get older (oops!) mature….the mind improves but the body doesn’t….I’m continually hearing and reading about artists who’ve had to give up this or that process because of physical difficulties; I myself am feeling it with significant arthritis in my hands, neck and back so I’m struggling to find answers too. Here are a few I’ve come up with, but if you have any more ideas, please comment!
When you’re machining, keep checking your shoulders – don’t let them ride up around your ears.
Every few minutes deliberately drop and relax them.
Slump to relax your lower back.
Slightly change your angle of attack at the machine so that all the pressure isn’t on the same parts of your neck.
Learn to rotary cut with both hands: dominant and nondominant….
this will equal out wear and tear! Like rotating your tyres!
Also, teach yourself to hand sew with either hand – maybe not so neatly…
but black on black on the back of the quilts? Who’s looking?
When hand sewing stop every 10 minutes or so and stretch your hands and fingers gently as far in, out and sideways as far as they will go…gently!
Also, work your wrists gently: up and down, side to side, and rotating.
Never stay in one position for so long that you get stiff!! You know how long it takes!
Keep changing activities.
Height of the machine: I’ve found that my “best” position is not the one usually recommended so I suggest you experiment with your own body: get a table and a chair that can both be adjusted to different heights and play about with them. Every body is different…what was good for my back was bad for my neck and my neck is worse than my back…so figure out the optimum, it may take a few days of up and down adjustments but just consider it all exercise and we know exercise is good for you!
If you do get all stiffened up, lie on the floor on your side and RELAX…
try to put your mind onto every tight sore place and RELAX it.
Relaxing works better than stretching.
And! Reward yourself for 15 minutes crouched in Machine Position with 5 minutes Lexolous slumped in front of the computer! Good for brain and body! to say nothing of a nice cuppa tea..which is where I’m headed, so if you have been, thanks for reading! And relax! Elizabeth