Work From Home
Work From Home

Rub-a-dub-dub those aching Neck & Shoulders

Ouch, working long hours in front of the computer is giving me really bad neck ache. I feel like
someone just placed 2 sacks of rice on my shoulders! Although during lockdown when supermarket shelves are empty, having 2 sacks of rice is not a bad thing :)

All kidding aside, many of you have asked for tips in 2 main areas, namely mental and physical wellness to help you cope with WFH and COVID-19. In fact, our How to setup your home office video is one of the highest trending post. So do remember to check it out if you haven’t. Today, our in-house Physiotherapist Carina, will show you how to deal with those achy neck & shoulders in 3 easy steps. Let’s begin.

Hello, hope you have made your working from home experience more comfortable from our
previous suggestions. Yes I know, its never going to be perfect. A dinner table is always going to be a dinner table no matter how you modify it. So I’ve been asked so frequently how we can do better despite of all the limitations. Well, in the upcoming videos, I’ll try to answer most of these questions.

But as of today, we will first discuss how to deal with Neck & Shoulders soreness like a pro.
My 1st suggestion is, be aware of your working posture. Ask yourself 2 questions: 1st: “Where is your head?”  2nd: “Where are your shoulders?” Check whether your head is sitting on top of your shoulders with your neck in a straight line. Or if your head and your chin is poking too far forward creating unnecessary strain on your neck. 2nd your shoulders are they sitting relaxed just like that or are they constantly tensed and elevated holding on to the tension. I think you don’t need me to tell you which one is a better posture to hold on to right?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting you to stay in a perfectly upright posture all the time during your working hours. Simply unachievable. How about we be more realistic? Like take 2 mins break for every single working hour and just go through some basic stretches with me to take yourself out of the computer posture. I’ll show you what to do.

First, I’ll show you a stretch on the scalene muscle which runs from the side of your neck down to your shoulder. 1st I’d like you to wrap this arm around the back to stabilize the shoulders. Then take the opposite hand to the side of the head. Mind you, you are not trying to crank very hard here. You are just making use of the weight of the arm to drop down to the side in a relaxed way. Simply breathe and hold for 30s. You will feel the stretch down the side of the neck to the shoulder.

So 30s later repeat it on the other side. That is the scalene stretch. And then you want to proceed to stretch out the back of your neck. You simply tuck in your chin, roll your head forward. This time collapse your hands behind your head. And again make use of the weight of your arms, drop forward. From the side, it looks like this. So this stretch is going down the back of your neck. Again, hold for 30s.

Stand up from your work station, have your hands behind your back, interlace your fingers.
Straighten up the elbows. Make sure you keep your back straight all the time. Now keep your chin in and make sure your head is above the shoulders. Then gradually pull your arms behind you with your elbows straight. At this point, you will start to feel a lot of stretch across your chest. Try to stay here, take a few deep breaths and if possible, start rolling your shoulders backwards to open up the chest more.

Hope you find the drills and exercises easy to follow. Even if you can’t get rid of all the muscle
tensions with such simple drills, but at least the 2 minute break out of your sitting cycle can give your body a break every single hour. So try this out at home and let me know how it goes. In the next video, we will go through some remedies concerning sitting related backaches. See you.


Welcome to the Releaf Blog


Are you finding yourself all suited up for COVID-19? From face shields, to face masks and even gloves. Whether you are in a country that is facing #lockdown (#MCO, #circuitbreaker) or in a country that still has some movement, we are all facing the same issues from the novel coronavirus. Whether we are finding ways to protect our loved ones and ourselves, whether we agonize with anxiety when this is all going to be over or we worry what the future is going to be like when this is all over.

Hi, my name is Charlene Low and I run a Corporate Wellness company called RELEAF International. We have been helping companies globally to manage with the crisis and I am also a working mother of 3 young children. We live in Hong Kong. The schools here have been closed since January 20 and our family have been practising social distancing since then. So whatever you are going through right now, I probably have encountered it in so shape or form and I am here to help.

Ever since COVID-19 has become more widespread, there are tons of information out there. Some are real and others less credible. There’s also a lot of help out there and they seem to come from all over the place, some are more effective whilst others are less so. So that’s why we have curated tried and tested methods across the fields of Physiotherapy, Physical Fitness, Mindfulness, Psychology and even Chinese Metaphysics, with the aim to provide you with easy to follow steps to help you to navigate through this difficult times.

An Integrated Approach

Our blog will offer a practical guide to help you attain a healthy Mind, Body and Spirit. Well, how good can your exercise be, if you are constantly distracted by anxiety or stress? Or how deep can your meditation practice be, if you are having a neck ache or a back ache? So you see, the Mind, Body and Spirit are all inter-connected.

Who Is This For?

So we created this blog for 3 types of people:

  1. The Business Owner

You are a business owner who is trying to psyche yourself up so that you can lead your team to try to navigate through this crisis

  1. The Team Manager / HR Lead

You are a team lead or a HR champion that has been tasked by your company to come up with solutions and ideas to support your colleagues through this difficult time

  1. Employee / Self-employed

Or you are an employee or self-employed who is working from home right now and just want to find ways to help you survive through this crisis

We hope this blog can help you.

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