One of my health goals is to stop taking so much aspirin and other painkillers. It causes more problems than it helps. This has been an ongoing goal for years, and recently I found something amazingly simple that is really helping!
The Painful Side of Writing
When I started writing, I don’t recall ever reading anything about health problems associated with writing. But sitting for hours, especially at a computer, takes a toll on your neck, back, wrists, and hands. The associated headaches and back pain keep many writers on painkillers of one sort or another.
Then my daughter suggested that I get some yoga DVDs. My initial reaction was negative. My mental image of yoga was of some spaced-out chanting person twisted into an inhuman pretzel. Not for me!
Yoga for Writers (and other stiff people)
I quickly learned that my ideas were outdated. From my library, I checked out “Healing Yoga for Aches & Pains,” which was as soothing as a massage (and got rid of my headache!) I have yet to try “Yoga for Inflexible People.” My favorite DVD so far is Yoga: Sitting Fit Anytime, which has nine separate 3-5 minute segments addressing individual needs of people who sit at computers for hours.
It’s easy to follow, you do it sitting, and it targets neck and shoulder tension, lower back pain, upper back pain, tight hamstrings, headaches, and carpal tunnel problems. There was even a segment for stiff hands and fingers. There was no chanting. (FYI: I skip the New Agey intro–not for me! Just want the stretches.)
Preventive and Restorative
If you don’t have aches and pains from writing, thank heaven. But also consider doing some routine stretching to prevent developing such problems. If you already suffer from head, back and/or arm pain, consider yoga as a drug-free solution. Your body–AND creative mind–will thank you.
[P.S. If you long-time faithful readers thought this sounded like a repeat, you're right. Had a ripping headache today that I finally got rid of with the DVD stretches! Thought you all might need the same reminder I did.]