Seafood Santa

BY JUSTINE SCHOFIELD

MORTON BAY BUG TACO

SERVES 6
PREP: 15 MINUTES
COOKING: 25 MINUTES

Ingredients

  • 6 La Banderita flour street tacos
  • 6 Morton Bay bugs, raw meat removed from shells
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime, plus extra to serve
  • 1/4 of an iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 2 sprigs of coriander, finely chopped

Sauce

  • 4 small red chillies, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 x 3cm pieces of ginger chopped
  • 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbs caster sugar
  • 1/2 tbs white vinegar
  • 80ml olive oil plus a little extra
  • Salt and pepper

Method

To make the sauce, place all ingredients into a small pot over a low heat and gently cook for 15-20 minutes, ensuring it does not boil. Cool to room temperature then pour into a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth. This can be made up to week in advance and stored in an airtight container.

Drizzle a little oil over bug meat and with salt and pepper. Grill on each side for 1-2 minutes until just cooked through. Remove from the sprinkle over the zest of the lime.

Warm the street tacos in a dry pan over a medium heat for one minute on each side until soft. Keep warm in a clean tea towel.

To serve, portion lettuce between each taco then place bug meat on top. Squeeze over lime juice and then drizzle over chilli sauce. Garnish with coriander.

(in partnership with La Banderita tortillas)

 

 

Prawn Cocktail Salad

SERVES 4
PREP: 20 MINUTES

Ingredients

  • 2 baby cos lettuces, leaves separated and torn
  • 1 large handful of watercress sprigs
  • 1 small fennel bulb, finely sliced, fronds reserved
  • 1 celery stalk, finely sliced
  • 1 avocado, halved
  • salt flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • juice of ¼ lemon
  • 1 kg cooked large prawns, shelled and deveined, tails intact

Marie Rose Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons whole egg mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 4 drops of tabasco sauce (or a little more for an extra kick)
  • 1 teaspoon brandy
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • salt flakes and freshly ground

For the Marie Rose sauce, combine the mayonnaise, crème fraîche, tomato sauce, worcestershire and tabasco sauces, brandy and lemon zest in a bowl. Season to taste.

Place the lettuce, watercress, sliced fennel bulb and celery in a large bowl. Scoops chunks of avocado straight from the skin into the bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and lightly dress with 1 tablespoon of Marie rose sauce and the lemon juice. Gently toss with your hands and arrange on a platter. Arrange the prawns on top of the dressed salad, scatter over the reserved fennel fronds and drizzle over the remaining marie rose sauce. Serve immediately.

(From the Weeknight Cookbook, Plum Books, Pan Macmillan)

 

 

Smoked Salmon and Pickled Cucumber

My MasterChef friend Lucas Parsons cooked a version of this at one of his dinner parties, and it was an absolute hit. His was a little more elaborate than my recipe, but it still has some of the main components. Oily smoked salmon with refreshing cucumber and dill is always a winning combination, but what makes this extra enticing is the fusion of pungent hot English mustard and tangy crème fraîche.

SERVES: 4
PREP: 30 MINUTES, PLUS 1 HOUR 20 MINUTES STANDING AND MARINATING

COOK: 5 MINUTES

  • 2 continental cucumbers,
  • cut into 5cm rounds
  • Salt flakes
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tspn hot English mustard
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 large handful of
  • watercress sprigs 1 small handful of dill sprigs
  • 8 slices of smoked salmon
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Place the cucumber in a colander along with 2 teaspoons of salt and toss. Let stand for 20 minutes. Under a cold running tap, wash the salt off thoroughly, then pat the cucumber dry with a clean tea towel. Combine the vinegar, sugar and mustard in a bowl and mix until the sugar dissolves. Add the cucumber and toss to coat completely.

Place in the fridge for 1 hour to marinate.

Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and, once boiling, cook for 3 minutes for soft boiled. Remove the eggs and chill under a running tap, before peeling.

Combine the crème fraîche with 1 teaspoon of the cucumber pickling liquid and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Place a small handful of watercress and a few sprigs of dill on each serving plate, add some cucumber, then two slices of salmon and a halved egg. Drizzle on the crème fraîche dressing and finish with a grind of black pepper.

