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Writing without Stressing with the Pain Relief Coach

Its Author Interview Thursday…with a twist. The main purpose of this weekly segment on my blog was to provide an avenue for authors with varying degrees of experience and from different parts of the world to share what’s working for them, share a bit about themselves and their work plus also offer inspiration. Now that latter bit about inspiration has always been geared towards making authors continue in their pursuit of their publishing goals.Kathryn Merrow

But what happens when the temple that houses the creative machine is broken down or worn out? Is the creative process affected by a decline in one’s well-being? I think the simple and only answer to that question is YES! Today’s special guest is here to share with us simple tips to ensure that we don’t subject our bodies to needless stress while writing. I’ve read her book on pain relief and thereafter it was always my intention to have her share with us. Well today is that day!

Please join me in welcoming Kathryn Merrow whose our guest blogger today.


What causes authors and writers and editors to get pain in their neck and back?  Oh, it’s being at the keyboard, you say? True.  But did you know there are things that you can do to prevent or eliminate that pain?  Because here’s what unhappy, strained, overstretched muscles do:

They complain.

Here comes relief!

1.  Take lots of breaks.  Really!  You will be more productive when you aren’t in pain.  And when you take a break, make it a real break.  Totally change your posture and the distance you are viewing.

2.  Roll your shoulders up and back, up and back.

3.  Squeeze your shoulder blades toward your spine. Your shoulder blades are attached to muscles on the tops of the blades, on each side of the blade and on the bottoms.  By contracting the appropriate muscles, you can move the shoulder blades and strengthen the muscles in the right places on the back.

4.  Hike your shoulders to your ears and then allow your shoulders to relax and move downward.

5.  Do some deep breathing to get more oxygen to your brain and to move the muscles of your torso.

Here’s more movement information:

Slightly squeeze your shoulder blades toward your spine.  Think about squeezing the lower part of the blades slightly more toward each other (toward the spine.)  Do it.K-PecsKMFoto

Think about lowering the blades toward your waist. How will you do that?  What muscles have to contract?  Do it.

You will probably feel these movements in your middle back and also in the front of your shoulders or upper chest. If you cannot do it right away, that’s okay.  You are giving your body the idea of what you want to do and soon you will be able to do it.  Just keep trying.

These movements strengthen the muscles that hold your shoulder blades and back in the position they should be in.

How to sit at the computer: 
Here is the most neutral posture to use when you are keyboarding or typing.  Neutral means less strain on your muscles.  Less strain means less pain. It’s really not possible to be in neutral posture when you are using a laptop but you can change that if you plug in a separate keyboard or monitor.

Here’s how to position yourself:

1.  Your head is over your body.  Your chin is tucked slightly back.

2.  Your elbows are straight down from your shoulders, close to your waist and slightly more open than 90 degrees.

3.  Your wrists are straight, neither tilting up nor down.

4.  Your seat is high enough for you to look straight at your monitor.  The monitor is in front of your eyes so you don’t have to tilt your head up or down.  If you wear bifocals, you may wish to switch to a single-vision pair of glasses to avoid tilting (computer glasses.)

5.  Your hips and knees are slightly more open than 90 degrees.

6.  Your feet are supported.  (Phone books are good for this.)

7.  Your back is supported with a lumbar pillow or support behind your waist.

Using those positions will help you stay in the most neutral posture but if you catch yourself slouching, it’s okay.  Just start over and readjust if you have to.Head Pain Natural Relief

By the way, I find that I cannot work on the computer when I am tired because my posture does all kinds of awful things.  That’s a clue to take a nap or do something to get energized again.


Kathryn Merrow is The Pain Relief Coach online.  She has extensive experience in the field of pain relief.  She helps people get rid of aches and pain naturally and that’s why she writes.

You can find links to all of her websites at and if you suffer from headaches, migraines or neck pain, get Kathryn’s book “Head Pain Natural Relief” (the first in a series) at   It’s also available in soft cover and Kindle editions.

If carpal tunnel symptoms are bugging you, you will find a wealth of information about the causes and natural ways to get rid of your symptoms at



6 Responses to Writing without Stressing with the Pain Relief Coach

  1. Great advice (and great post)!

  2. Excellent interview a pleasure to visit with you David . I will be taking heed of this coaches advise to do with sitting at the computer, as well as look at the pain relief book . Thank you for a pleasant site to call by and visit a while, I do so much enjoy interviews with other artists in their own right .

  3. Wendy Owen says:

    Katherine is an inspiration David. I have actually subscribed to her newsletter just to get reminders to sit up straight of to get up and move around. Just her 1 tip a few days ago of lifting the rib cage has improved my posture a lot!

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