Healthy Computing: Drop Your Shoulders

We often tense our shoulders as we rush through the day, focusing on our tasks, anxious to complete our jobs well. Tense shoulders, which often creep up toward our ears, can contribute to tension in our arms, wrists and hands, and interfere with blood circulation, resulting in cool hands. Allow your arms to relax and warmth to flow into your hands when you drop your shoulders.

How to Drop Your Shoulders

Begin by sitting in your chair with your hands resting on your lap. Breathe slowly and diaphragmatically. Shrug your shoulders up and then let them go, allowing them to drop straight down and bounce slightly. Repeat five times, rapidly shrugging and dropping, letting your shoulders bounce with each release. Feel the bounce shaking your whole body. Continue breathing as you shrug and drop your shoulders.

Now, let your arms hang straight down at your sides. (If your chair has arm rests, sit forward so that your arms move freely.) Lift and drop your shoulders five more times as your arms and hands hang down loosely. Your arms should bounce around as if you are a rag doll.

Finally, sit back in your chair resting against your back support. Lift your hands up and let them drop onto your lap. With your eyes closed, continue breathing diaphragmatically. Feel your shoulders and arms hanging down and your hands weighing heavily upon your lap. Imagine that your arms are hollow, like drinking straws, and that you are gently blowing your warm breath down and through your arms and out your fingers. Make each exhalation longer as you slowly and gently blow the breath out and down your arms. Repeat for 5 to 10 breaths.

Notice the sensations down and through your arms. Sometimes you may feel a streaming sensation or even an increase in finger and hand warmth.

Do this or other large movement every hour.

Copyright 2003 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney

Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing Email Tips for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written consent of the copyright holders

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Written by Erik Peper PhD

Explore Wellness in 2021