Stress In The Body
If I could change one thing about where I carry stress, I would move it to my abs. Those bad boys would be rock hard and 8 pack deep. Unfortunately, that is wishful thinking. Instead, I carry stress in my neck and shoulders. I always have. So much so that I have been to a spine therapy specialist twice in my life, the first time when I was only 15 years old. I learned a ton about posture and forward head tilt from these sessions, but even with all the mindfulness, yoga, baths, and knowledge, I still have four kids, housework, work work, and teach fitness classes so it is safe to say I’m pretty rough on my body.
Self-Care Every Day
I need my body to keep up with me so that means I need to step up the self-care whenever I can. Part of that, for me, means stretching the muscles I work hard, including those that take the brunt of my stress. This means extra focus on my neck and chest.
Do you carry tension in your neck and chest? If you have kiddos, I assume the answer is a straight yes. It seems to be fairly common, especially among women. Almost all of the clients I have worked with mention sore necks from time to time. We work muscles to support neck and back posture to help prevent this and work on proper stretching techniques.
Below you can follow my Chest and Neck Tension Release sequence. A great time to do this is at the end of your day. Layout a yoga mat in your bedroom or another quiet place. Light a candle or two. Turn off your cell phone. Quiet your mind. Complete this sequence then hop into a warm bath or head to bed.
This sequence will help you release tension from your neck and chest. Working at a computer, holding kiddos, stress, anxiety, poor posture, lack of quality sleep, and injury can cause a cascade of events from levator scapulae and scalene tightness to over tightness in your pectoral muscles leading to overstretched back muscles. If you have tightness in these areas you can take an active approach to release the tension before it causes more injury.
Perform this sequence ideally before a warm bath or bedtime 3-4 times week.
Time to rest and rejuvenate.