(From the Weeknight Cookbook, Plum Books, Pan Macmillan)

Gourmet on the Go

She got her big break in 2009 on the first series of MasterChef Australia. But while Justine Schofield was eliminated in fourth place, her talent and vibrant, engaging personality provided a launch pad for a career that just gets stronger and stronger 11 years on.

Impressed by the young chef’s prowess and presence, Network Ten offered to produce a TV program of her own, Everyday Gourmet, in 2011, filming more than 90 episodes per year.

Aside from hundreds of hours of TV production, being an ambassador for major international brands and tourism destinations, and fulfilling a string of media and PR engagements that (until COVID, anyway …) saw her traversing the country on a regular basis, Justine, 35, has been the author of best-selling books, including the Weeknight Cookbook (some festive inspired recipes from which are over the page).

“I could never have imagined that MasterChef was going to be this incredible platform for me to create a new career,” she says. “Next year will be my 11th year of filming Everyday Gourmet and I’m just working on a new book.

“I still pinch myself at how lucky I have been, to be able to do what I truly love. Yes, being in the right place at the right time when the MasterChef phenomenon occurred did obviously play a role in my success, but there is no such thing as free lunch.

“I’ve always been a big believer in hard work, getting your hands dirty along the way and always being honest, grateful and committed to every opportunity that has fallen in my lap.

“Looking back 12 years, when I sitting at a desk attempting to sell security camera (I didn’t sell many!), daydreaming of the next dish I was going to cook when I got home … never would I have imagined that it would have become a reality and my new career.”

However, the price of such a busy and successful career has, at times, been high.

Justine once told chef and former MasterChef judge on his A Plate to Call Home podcast: “I’ve had two terrible break-ups over the past 10 years, and it all comes down to not being around because I’m always on the road.”

But it motivated her to find a much better work-life balance and Justine is now in a happy place with retired AFL player Brent Staker, with whom she lives in Brisbane (although Sydney is officially her home).

“Now I’m in a loving relationship and I remind myself that I do need to say no to things sometimes,” she told Gary Mehigan.

Justine and Brent, 36, were first pictured together on Instagram on March 14. Brent played football professionally for 13 years until his retirement in 2015. In June, the former West Coast Eagles and Brisbane Lions star took Justine to visit his relatives in Broken Hill, NSW.

Of course a good diet and dedicated vitamin regime (Justine is ambassador for Microgencis vitamins, stocked at Chemist Warehouse) have also supported finding a healthier balance amid juggling frequent travel around the country with an ever-changing schedule – such as flat-out filming and book development periods one week with long days on her feet, and then the “quieter” periods where its recipe-writing, sitting at the computer for long periods.

“I take whatever vitamins I feel my body needs at the time,” she says. “At present I’m taking Ultra Magnesium, Vitamin C and an all-round women’s multi-vitamin.

“There’s nothing worse than getting a cold or feeling unwell when travelling so I ensure I always pack premium vitamins in my suitcase. This is just to ensure I have the best chance to have a healthy and strong immune on the road.”

Justine’s love of good food and cooking was instilled early.

“From a young age I was drawn to the kitchen,” she recalls. “I was always so curious in the way a few simple ingredients can be transformed into such a scrumptious dish.

“My Mum is a fabulous cook and cooked for us all the time. Even though she and Dad both worked very busy full time jobs, they would still cook dinner 95 percent of the time for my two brothers and me. The only time I ever really experienced ‘delivery food’ was when I stayed with friends.

“It was also very important in our family to eat at the table, together and share one meal (if you didn’t like, you learnt to like it! Haha). I think we are all so close in my family because eating around a table every night gave us the opportunity to catch up properly, share a meal and just talk.

“Food also always evokes memory and keeps heritage alive. Mum is from France so the dishes she makes remind me of my grandmother (Meme) and I hope one day if I have children I can pass these recipes down and keep them alive. I feel the only way they will stay relevant is to cook them regularly, and that’s exactly what I do.

“So my recipes are designed for busy people who want inspiration for fast and easy recipes. They really showcase how to get the most out of your fridge, freezer and pantry to ensure you feel empowered in the kitchen, to be able to cook a great meal for yourself, family or partner any day of the week.”

With the festive season fast approaching, what’s Justine’s perfect Australian Christmas lunch? Should we be roasting a turkey?

