For chronic shoulder-huggers, there are deeper techniques that can bring tension relief. Start with a neck massage. Sit in a chair and let your right arm hang heavily toward the floor. Lower your left ear toward your left shoulder. Reach your left hand toward the right side of your neck and massage the fan-shaped muscle that runs from the back of your skull down to your mid-back and across to your shoulder blade (see left in red). This is the trapezius. It’s the upper portion of the “trap” that helps hold the weight of your arm and therefore takes a beating when you’re typing all day. Start the massage with your left hand at the place where your neck curves into your shoulder. Rake your fingers over your shoulder and diagonally down and in toward your collarbone. If there are any sore points, spend some time pressing into them with your fingers. Do the same exercise on the left-side neck. Finish with neck and shoulder rolls.
For stiffness between your shoulder blades (in the middle trapezius), stand with feet wide apart (2 to 3 feet). Clasp your hands behind you, or take off your belt and hold it behind you with both hands. Then fold forward so your head points toward the floor. Lift your arms away from your back, still clasped or holding the belt. You can let your arms drift from one side to the other with your elbows as straight as possible.