Re: How do you guys keep from getting neck cramps?

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Posted by Kenzi on August 30, 2002 at 15:30:43:

In reply to: How do you guys keep from getting neck cramps? posted by Nadia on August 30, 2002 at 14:34:54:

This is an occupational hazard for most henna artists. I think
one of the most important things you can do is be aware of your
posture; notice how you sit, how you bend over, how you move
etc. Just being aware will help some. The nature of our work
often requires strange postures of us, but we can do certain
things to save our necks and backs. If you are doing feet,
instead of bending over them, get a small stool, prop the foot up
and sit on the floor. Basically try to get yourself at eye level with
the place you are hennaing; don't put yourself in a position where
you have to strain or bend, while still making sure the client is

Another thing I believe helps comes from my yoga practice and
that is when you do have to bend over your work (i.e., when you
are hennaing someone's hand that is resting on your knee or a
table) try NOT to bend over your work from the neck; don't arch
your neck but spread the bend out over your entire spine,
bending more at the waist. Remember to breathe evenly and
steadily while you work; you may think this is a no-brainer but
often we stop breathing for short periods while we are working
and don't realize it. Breathing helps distribute strain and keeps
your spine supple. Follow a yoga basic where you exhale on the
action and inhale on the passive movement, for example you
would exhale when doing a forward bend and inhale as you
come up. This can be applied to henna by exhaling when you
are drawing a long line or a circle, then inhaling while you do
little easy flourishes or to move your hand to another part of the
design or touch-ups or to take a look at your work to see where
to go next.

All that said, you must also force yourself to take breaks to
stretch and move. Sitting in one position for a long period of time
without stretching causes your muscles to bunch and contract
leading to cramps. If you neck bothers you make sure that your
stretching includes movements that lengthen your neck muscles
on all sides. A yoga stretch that is good for this is as follows:

- interlace your fingers behind your head, standing or sittingup
straight bend your head forward and let the weight of your hands
stretch your neck while you breathe evenly and deeply

- place your left arm on top of your head so that your left hand
rests on your right ear, bend your head to the left allowing and let
the weight of your hand stretch your neck while you breathe
evenly and deeply

- the the same thing on the other side placing your right arm over
your head, bending your head to the right

I hope all this helps. Good luck and happy hennaing!!


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