“We haven’t roasted a turkey in our family for ages. I feel it’s sometimes not suited to the hot summer and, to be honest, it can sometimes be a bit underwhelming.

“I prefer to change it up every year, but there is always lots of fresh seafood and wonderful summer produce, like tomatoes and mangoes.

“One thing that is always a staple at every Schofield Christmas lunch is foie gras (goose or duck liver), a French specialty, usually served at aperitif with drinks). For Mum and I it’s non-negotiable!”

www.justineschofield.com.au
www.instagram.com/justineschofield/?hl=en

Covid Times Resource Centre

WATCH FOR INSPIRATION AND RELAXATION

 

Countless poets and writers have tried to put words to the experience of a panic attack— a sensation so overwhelming, many people mistake it for a heart attack, stroke, or other life-threatening crisis. Studies suggest that almost a third of us will experience at least one panic attack in our lives. So what exactly is a panic attack, and can we prevent them?
Cindy J. Aaronson investigates.

 

Too much screen time, too many video calls and too few boundaries make working from home hard for all of us. Podcast host and writer Morra Aarons-Mele shares honest advice on what you can learn from the introverts in your life about protecting your energy and your limits.

(Good) Carbs are not the Enemy

By LIV CRUMPTON

As a teen, my passion was to become a ballet dancer. A gruelling training regime alongside a demand for “that dancer’s physique” saw my body begging for nutrition, yearning for energy. It was certainly not sustained and my mind was chaotically consumed with uncertain and negative thoughts about food.

Years later I entered a career in fashion, yet another industry driven by body image, further fueling my cynical relationship with food. It became a perilous and unsustainable one.

Ten years ago, my beautiful Mum and Dad got their angel wings. Grief is as heart aching as it is humbling, and it brings with it a darkness that makes us take cherish our precious time here. It is often in certain darkness that we begin to truly see ourselves.

What I have taken from this is an enlightened respect and appreciation for the body that we have and how we can better nurture and appreciate her and all that she does for us.

In my late 20s, this enlightenment motivated a career and lifestyle change which lead me back to university, later earning Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. My heart-led mission is now helping others achieve an ongoing healthy and sustainable relationship with food that is the premise of a fulfilling and well-rounded lifestyle.

Irrespective of health concerns, a healthy approach to nutrition cannot be healthy without first having a positive food relationship. It is a harmony of education and intuition, one that is balanced (and not always clean), one that has room for your favorite foods, even they are a “feared” food. One that sets aside food guilt and allows you to eat foods that make you feel good all the time, no matter what that food may be.

This general approach to nutrition I nurture in my practice can be an effortless transition for some. For many is takes time and plenty of self-reflection. However, once they are “there” there’s no looking back.

A healthy approach to nutrition cannot be healthy without first having a positive food relationship… one that is balanced (and not always clean), one that has room for your favorite foods

One feared food group I commonly see are carbohydrates, and not even the processed kind. I am witness to fear of the fibre rich wholegrains and nutrient dense vegetables and fruit.

Carbohydrates are not the devil. When eaten the right way they are our primary source of energy for brain and muscle function and are integral for hormone balance. Furthermore, complex carbohydrates are primary to feed and seed healthy gut real-estate. For this reason, you should know that with 90 percent of serotonin made in your gut, when there is an imbalance of bad microbiome, so too is a low production of this soothing and uplifting hormone.

To sustain energy and support weight management, it is best to eat carbohydrates that allow the body to absorb glucose in a slow and sustainable way. This is just one reason why complex carbohydrates are essential with every meal, and the simple/processed variety are a treat. Your refined carbohydrate of choice may be lower in ‘calories’, however it will peak and trough your blood glucose, leaving you feeling constantly starving yet contribute to steady weight gain, low mood and depleted energy. This being one example of when a calorie is not just a calorie.

FIBRE
Fibre keeps our digestion flowing, balances blood sugar, lowers cholesterol and helps clear excess/synthetic hormones, toxins and fats.

Foods from the earth both provide and support the growth of beneficial bacteria and builds short chain fatty acids which are potent anti-inflammatory compounds. Fibre also provides your gut with prebiotic’s which feed your probiotics. Prebiotics are a food first approach, meaning your nutritional approach is essential, even if you are supplementing with a probiotic.

