do during times of pain and times when you are pain free. I find that if my pain levels go above an 8 I lose my ability to remember to even ask these two questions, since I am so focused on the pain. Practicing during times that your pain is low or even non existent helps to train the body to go through this process when you need it more.
Perhaps you thought this article was about alignment principles and the exact way to sit or stand at your desk for optimal alignment? Yes, that’s great, let’s do it!
Your computer screen should be at eye level. So maybe that means raising your computer up, or lowering your chair down. When seated your knees should slope gently below your hips with your feet flat on the floor. If your knees come above hip height this can put stress on your low back. When seated stack your bones like building blocks, head on ribs on hips. Notice if you have equal weight on both sitting bones, known as the ischium. Notice if you have equal length on both sides of your spine. If you are leaning in any direction forwards, backwards or sideways this will require your muscles to support the weight of your head excessively and could cause muscles spasms in your neck or low back.
When holding onto your mouse, notice if this causes you to lean towards the mouse, or sidebend to reach the mouse. Place your mouse at a height that your hand can move the mouse without your torso leaning to compensate. This one is where I get stuck! At times the height of my desk required me to lean to the right to move my mouse, causing my neck to go out, and losing my ability to turn my head. Super painful and annoying. Not to mention slightly embarrassing since this is my expertise. I have remedied the mouse issue by placing it on a thick book or even a yoga block or tissue box to bring the mouse up to a comfortable height that allows my spine to float long and strong.
Stand up at least once an hour. While you are sitting, your hip joints are at a 90 degree angle or hopefully slightly more than, and definitely not less than 90 degrees. Standing brings the hip joint to an 180 degree angle. When you stand take at least 6 conscious long slow deep breaths with the intention to breathe all the way down your spine into your pelvis. As you breathe visualize your low back lengthening and your hips unwinding so you can stand vertically.
Have you ever experienced when you stand up that your hips are stuck in a seated angle and it’s hard to straighten up vertically? Don’t force it, breathe it! I think of long slow deep breathing like adding conditioner to your hair and combing out the knots. As you breathe lengthen your waist 360 degrees around and imagine your ribs are floating up off of your hips. Breathing length in your waist decompresses your low back and releases tension that built up in your hips while you were seated.
Should you have more questions about ergonomics, alignment, neck pain and back pain, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for reading and thank you for subscribing to my new online fitness studio www.WarmUpWorkout.fit. Love yourself daily. Warm Up daily.