Why stretching after a client session is good for you
Updated: Jun 21
Its really simple - stretching regularly is great for both physical and mental well-being. This is particularly true if you have a the kind of work where you spend a lot of time sitting down or being fairly still - such as a therapist or counsellor.
The recommendations are for 5 mins standing up and stretching every hour sitting. This doesn't have to be in the therapy room and can be time spent at a computer or desk. Some basic stretches can help with posture, mood and tiredness - it doesn't need to be complicated. We'll cover some of the reasons why stretching is good for you below and some ideas of where to start incorporating more stretches into your day. It may be too much to do stretches every hour so find what works for you as a starter and develop as time goes on.
Why stretch? What does it do?
Better posture - stretching helps re-correct posture by realigning muscles and the skeleton. Over time this can help reduce the risk of back pain and posture-related issues.
Improved circulation - moving around and stretching can improve blood flow to muscles meaning that muscles and tissues are getting the essential nutrients and oxygen needed to be fully functioning.
Improved blood flow to the brain - as well as improved circulation to the tissues, getting up and moving around also helps circulation to the brain - bringing much needed oxygen.
Reducing tiredness - changing position, changing what we are looking at, and our breathing all help to combat tiredness and help us re-focus. Stretching is ideal for this - it requires different thought patterns and physically movement.
Better mood - stretching can help reduce stress and anxiety by changing our physical responses through movement and deeper breathing. Stretching regularly contributes to our overall well-being. Yoga fans would so agree with this.
Range of motion - staying in the same range of positions for long periods can affect our flexibility and range of motion in muscles and joints. Stretching regularly can help reset this and assists in maintaining muscle co-ordination and balance.
What do you mean by stretching?
Don't worry, we aren't going on a journey to yoga led downward dog or tree poses. This trip is a little stroll in comparison with possibly a few full height stretches, maybe a twist or two, move your arms about, rotate ankles etc. (If you remember music and movement at primary school? It can be a bit like that.)
If you wanted a bit of structure - there are many videos on Youtube. Searching for stretches for office workers or chair stretches or chair yoga is a great starting point. Find some that work for you.
Overall, stretching regularly can can help with both physical and mental health, making it an important part of any fitness or wellness routine. A really good way of incorporating small, sustainable changes towards looking after yourself better.
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