You should aim for 30-40g of fibre a day through wholegrains, pulses, beans, lentils, dark leafy greens, fruits, nuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds and psyllium husks. This looks something like: one tablespoon of chia seeds, one cup of mixed wholegrains, one cup of pulses, four cups of mixed salad and/or vegetables spread over the day.

VEGETABLES
Vegetables are a rich source of folate, fibre, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium (among so much more), all while providing a wide of phytonutrients that are the cornerstone of anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory power. Eating a varied and colourful array daily is mother nature’s multivitamin.

Greens with every meal. Greens are high in nutrients and fibre and lower in starchy carbohydrates, meaning they will keep you fuller for longer.

Starchy vegetables, such as potato, corn, carrots and sweet potato allow a rise in blood sugar causing a release of insulin, a hormone that prompts cells to utilise calories from food as sustainable energy to last the day. Furthermore, resistant starch feeds short chain fatty acids which keep our gut barrier in-tact, reduce inflammation, satisfy and control appetite.

FRUIT
There is absolutely no reason to exclude starchy fruits from your diet. As you have read, starch should not be feared when eaten the right way. This is another example of when a calorie is not just a calorie. 2 serves of fruit per day will provide you with the nutrients and energy your body needs. A processed “low carb” energy bar will not.

GLUTEN
Gluten is a “sometimes” food; a protein (gliadin) found in grains which commonly make up products such as bread, cereal, cakes, biscuits, pasta, crackers and cakes. Gluten is also hidden in gravies, packet soups, sausages, sauces and marinades.

Even without a known gluten intolerance, frequent consumption of gluten can be problematic over time. This glue-like protein has the ability to stick to the walls of the intestine, sending inflammatory markers to your gut, compromising intestinal wall integrity. When this damage occurs, particles of gluten, essential nutrients and bad bacteria escape, compromising the gut, immune system and overall wellbeing.

SEASONAL AND ORGANIC
Eating seasonal is best for nutritional content and dollar value. Buying local-grown produce will also hold a higher nutritional value, as well as support local farmers and community. Many small farmers can’t afford the expensive organic certification yet are just as passionate about their produce as they are the environment and our precious ecosystem. www.livnutritious.com.au or
follow Liv on Instagram @livnutritious.

Liv’s recipe for Spiced Rhubarb Breakfast Crumble is available on her website. “Did you know that buckwheat, despite its name, is not actually wheat, and is thus gluten free?” she says. “Due to its high mineral and antioxidant content, this nutty tasting grain is a worthy inclusion into your pantry essentials. I’ll be honest: it doesn’t always taste amazing but it truly does here, I assure you.”

 

 

Olivia (Liv) Crumpton has a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and dietetics, with a clinic on Sydney’s northern beaches. Her approach with clients is bespoke according to their individual circumstances and needs, and based first and foremost on judgment-free understanding. She takes a scientific and holistic approach that harnesses the combined power of nutrition, smart eating strategies and exercise, working with clients to create the changes they desire and build a healthy relationship with food to guide them to wellness.

 

Mindful Drinking

Stress, home and/or job loss, money worries, boredom, loneliness, “cabin fever” as a result of lockdown and social distancing restrictions, uncertainty about the future … any of these factors, not to mention several combined, have provided a perfect storm during the COVID crisis for escalating consumption of alcohol.

And Australians are drinking alcohol, a depressant drug, more frequently during the pandemic than before, a report from The Australian National University (ANU) has shown. Once a social lubricant, it seems for some alcohol is now being used as a means of dealing with the fact we can’t be social much at all; at least as much as they’ve been used to.

The study focuses on self-reported drinking frequency and level of alcohol consumption, comparing it with consumption before COVID. It found drinking was “slightly higher for males” and “substantially higher for females”, according to co-author Professor Nicholas Biddle, from the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods.

“For males, a strong predictor for increased drinking was because of a loss of job or decline in working hours. Boredom was their second-biggest motivating factor. For females, a strong predictor for increased drinking was having a child-caring role,”
he said. “For both sexes, but particularly males, psychological distress was a key driver.”

The main reason overall given for an increase in drinking, for both males and females, was spending more time at home.

Try to make as many decisions around alcohol as you can in advance – what and how much you’ll have. Avoid the temptation to order out of habit or social norms, and love what it is you drink. If you don’t love it, don’t drink it.

