Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: February 2022


Don't Let Your Head Get Ahead of You!

When humans began walking on two legs, our bodies evolved to allow the head to balance squarely on top of the neck. Unfortunately, we have not evolved to accommodate our technology-centered lifestyles. We spend hours every day in front of our screens, which results in poor, and often painful postural compensations.

Every day, most of us are looking down at our phones, tablets, or laptops. Over time, this forward flexion of the neck becomes habitual, and the soft tissue conforms to this position. In other words, the body adapts to doing what it does repeatedly. The natural curve of the neck is diminished, or flattened. With our necks "stuck" in flexion, we can only look up by hyperextending at the atlanto-occipital joint - where the top of the first vertebra meets the base of the skull. This position of the head and neck is known as "forward head posture," and it is extremely prevalent.

Now consider the weight of the head. The average head weighs about 11 pounds, but with each inch the head moves in front of the shoulders, 10 pounds are added in relation to the bones, muscles, ligaments, and other structures of the neck, which have to work that much harder to keep the head on the neck. It is not uncommon to see a head forward 3 inches. That is 41 pounds that the cervical muscles must restrain against the force of gravity! This leads to muscle spasms, loss of mobility, disc herneations, spinal degeneration, cervical spondylosis, and many other painful conditions.

The good news is, forward head posture is reversible. How much depends on the degree of misalignment and how long the head and neck have been in a compromised position, in addition to factors like age, previous injuries or accidents, anxiety levels, and overall health. Massage therapy is ideal for addressing forward head posture, but should be accompanied by daily corrective exercises, best prescribed by a specialist or physical therapist.

So take a look at your posture and see where you can make ergonomic adjustments. (Click here to see how to easily create an ergonomic work station.) Reach out if you need help - that's what I'm here for. Let's lighten the load on your neck and get your head on straight!

Stay tuned - my self-massage for forward head posture will be available on my YouTube channel this month!


Ear Self-Massage for Anxiety Relief, Energy, and a Mood Boost


Ear massage might sound a little strange, but it is surprisingly beneficial! Massaging your ears has a profound body-wide effect. You'll find it relaxing, energizing, and mood-boosting. Join me for this quick self-massage for your ears, and experience the difference.




What's new with me ...

This month is my newsletter's 12th anniversary! Whether you're new or a veteran, thank you so much for joining me and this wonderful community on our wellness journey towards healthier bodies and minds. When we feel better, we live better!

I will continue to bring you interesting and relevant information on massage, bodywork, and wellness. And of course, you'll always find my self-massages, and self-care tools and tips. Onward to a healthier 2022!




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917-359-8641

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Massage@Rachel-Richards.com


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American Massage Therapy Association

Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork


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