toting, swinging, lugging & schlepping

How to manage all that you carry without stress and look good doing it! In this article I will cover all different kinds of bags, luggage, situation but the first step is upping your body awareness just a bit…


  • First, check yourself out in the mirror.
  • Is one shoulder higher than the other?
  • Or does one hand hang lower than the other?
  • Or maybe you see that your head is tilted to one side or your neck looks scrunched.
  • No worries. You don’t need to run off to the chiropractor or put your body in traction. These imbalances could stem from your daily toting habits; the way you carry your shoulder bag or backpack. All you have to do is adjust and you’ll be swinging your satchel with ease.


  • When buying a shoulder bag, make sure the bag rests on your shoulder without holding it in place with your hand.
  • If you carry a shoulder bag, practice putting the bag on your shoulder in front of the mirror. Watch that you don’t lean to one side or lift your shoulder. Use your other hand to place the bag so it sits comfortably on the top of your shoulder.
  • As you walk around with the bag (on your right shoulder, for example) hook your right thumb under the straps and push forward, keeping right elbow relaxed by your side. Don’t squeeze your elbow to your ribs to hold bag in place – the thumb forward pressure should do it. (See video)
  • Most important of all: don’t carry your bag on the same side every day. If you have been holding your bag on your right shoulder, switch to the left for a while and eventually alternate daily, same would be true for messenger bags.


  • If you carry a tote bag…
  • The shorter the straps the better.
  • Don’t lock your elbow on your toting side. As you walk, relax your shoulders, lift your chest and let the bag swing. Let your free arm swing too.
  • Keep your body straight and shoulders even; don’t lean away from the side carrying the bag. If you carry the tote in your right hand (for example), don’t lean left to manage the weight of the bag. If you can’t do this, you should be carrying two totes, one on each side.
  • If you are stuck with a single bag that is super heavy, carry it in both arms in front of you.


  • The best way to carry heavy loads is to divide them into two bags. Two tote bags of equal weight or two shoulder bags.


  • Most people lug heavy stuff in backpacks. But there’s a difference between Backpacks and Citypacks:
  • A BACKPACK is for hiking or traveling. It has heavily padded shoulder straps, a strap across the chest and a strap around the waist. The idea is that the weight of your bag is distributed evenly across your torso and fundamentally supported by your hips.
  • A CITYPACK is for light loads (no more than you would put in a shoulder bag). It doesn’t have the extra straps around the chest and hips because you need to be able to slip it off your shoulder quickly so you can swing it to the front and easily access your wallet or ipod.
  • PROBLEM – Using the city pack as if it were a backpack. This means the full weight of computer, books, etc. is supported by your shoulders. You end up leaning forward, straining your lower back, hunching your shoulders and walking with extra stress on your knees and feet. If you don’t already feel the long-term effects, you may feel the strain and discomfort—or you may notice your shoulders feeling sore all the time.
  • SOLUTION – If you have to carry heavy loads daily, invest in a small backpack with all the bells and whistles by going to a sporting
  • goods store, ordering from LLBean, Rei, EMS or the like. They don’t have to be expensive. If you can try them first, put something in the bag and adjust the straps to ensure the weight of the bag sits on your hips without putting pressure on your shoulders.


  • Back to school: Help your kids manage their heavy loads.
  • Its tough, to be sure, to watch their little bodies lugging sometimes as much as 25% of their body weight. Purchase a comfortable, lightweight backpack—a city pack won’t work if they have to carry a computer and tons of books and sporting equipment (see above).
  • Teach them to stop leaning forward when they walk, show them how to hold on with their hands.
  • But make it fun. “Head up, shoulders back” is a sure fire way to give your kid bad posture. (This I know from my 30 years experience helping people improve their posture).
  • In Europe, people carry their backpacks on the front of their bodies – kind of like baby carriers. Maybe your kid will opt for this if it feels more comfortable.
  • As an alternative to backpacks, wheelies are great, but they aren’t good with stairs.


  • Simple – everything on wheels.
  • Buy the best luggage you can afford with a premium on easy-to-maneuver. Make sure the height of the handle is high enough for you and that the wheels move easily.
  • When you are in transit, everything you carry should be transported by your wheelie—strapped on in some way that is secure.
  • For carry on luggage—the best is something soft you can put in your lap and rest your folded arms on to reduce stress on you’re your neck/shoulders/lower back, OR a firm-sided wheelie you can rest your feet on to increase circulation in your legs for long flights.
  • H. Gillerman Organics natural rest TRAVEL REMEDY is the go-to, all-in-one oil for jet lag, fluid-retention, body rhythms out of sinc and you can use it en-route for a pulled muscle or tense neck as well.


For any sprains, strains, pain, extra tension or muscle fatigue, True Relaxation Muscle Remedy will solve the problem so you can focus on how to carry your bag. Combine it with Clear Mind Tension Remedy for an immediate penetrating relief. As an extra bonus both oils work to revive your mind so you are more focused and alert.