Monday, May 5, 2008

Massage: An Editor's Best Friend

For my birthday four months ago, my husband gave me a gift certificate for a massage. My usual busy schedule, compounded by travels and illness, kept me from using it before now. But this past Saturday, I was excited to finally be able to get some of my kinks worked out.

I've had a few massages before (the first being a parting gift from my former Frommer's coworkers, who thought I needed it pretty badly). But it had been four years since my last one, so basically I was a bag of muscle knots.

The masseuse said I was pretty much locked up, with knots up and down my "mouse arm" and all over my back. She even found some in my hips, which I hadn't even noticed ("You can only process so many pain messages," she said).

Her diagnosis: Too much time sitting in one position editing all day. She advised me to get up and walk around as much as possible. She also thinks that maybe I don't breathe when I edit (as evidenced by my poorly oxygenated muscles). I concentrate so hard that I forget to breathe.

The takeaways for anyone who spends a lot of time on the computer at work (especially editors):
  • Get up and take breaks.
  • Breathe!
  • Get regular massages (as Ferris said, "I highly recommend it if you have the means").

Of course today I am in serious pain, slumped over like Gollum. I really need to do this more often and it wouldn't be so bad. Maybe I can figure out a way to deduct it as an unreimbursed business expense...


L said...

For several years I noticed that I had a backache that went away went I was on vacation, no matter how much luggage-schlepping I had to do. I finally figured out that work was causing me to lean forward for long periods toward the computer screen. I've cured this problem by spending my workday wearing distance glasses that force me to lean back. So I would suggest that other people consider a vision-correction-related remedy to their work-posture problems.

Laurence Shatkin said...

That last posting was by Laurence.

Lori Cates Hand said...

Oh yes, glasses are a good solution--I recently had to get some myself. But I still have the stiff mouse arm issue.

Speaking of vacation, I had headaches every night the last two weeks, and I finally figured out it was my eyes trying to get used to the computer again after a 10-day absence!