How to minimize those undesirable lines on the neck and reduce neck tension with self massage and simple exercises.
As if we needed more news about the impact that technology has on our bodies, there is now evidence that the position that the head and neck are in while we are typing, texting, and looking at phones is causing lines and wrinkles to our necks.
Looking downwards most of the day causes a foreshortening and slacking of the major muscles of the neck and lower face, thus causing a variety of health concerns. But, cosmetically speaking, these positions are helping create horizontal lines and loose, flabby skin on the neck of younger and younger people, most of whom work at computers or are downward-facing phones and tablets.
So, what can you do? Tossing your phone in the trash or never going back to work are not options. And, neck creams can be gimmicky and expensive. But there are therapeutic and cosmetic treatments that can help the jawline and neck appear firmer and smoother as well as reduce tension in the upper body.
Learn how you can minimize the undesirable lines and skin creases caused by text neck. Performing a few simple exercises along with careful self-massage can reduce tension and the appearance of crease lines.
When doing these self-care movements, it is important to loosen up the upper body first. With any exercise, a warm-up can give better results and minimize the chance of injury.
Warm-up with a yogic chest opener
- Standing with feet hip width apart
- Extend bent arms out at your sides, so the posture resembles a cactus.
- Be sure the hands are pointing up.
- Slowly lift the head upwards until looking at the ceiling. Hold this position for 10 deep breaths.
- At this point, you should feel a little warm. This motion is stimulating to the body and well as it begins the neck stretches that are key to lengthening the neck muscles.
Self-massage for neck and shoulders
- Use a warming oil, like a refined sesame oil or an oil infused with a little clove or cinnamon.
- Begin a self-massage using sweeping circular motions on the upper chest, working up and out. (All motions will be working upwards.) Perform 10 times.
Slide upwards into the clavicle. Continue to do circles around the clavicles. Perform 10 times.
- Now roll up onto the neck. Using the knuckles, continue the massage in circular motions working upwards. Focus on the up stroke, pushing firmly upwards with the knuckles into the jaw, then gently stroking downwards. Perform 10 sets or do knuckle rolls not the neck.
Place both thumbs and forefingers on the chin. Glide back to the ear, with the thumb tucking under the jawbone (mandible) and the forefinger above. Make sure you apply firm pressure with both. When you reach the back of the jaw, pull upwards toward the ear. Perform 10 times.
Firm and Strengthen Your Neck
Now that the upper body muscles are relaxed, warmed, and lightly toned, now let’s focus exclusively on firming and strengthening the neck.
Movement 1: Place one of your palms flat on your forehead and the other on the chin. Move your head against the resistance of your hands, keeping shoulders straight and relaxed. Perform 6 reps of counts of 10 seconds.
Movement 2: Roll your shoulders down and back. Slowly, look up toward the ceiling again. Count to 10 looking up. Return to looking straight ahead with the head level with the floor. Perform this 6 times.
Movement 3: Open the jaw wide. Then slowly close until the lips are closed, but the teeth do not touch. Repeat 6 times.
These simple motions are not only relaxing and stress-reducing but can have firming benefits for neck and jawline. These are just a sample of different firming movements for the face, neck, and jawline. They can easily be incorporated into a workout or daily wellness routine. Coupled with skincare, this is a great way to begin a neck firming regimen.
But what skincare should you be using? What if you need more than a few exercises to help your loose, lined neck? Watch for a follow-up article where I will follow up with esthetic treatment options for addressing more “text neck” concerns.