Treatments: Massage, Modern Lifestyle & Work

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Massage & The Modern Lifestyle: alleviating the stress & aching muscles of Desk-Based Work

Desk Back Pain-Nature To Nurture Aromatherapy & Massage in Hemel, Herts & Bucks

All forms of back ache are common when spending long hours each work day at a desk but especially lower back & shoulder pain

The Modern Lifestyle: A typical desk-based work day – sound familiar?

Any seated position held for a long time can result in muscular aches & pains, with driving this is especially so. Using a lumbar support pillow & ensuring your seat is in a fully-upright position can help

Any seated position held for a long time can result in muscular aches & pains, with driving & commuting to work this is especially so. Using a lumbar support pillow & ensuring your seat is in a fully-upright position can help

It’s a work day morning: you’ve probably already spent a fair amount of time sitting in a train or in your car on a daily commute, possibly stuck in traffic, stop-starting & repetitively flexing your feet on pedals. Having arrived you then find yourself in a chair, hunched over a desk, most likely at a computer – & it’s not unusual to find people with 2 or 3, or I have even seen 4 different monitor screens! You will probably be sitting here all day, unlikely to take regular breaks due to the pressures of work &, much as I would hope it might be 9-5, increasing numbers of office workers are working increasing numbers of hours. I once had a client who routinely worked a 15-16 hour day! For many leading a modern lifestyle working in a desk-based job is very likely.

In both private & clinic work I often see the problematic results of this: namely a large number of back, neck & shoulder issues resulting from the classic ‘C-shaped spine’ & posture that you can see in the photo above. Add to this issues with legs, knees & feet from long hours of sitting & arm, wrist & hand repetitive strain injuries which naturally occurs with all that typing & computer work.

Desk Hunching

Chances are of course that it might not even be your own desk: many of my clients report that they are hot-desking, travelling between office sites & sitting where they can. If this is how you work it is very unlikely to be comfortably set-up to suit your body’s specific needs. Indeed, depending upon your employer a correctly ergonomically set-up work place might not happen at all. I was fortunate to work for many years with a company who offered everything in the below checklist but also one firm which made me build my own chair & offered nothing else!

So just how ‘Ergonomic’ is your desk?

Er-go-nom-ics: ‘The applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort
(The Free Dictionary,

These days there is no real excuse for an employer not to provide a really good ergonomic set-up for their staff. There is now an excellent & wide variety of adjustable gadgets & furniture to help you maintain both a good posture & stay comfortable. A really good ergonomic desk set-up can involve:

  • An ergonomically-designed mouse can make all the difference if you are using it all day

    An ergonomically-designed mouse can make all the difference to your work day if you are using it all day

    Chair: specific ones are available for both short & tall stature. The best ergonomic chairs can be fully-adjusted on a regular basis (height, chair depth, back support etc). This is the most essential piece of kit: to help not just your back, but also legs, neck, arms & hands

  • Height adjustable desk: it’s important that you are working at the right height, especially for your arms & wrists
  • Footrest: these can be important in ensuring that your legs are positioned at the correct angle & that your feet are properly placed
  • Monitor platform: to ensure correct height for monitor eye level so that you are not straining or craning your neck in any way
  • Ergonomically-designed keyboard: especially those that allow your hands to rest naturally (note: most keyboards might be in straight lines, but place your hands in front of you & you will see that they naturally curve inwards).
  • User-friendly mouse: they can have scrolling wheels, special-shaped designs such as joysticks, easy to use buttons, trackpads or trackballs, different sizes, left/right hand useage etc
  • Wrist & mouse mat gel supports: crucial to prevent & relieve many types of hand & wrist RSI
  • Phone headsets: no more cradling the phone handset in the crook of your neck & shoulder, which not only affects them but your entire posture

The Benefits of Massage for Modern Lifestyles & Work

I am proof that with an excellent ergonomic desk set-up, regular breaks, stretching & a good exercise regime a desk-based job does not have to result in any back issues (I worked in offices for 15 years before my current career). However, I recognize both my extreme good fortune & the difficulties in doing this. Given the number of clients who book in with me with job-related issues (& it’s not just the office-workers, some of the worse cases I have treated have been professional drivers) the chances are that all that sitting may well result in back, neck & shoulder pain.

So, short of completely changing your career what else can you do?

Regular maintenance massage can help! Massage can be very effective in releasing the muscular tension & tightness that results as well doing your stretching for you (see my blog). Amongst the many recognized benefits of massage, it can help to:

  • Reduce muscular aches & pain
  • Release muscle tension & stiffness
  • Loosen tendons & ligaments
  • Improve mobility & flexibility
  • Increase suppleness of joints
  • Increase blood flow: this can be so helpful, it can improve circulation, reduce inflammation & improve the function of internal organs
  • Increase muscle tone
  • Increase lymphatic flow & the removal of waste & toxins
  • Aid digestion: massage may help with conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome & bloating
  • Aid nasal & respiratory conditions
 I can offer all massage as either Aromatherapy (with essential oils) or Holistic (with plain carrier oils or dry) using a wide variety of holistic, clinical & therapeutic techniques. Please contact me to find out more or book a treatment & gain some relief



and regular maintenance massage is just one of the ways to counteract pain caused by computer work