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Why You Should ‘Wring the Towel’ To Loosen Your Neck and Shoulders Every Hour

Rachel Lapidos

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Even though slouching and hunching forward feels worth it the moment, your body pays you back tenfold with tension and discomfort. Your spine and its connecting muscle groups actually want to be held in proper posture, so those curled-up positions are going to take a toll. To help prevent some of that tension from sitting, a body expert wants you to do a certain dynamic movement throughout the day to loosen your neck and shoulders.

Tension and tightness caused by sitting gets worse the longer you’re in the position. “When we work at a desk or we’re not using our arms or shoulders, our fascia and muscle tissue begin to stiffen and restrict movement around the nerves,” says Christina Lumba, a registered massage therapist and movement expert with Myodetox Clinics. “Our nerves have to move with our tissues too, and when all of the structures around them get tight, the nerves can get tight too, which can cause discomfort in your arms and hands.”

Essentially, inactivity is one of the worst things that you can do to your body, and it can lead to chronic inflammation of the muscles. “Repetitive stress of any kind can lead to inflammation, and this includes inactivity,” says Jeff Brannigan, program director at Stretch*d. To keep your muscles from being contracted all day long, it’s so important to move as often as you can throughout the day.

For your upper-body muscles, Lumba is a big fan of a controlled movement called “wring the towel,” which loosens your your neck, shoulders, and arms at once. “This move not only helps your muscles, but also your fascia and the nerves that run through your neck and into your arms and hands,” she says. Lumba recommends “wringing the towel” every hour of sitting in order to remobilize your upper body.

How to loosen your neck and shoulders with ‘wring the towel’

1. While standing, stretch your arms out to your sides in a ‘T’ position with one palm up, the other palm down. Turn your head to one side.

2. Stretch your arms by rotating your arm down and the other up. At the same time, rotate your head to the other side. Make sure to rotate your arms, shoulder, neck, and head enough to feel a stretch.

3. Note that you may feel some discomfort or sensitivity go down your shoulder, forearm, and into your fingers, but this is okay—just do the move to your tolerance. If it begins to hurt, dial it back.

4. Complete five ‘wrings’ on each side for a total of 10.

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“Ring the towel” – nerve health❤️ This move is to help everyone that sit for long periods & use the computer/laptop too much, or those that don’t move their arms/shoulders a lot . Arms are out in a T, one palm up, the other palm down. Turn your head to one side. Doesn’t matter. . Now, switch arms by rotating your arm down & the other up. At the same time rotate your head to the other side. . Rotate your arms, shoulder, neck & head enough to feel a stretch . You may feel some discomfort or sensitivity go down your shoulder forearm into your fingers. That’s actually ok. But do it to your tolerance. If it begins to really hurt, dial it back. . This not only helps for your muscles, but also for your fascia, & nerves that run through your neck into your arms & hands . When we work at a desk or not use our arms/shoulders – our myofascia & tissue begin to stiffen and restrict movement around the nerves. Our nerves have to move with our tissues too!! But when all the structures around it get tight, the nerve can get tight too! Causing discomfort in your arm & hand . Do this cool dance move every 1 hr of sitting to help mobilize/stretch nerves & fascia. 5 per side total 10 . IG took down my story bc of GIF music I attached to it 😑 . . . #Myodetox #FutureProofYourBody #Nerves #Quarantine

A post shared by Christina Lumba, RMT (@lumbachristina) on

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