Office Edit
Working From Home
Self Care

By Nichola Charnock

Health and wellbeing is so important to me and my main goal when designing any of my clients homes is that the spaces enhance their lives in a positive way. Whether that’s encouraging them to have better lifestyle habits such as being more organised, or creating spaces within the home which allows them to spend that all important family time. For me, everything comes back to wellbeing. And a huge part of wellbeing is ensuring we look after our bodies. 

During this pandemic I am sure I am not alone in saying I have had times where I have been struggling with aches and pains I don’t normally have. Mostly from not being able to use the gym or being able to get out and move as much as I normally would. So I thought it would be a great idea to speak to the amazing Nicola Charnock about what simple stretches we can incorporate into our day that may relieve some of the stresses the current lockdown and working from home may be having on our bodies.

Nichola says – I find there is also a common theme that people are spending hours sitting, then jumping up and doing something very energetic for an hour in order to try and compensate for the lack of movement during the rest of the day. This sudden change from stillness to aggressive or intense movement seems to have been increasing injury rates, so please try and be kind, move more regularly throughout the day, and try to incorporate some stretches such as:-

Rotations Of Your Torso (thoracic spine)
  1. Whilst sitting nice and tall on your chair, move your right hand to the outside of your left knee
  2. Move the left hand to the back of the chair or place it behind the base of your spine
  3. With shoulders back and down away from your ears, move your body round to the left
  4. Don’t lead the movement with your neck. Instead on your exhalation, draw your tummy in towards the spine and lead with your belly button moving towards your left hip bone
  5. Inhale and grow taller in your seat
  6. Exhale rotate the ribs to the left
  7. Inhale grow taller
  8. exhale draw the left shoulder back

Then repeat on the opposite side.

Note: Moving your neck is not necessary, we over use our necks and underuse our thoracic spine and have our shoulder up and forwards towards our ears, which is generally the problem with neck, chest, shoulder and arm pain!

Upper Back And Chest Opener (thoracic extension)
  1. Sit in your chair facing the desk – use the edge of the desk as an anchor point. You may need to set the chair slightly away from the desk to enable yourself the room to lean forward from the hips
  2. Set your elbows on the desk allowing both your hands to rest on the neck or further down the back to the shoulder area
  3. Feel the stretch in the tops of the arms (triceps area), around the shoulders, under the arms and side body (around the lats)
  4. Look towards the floor maintaining a straight neck, subtly tucking the chin towards the chest but all while, lead with the chest towards the floor (not head first!)
  5. Sit heavy in the buttocks on the chair, visualise lengthening in the spine from both ends
  6. Lengthen the distance between your arm pits and elbows, send your coccyx (base of back) down and back to seat creating space between each vertebra, breathing and filling space around the lower back areas and side body
  7. As you hang out there for a few moments, simply breathing, notice how you can open further, allowing more extension in the upper back and chest
  8. Surrender the belly onto the tops of your thighs and notice the belly-thigh connection, where body and nervous system find a deeper state of calmness!
Walking Lunges Across The Room (release hip flexors)
  1. Maintain shoulders back and chest open
  2. To help with this have hands resting on your hips your thumbs at the front and fingers at the back to externally rotate the arms and open the collar bones
  3. Draw tummy in towards the spine to avoid over extension in the lower back (a big arch) or think about slightly shortening the distance between the front of the hips and bottom of the ribs whilst ensuring shoulders are back and down
  4. Lunge slowly with control, keep feet facing forwards, imagine scissoring both legs together at all times to keep core and inner stabilising muscles active
  5. Lower the back knee towards the floor to stretch the front of the back thigh and hips, whilst ensuring pressure in the heel of the front foot to activate the back of the front thigh and bottom (hamstring and glute)

Then repeat on the opposite side.

Note: You may want to do these as single leg squats and then move to walking squats forwards. To add a further balance element, try walking backwards or close your eyes! Have fun!

Despite the Tier 4 restrictions, CF Organic Wellness is still open and is able to remain open for treatments of back injuries and they are providing online help, advice and rehab sessions also. With most people working from home in less than perfect working positions, many have been suffering from such things like lower back and neck ache, shoulder and chest pain, weakness, numbness, burning or pins and needles in your arms and fingers.

Nichola has been a movement specialist for 20 years and has previously treated patients in separate sessions for movement and nutrition although there is an obvious connection. As part of our Self Love Month in February, Nichola is offering our Modish readers a combination of functional movement advice with posture exercises alongside any naturopathic nutrition and lifestyle consultations, for no extra charge.

For more information or to book a consultation, please contact:-

Web site : www.cforganicwellness.com 

Email: nicola@cforganicwellness.com