Musings From A Musical Mind

Nuat phaen boran or Thai massage, side-lying p...

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I carry my stress and tension in my upper body – neck, shoulders, arms, upper back and have done so for years.  Unfortunately – over time – it takes its toll.

I am under the care of a good chiropractor and now have a wonderful massage therapist too.  I really noticed problems starting last year when I had to direct  theater productions.  Since we only had done two of them a year – it is not something my body is used to.   And in directing during rehearsals and then in the four performances I use muscles that I am not accustom to – throwing my neck and shoulders in a foreign position and taking much therapy to resolve.  This year before I had to have a ‘conducting week’ I made sure I had a massage – a really deep tissue one – actually it was a Thai massage which was wonderful and gave me extra movement, elongating some of the muscles I was going to be using.  It really helped.

This last Sunday I went to a new massage therapist – someone highly recommended by a friend from church – and she was really excellent.  I felt like I got the best information and advice – as well as free massage lotions (she makes her own) and other gifts.  I probably learned more about the muscles in the neck and back – and what can happen over time due to poor posture and bad habits – (playing the piano, sitting at the computer) like we all develop if not careful.  It has sent me on a search to help correct some of the problems that have already started in my neck and back – and she even suggested acupuncture to help with some of it – as that procedure has greatly helped her.  I have even looked into using a Rolfer – and have been searching for information and testimonials from people who have received help by using this type of therapy and with similar problems to mine.

In the meantime though, it’s amazing what help you can find if you do a ‘search’ on the internet – and there are many exercises on youtube and other websites for the neck.  One site in particular gave some wonderful neck and spine stretches – and another video used some light weights to help get that posture back in the right place – instead of the head pulling forward – as happens to most of us as we get older.  Very good information – and I have been following this good advice and feel better in just a couple of days.  Amazing!

Last week – as part of my birthday present – Greg bought me a new office chair.  Not the cheap kind either – but one of those chairs with the lower back support.  It’s like a dream to sit in this chair – and easy to sit taller and better when you have a supportive chair to sit in.  It arrived yesterday and I was all SMILES when sitting in it to teach piano lessons – it made one of my students giggle 🙂  And of course they ALL wanted to sit in my new chair.  It looks like something from Star Trek!  Very cool!

I’m also back to yoga – as my massage therapist says there’s nothing better.  I have a weak wrist so it makes it dicey – but it is so good for my neck, spine and shoulders – so I am doing them anyway – modifying the poses where I have to.

At night before bed – I have 3 neck stretches that I’m doing.  Talk about a long good stretch!  Wow.  These are amazing.  I am sticking my neck out – literally. I also now sleep with a body pillow – as per the suggestion from my chiropractor.  It gives that added support to the hips and shoulders.  He sleeps with one all the time – and if you want to know the best way to sleep – ask your chiropractor how he sleeps.  I figure if it’s good enough for him – then I should be doing it!

Here’s to good posture and healthy ‘sticking your neck out’ moments 🙂

God Bless

Comments on: "Day 8 – Sticking My Neck Out – Literally." (16)

  1. I’ve never had a massage. Someone once tried to demonstrate to me how good it would feel (a professional massage therapist) and when I screamed, she backed off. I hurt too much from my medical problems. I don’t even like being touched anymore. Some days, you just put a finger on my skin and it feels like you are stabbing me. I’m glad you’re enjoying it, though. I have friends who get regular massages and they tell me it makes all the difference for them.

    • I’ve heard other friends say that about a massage – I can’t relate – I LOVE to be touched and deep tissue massage is my favorite! I need it too – I am very tight in my neck and shoulders – ALL THE TIME!

  2. […] Day 8 – Sticking My Neck Out – Literally. ( […]

  3. I have neck problems as well. Nice to hear there is relief for you. Some day I’ll get a desk and chair that is suited to my height (or lack thereof). Right now I have a child’s desk and an adult chair and they don’t work very well together.

  4. Cindy,

    You want my advice? Skip the Rolfing. Seriously. With my anonymity, I can’t really disclose my field of practice, but I work in a field that would know a lot about this.

    Skip it. You’ll thank me. Trust me.


    • Have you seen your primary care physician at all?

      • Yes – I go for periodic physicals – and they know about my migraines and headaches – a lot of which were explained by ‘mid-life’ chemical changes in the body. And I believe it – because I haven’t had a bad migraine for a couple of years. She always encouraged the exercise and eating right stuff – normal things and she knows I see a chiropractor.

      • That’s good. Cynthia had neck problems for years. She’s stubborn. When we got together I finally made her go see a doctor. Herniated discs in her neck. Ended up with a spinal fusion.

      • Mine is just years of abuse and bad posture – shows up in the neck with a little dowager hump. I hate it! My 23 year old daughter has one too – and my father – it may be that we are genetically predisposed to it. My 19 year old son also seems to have one – he’s tall and skinny – but I can feel it.

      • Catherine said:

        I am glad I found this blog! I am a 23 year old woman with a dowager hump. I scared myself by googling terms last night and feared I had something called “Cushings” even though I did not have any of the other symptoms aside from “hump on neck.” My mom says the hump is hereditary, but as a 23 year old, I feel like I am a bit young to see this. My mom also says the hump didn’t show up on her until she gained weight later in her life. I am pretty average for my height, so I don’t know why I am seeing the hump in my early 20’s. Has your daughter found anything to help the hump, or a reason for why she is seeing it so early in her life?

      • Catherine – I’m glad you found me too! I believe mine and my daughter’s hump is hereditary – but being that I’m twice your age I was figuring that my age figured into it – but my daughter has a pretty prominent one as well for 23. She sees a Chiropractor same as me – and I’ve been trying acupuncture too – and I get a massage every 2 weeks. If you google it – you will find some neck stretches that can also help to minimize it – I would say get to a chiropractor if you don’t have one and monitor it. I am a musician so I play piano and my daughter is a hairdresser so we really use our arms and hands a lot which throws our posture in a weird position with our head forward. Make sure your computer monitor is at eye level and that you are sitting at a right angle at your computer desk – these things can help.

    • Really? Now you’ve got me curious! No fair! You know I will get to the bottom of things eventually, Arthur. I would love to hear your insights – you can always email or inbox me if you’re on facebook – all my information is there.

      • I may get up the courage to inbox you yet with my true identity. I’m really not that impressive. So don’t get your hopes up.

        Actually, real name is Bruce Wayne, millionaire. At night, it’s Batman.

      • You’re a tease, Arthur. I just want you to know – I’m on to you! Remember you can only hide your true identity for just so long. Your real friends will love and understand you and not care about the other ‘junk’ – trust me – I know. Okay Bruce, I mean Arthur – oops – Mister Batman 🙂 Until next time. Batman was my favorite show when I was in the first grade.

      • First grade? It’s still my favorite. I haven’t grown up yet. My girls love it too. And they feverishly love Star Wars.

    • Had to reply to your batman comment here – too many replies in that thread – meant it was bleeding into the side and you couldn’t see it – so here it is:

      ‘Well I meant the original TV show – not the movie version 🙂 Did you like the TV one? It’s corny – but to a kid – it’s magic!’

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