- January 2, 2017
The neck is a complicated part of the body, it is affected not only by physical and postural stressors, but emotional impacts as well. It is a delicate part of the body that never gets the TLC it really deserves.
When a part of our body is feeling stiff, its tempting to want to get in and dig around, whether its through deep self massage or with the assistance of a therapist. In some cases this type of work is helpful, but in other cases it can cause further inflammation and nervous system up-regulation.
So how can we support our head and neck to be pain free, mobile and strong? You have come to the perfect place! Last month I posted a video in my FREE WEBINARS archive on a couple exercises to assist in neck relaxation, check it out.
Here are a couple more tips to help clear away unwanted neck pain, stress and tension…
Find a place where you feel completely uninhibited and do a few face and jaw stretches. Stick your tongue out as far as you can, slide your jaw in each direction, open and close the mouth and any combination of these movements. This should last for 5 minutes or so.
Strengthen the Lower Traps
Here is one example of a cool exercise to get into these important muscles. When the lower traps are weak or under active the upper traps will often times be riddled with tension. Make sure when you practice this movement you don’t contract the upper traps. Remember, we want to have healthy tension distributed throughout our bodies, not just one part on lock down.
Notice Your Head Position!
The human head is designed to be stacked on top of the shoulders, but often times it drifts forwards causing stress in the muscles around the neck, jaw and shoulders. Have “head position checks” through your day and remind yourself when needed to glide the ears back in space.
Lie on the Floor
Lying flat on the floor with the head also on the floor can be a nice way to reset the neutral head position. If you tend to sleep on your back with a pillow propping you up, consider using a smaller pillow to gradually take the stress off the neck. Lying with the head flat on the floor helps to retrain the neutral head position, allowing the neck to come back to its usual function.