Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: July 2020

Is working from home becoming painful?

Even as businesses begin to reopen, many are finding that home is the new office. Since so much time is spent working at a desk (or table, couch, or bed), It is essential that we create an optimal ergonomic work station that will keep our spines lengthened, our joints lubricated, and our muscles relaxed.

Steps to saving your body as you work:

  1. Forget the couch or bed. I know it seems comfy, but you're not doing your body any favors by curling up with a laptop for hours.
  2. Remember 90 degree angles. When you sit in your chair, your knees should be bent 90 degrees, with both feet flat on the floor. You hip joints should make a 90- degree angle with your torso, and your arms should rest down at your sides with your elbows bent 90 degrees. Wrists are straight.
  3. Bring it all in. You want your keyboard and mouse to be close to your body so that you don't have to reach forward. If you work on a laptop, you will need an external keyboard and mouse. Your back, neck and shoulders will thank you.
  4. Get lumbar support. You'll need bolstering behind your low back to maintain the natural curve of the lumbar spine. This can be a small pillow, a folded or rolled up towel, or you can purchase a lumbar support pillow or attachment for your chair. Remember to sit all the way back in your chair with your spine supported.
  5. Your eyes should align with the top of your monitor, so that you maintain a neutral neck.
  6. Take breaks! Remember the 30 minute/30 second rule. For every 30 minutes, take a 30 second stretch break. If that's not possible, then try for a 5-10 minute break every hour. You need these movement breaks to bring fresh oxygen and nutrients to your tissues, and to "reset" your work posture. See below for fast, effective, feel-good stretches!

I cannot overemphasize how important it is to keep your body aligned and relaxed while you work. Curling up on the couch with your laptop might feel good now, but you are putting your body at risk for spinal disc injuries, frozen shoulder, thoracic outlet syndrome, jaw pain, neck pain, low back pain, headaches, digestive issues, impaired lung function, pinched nerves, and whole slew of other injuries and pain conditions. Redesign your workstation so it works for you. Follow the steps above and watch my video for creative ways to modify your space so that you are fully supported with a healthy posture.

Gotta take those stretch breaks!

Follow along with me as I teach you some gentle but effective stretches designed to target the areas that get tight, achy, or overstressed while sitting at a computer for hours. These stretches will get fresh blood, oxygen, and nutrients to compromised tissues, increase your flexibility, relieve your joints, increase your lung capacity, and help you feel great!


What's new with me ...

State legislation is permitting massage therapists to reopen their practices next week! Of course, the DOH has mandated strict guidelines to ensure everyone's safety, and I will be taking those guidelines very seriously. My space will be sanitized and properly equipped, and I expect to begin taking appointments within the next few weeks. I can't wait to see you!

Sienna is in a 12-month school, so she goes back to school on Monday. We are filled with high hopes and more than a little anxiety as we approach this major transition. I know many of you can relate!

I wish everyone a very happy July 4th weekend!

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American Massage Therapy Association

Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

Available now!

Available now!

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