What is perhaps more troubling though, is that the increase in the frequency of alcohol consumption was much higher among those males and females who when asked prior to the spread of COVID-19 said that they drank relatively frequently,” Professor Biddle said.

With the approaching festive season, and more “excuses” to imbibe, people worried about how much they are consuming might consider the practice of “mindful drinking” if they don’t want to give up altogether.

Mindful drinking is the practice of being aware of why and how much alcohol you drink – for instance, pausing before each new drink to ask yourself whether it supports you – and may help people avoid binge drinking. It’s about changing the conversation with yourself.

Another principle is to try to make as many decisions around alcohol as you can in advance – what and how much you’ll drink. Also to make your own choices when drinking in a social situation. In a group, it’s often easy to say, “I’ll have what they’re having.” Avoid the temptation to order alcohol out of habit or social norms, and love what it is you decide to you drink. If you don’t love it, don’t drink it.

The concept was popularised by CLUB SÖDA, an alcohol-free social club that brings together people interested in intentionally cutting back on their alcohol consumption.

It often leads to healthier relationships with alcohol and less consumption. However, mindful drinking is not for people with alcohol use issues, where abstinence and seeking support is recommended.

“Alcohol, like any other drug, can be harmful. In fact, alcohol is the most widely used psychoactive drug in Australia and one of the most harmful: alcohol causes more chronic diseases and is linked to more deaths than many illicit drugs,” according to the Australian Drug and Alcohol Foundation (ADF), which for more than 60 years has worked to inspire positive change and deliver evidence-based approaches to minimise alcohol and drug harm.

According to the ADF, 4186+ Australians every year die from alcohol-related injuries, illness and accidents, and 144,000 are hospitalised.

The cost to the community from alcohol-related harm is estimated to exceed $15.3 billion.

While there is no “safe” level of drinking, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommends that:

• Children and young people under the age of 18 years avoid alcohol altogether; also women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding

• Adults drink no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than four standard drinks on any day to reduce the lifetime risk of alcohol-related disease, injury and dysfunction. These include risk of bowel, breast, throat and mouth cancer, liver and cardiovascular disease, stroke, mental health disorders, falls/accidental injuries, motor vehicle accidents, alcohol poisoning and sexual dysfunction, such as difficulty achieving or maintaining and erection.

ADF’s TIPS FOR MINIMISING HARM FROM ALCOHOL

• Drink water or other non-alcohol beverages between alcoholic drinks

• Avoid drinking in rounds with friends, as you may end up drinking more than planned

• Order smaller serves of beer, cider and spirits rather than pints or double serves

• Don’t allow others to top up your glass if you’re sharing a bottle of wine, as you may lose track of how much you consume

• Avoid high-alcohol content beverages, such as stronger beers or wines, and spirits

• Eat some food before and while drinking, to slow your drinking pace and slow the absorption of alcohol

• Occupy yourself while drinking to reduce the amount you’re consuming: play pool, sing karaoke, dance, talk to friends

• Avoid combining alcohol with other drugs, including pharmaceutical and illicit drugs

• Consuming alcohol with other depressant drugs such as benzodiazepines, GHB, ketamine or opioids can increase the risk of overdose and cause loss of consciousness, nausea and vomiting. Combining it with stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamines or MDMA can also be dangerous, as both alcohol and stimulants can cause dehydration. Further, some stimulants may mask the effects of alcohol, leading people to drink more.

www.adf.org.au
www.nhmrc.gov.au

At Home Physio Revolution

With the impacts of so many people working from home and in isolation, technologies such as telehealth are helping to provide better access to healthcare for everyone, as well as revolutionising the way we capture and use data to support clinicians being able to help their patients, and track their progress.

Physiotherapy is one area of health care that is now able to assist most people via Virtual Reality technology to get better, or to undertake a rehabilitation program, at home.

XRHealth is a company that has recently made revolutionary breakthroughs that have made having to do physiotherapy as much fun as it can be, which in turn leads to faster results, because most of us are more likely to keep up our exercise schedule if we enjoy doing it.

“Virtual Reality (VR) treatment delivers a smarter and more enjoyable recovery, exercising your stiff and sore joints, or restarting that injury rehab program is now easy and can be quite entertaining,” says says XRHealth’s Director of Operations in Australia, Esme Naidoo.

