Looking After your Back

Last week I promised to share with you my second purchase at the Love Natural, Love Organic Show. This was a ‘Healthy Back Bag’. The bag is designed to distribute the weight across the back, rather than a localised part of the shoulder and has a teardrop shape to contour to the natural curves of your back.

Lightweight, soft and more attractive than a rucksack, this bag is ideal¬†imagefor your everyday requirements. I bought a fabric neutral coloured one and I have to say I’m really pleased with it! For work, I carry around spare massage sheets, paperwork, a big diary, pens, pencils, a book or magazine for the train, occassionally a bottle of massage oil and foot balm, plus my other essentials. All the little pockets and compartments come in really handy for keeping all the small things organised.

The company also makes more manly ones, as well as great baby bags. Take a look at www.thehealthybackbag.co.uk.

I’d say around 95% of clients who come to see me report some form of back or shoulder problem, pain or aching. This is serious, as our backs and spines are so important in the healthy functioning of our bodies. Tightness or restrictions in one area also have a knock-on effect to the function of other systems and organs, including the reproductive system.

I have had my own back problems in the past and I now try to look after it as best I can. I am currently writing this while sitting at my desk on my blow-up fitness ball. This is my permanent seat for my admin days, as I much prefer it to a chair. It is the perfect height, as my feet can remain flat on the ground and my core is kept strong by sitting upright. It’s hard to slouch on a ball! What’s more, whenever I feel I need to get up and move, I use the ball to stretch and roll around on! If it’s not possible at work, get yourself a ball at home and sit on it for at least a few minutes each day. Your boss may not appreciate you rolling down the office corridor on an inflatable ball….

Pilates is also one of my favourite ways to keep my body strong and healthy. It makes such a huge difference to the lower back in particular and this support the upper back and shoulders. I can immediately tell if someone has poor core strength and this is usually felt in the muscles of the lower back that support the spine.

BackBefore a massage, I always place my hands on the person’s back, over the towel or sheet. This is to connect in with them and allow them to get used to my touch but also to pick up any subtle indications shown by the body. There are a few things to look out for but one of these is tightness and tension felt in the muscles. This will be glaringly obvious in the lower back if the core muscles are weak, as the muscles here have to work extra hard to support the body, causing tiredness, weakness and aching.

We are not designed to sit for long hours at a time so if this forms most of your daily life, ensure to get up and move around regularly, join a pilates class, have a regular deep tissue massage and consistently check in with your posture to ensure your core muscles are engaged, to support your back. It will make the world of difference. Plus, get yourself a Healthy Back Bag in a pretty colour or design!