stretching for harpists
Early this year, I had the opportunity to see a physical therapist (about discomfort in the neck, shoulders, and arms) for six weeks. He gave me some nice stretching exercises, and some advice.
The advice was to watch my posture. Bad posture makes everything feel worse.
The stretching has been very helpful, so I thought I would pass it along. The stretches should be nice and gently.
1) Lean head gently to left, hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on right side. Do three repetitions.
2) Look to the left and gently lower chin, hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on right side. Do three repetitions.
3) Pull chin straight back, hold for 3 seconds. Repeat 9 times. Do three repetitions.
4) Roll shoulders up and back and down. Repeat 9 times. Do three repetitions.
5) Squeeze shoulder blades together, as if trying to grab a penny. Repeat 9 times. Do three repetitions.
The therapist also gave me a couple of stretchy bands to do some exercises to strengthen the muscles in the back. He tied a knot in the middle of each band so they can be put into a door jam and be held in place. Then I can pull back on the band. I can put the knot up higher in the door and pull down and back. The video below has some similar exercises.