Friday, June 11, 2010

Facebook Neck

So, we all have experienced the explosive development of social networking and social marketing. It's fun. We've probably all experienced the other new phenomenon that goes with that too, but not named it yet. Well, I'm going to. Facebook neck.

You know what I'm talking about. Burning and aching in the muscles starting from between the shoulder blades and searing right up into the base of the skull; tightness in the jaw and the tiny muscles around the ears; stiffness in the throat muscles at the front.

What causes it? Firstly and simply, poor posture. Peering at the computer screen when our eyes get tired. Craning the neck to look at tiny type instead of pressing the zoom button. Bad lighting. Leaning forward instead of adjusting the chair. Perching the laptop on pillows in bed and slouching at an odd angle. Hours and hours at the desk instead of regular mini breaks over the fit ball. Tension in the shoulders when we're arguing about free speech and the development of democracy on some political thread.....

How can we ease Facebook Neck? There are some simple, free things that can and will help.
  1. Switch off. :)
  2. Take a break - make a drink - hang forward over the fitball for at least 5 minutes every hour.
  3. Exercise - drop your chin forward as far as it will go and just hold it. Let the weight of your head gently pull your chin even further down. Gently rotate your head from side to side.
  4. Take a hot shower and let the hot water ease the stiffness.
  5. Apply a hot pack.
  6. Improve your computer work area.
These are the best and most effective long term management strategies.

But knowing that we have deadlines, e-businesses and that life isn't always optimal, we can also suggest two products that will help if your find yourself at the computer 10 hours per day crunching out a deadline.

Our Thai Herbal Massage Balls are little bundles of Thai healing herbs tied into unbleached cotton with camphor and salt; they are made wet and steamed till they are hot, and then applied to the sore areas, from the base of the neck to the skull line, up around the jaw line and on the front of the throat. We have a short youtube clip to explain what they are and how they work.

You can also apply all kinds of sports liniments and "tiger balm" type of products, which will promote circulation and ease pain. Be aware that most of these liniments are made with heavy duty chemicals in a petrochemical waste product base. Arun Thai Natural has 100% natural Phlai Traditional Thai Massage Oil and a Phlai Natural Beeswax Balm that will give rapid relief but without the toxic side-effects. You can find them on eBay or purchase directly through our website.

Whatever you do, you should not ignore facebook neck. Prolonged stiffness in the neck and shoulders will lead to jaw clenching, headaches etc and that will affect the quality of your life and work.

So enjoy your social networking (in moderation!), think about optimizing your computer environment and be smart about how you manage facebook neck.

1 comment:

  1. I started to laugh when you stated, "Perching the laptop on pillows in bed and slouching at an odd angle." That is "me"!
    I have a massage ball, one of the big ones ... I should get my husband to massage my neck and upper back with it.