“We are really excited to launch our first Australian clinic, which offers fun and engaging physiotherapy via telehealth and VR technology.

“This is how the system works: after an online consultation, all patients receive a tailored treatment plan and access to their own healthcare portal which displays data to better inform them of their condition and symptoms. We combine the application of digital health with personal consultation to offer our XRHealth patients the best chance of recovery.”

Esme says that by using XRHealth’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)-registered medical device technology, patients can be treated for a wide range of physical conditions in their comfort of their own surroundings, including whiplash, shoulder, neck and spinal arthritis, bursitis, rotator cuff tendinopathy, frozen shoulder, hip and knee injuries, and postural problems.

XR Health’s technology can also offer treatment for a range of other conditions such as ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, stroke rehabilitation, and cerebral Palsy.

While the launch in Australia is focused on physiotherapy, the company is in the process of expanding their offering to include mental health, occupational therapy, cognitive therapy and more.

www.xrhealth.com.au

A Giant Pain in the Neck

Curled up on the couch or hunched over the kitchen or dining table working away for hours on a laptop – sound familiar? Our homes generally aren’t designed to be ergonomically correct working conditions – and using household furniture as ad hoc “work stations” can wreak havoc on the body.

A phrase coined in the early days of smart phones and laptops, “tech neck” refers to the condition of cervical kyphosis – an over-pronounced slouch due to spending hours hunching over devices, associated with neck and back pain and poor posture.

But with many of us now working from home in the age of COVID, or at least more often, bodywork professionals are reporting a significant increase in the number of cases they’re seeing.

“Being in an aligned posture – ribs stacked right over your pelvis and your head stacked right over your ribs – and breathing diaphragmatically are key.”

The condition is caused by repeatedly craning the head down and forward to look at a screen, applying excess pressure – up to 20kg – on bones and muscle meant to handle only an average 5kg (the head’s weight at neutral). It can feel like a strain at the neck, stiffness in the shoulders, might result in headaches, and can do worse damage to the spine over time.

“In general, it affects the upper limb – that is, from the neck to the waist,” says Gabrielle Street, physiotherapist and Clinical Partnerships Manager at XR Health.

Gabrielle says even if we’re not set up in ideal ergonomic conditions, the main thing is to be looking at devices from eye level.

Whether sitting, or upright at a standing desk while working, being in an aligned posture – ribs stacked right over your pelvis and your head stacked right over your ribs – and breathing diaphragmatically are key. Improper posture causes the head, shoulders, and middle back to pull forward, which triggers the muscles in that area to try to pull them back into alignment.

Shallow breathing is another potential trigger for neck discomfort. People, especially when they’re stressed, who tend to be chest breathers, or shallow breathers, rely on their accessory breathing muscles, like the upper trapezius muscles and pectoral muscles, rather than the diaphragm (which allows deep belly breaths).

Jaw issues can also be a cause (see story over the page) and may need dental treatment to resolve.

Stretching plays an important role in preventing or alleviating muscle soreness and stiffness, says Gabrielle.

Gabrielle recommends daily neck stretches: Lower your chin toward your chest and hold for 15-30 seconds. Relax, and slowly lift your head back up. Tilt your chin up toward the ceiling and bring the base of your skull toward your back. Hold for 10 seconds, then return to the start position. Then stretch the neck to the right and then left, holding in each position for 15-30 seconds. The stretches can de done either seated or standing.

You will feel some tension in the neck muscles but you shouldn’t have pain. If you do, stop right away. You may need to see a doctor, physiotherapist or other qualified bodywork practitioner to understand what might be causing that neck discomfort.

As far as the beauty space goes, “tech neck” has come to mean a tendency to fine lines forming just under the chin and neck from poor posture. Wrinkles set in faster with repeated motions and movements, so if you are regularly staring down at your phone or laptop, you’re increasing the likeliness of them forming.

Cosmetic doctors around the world are reporting an increase in patients seeking treatment – not for their posture or neck pain, but for issues like generally sagging, tired skin, jowling around the jawline, and creases and stress lines around the neck, leading thousands to an upsurge in treatments such as with laser and ultrasound devices or surgical help.