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Maureen McHugh, Feldenkrais
What Will Help the Neck?
Wellness In Motion
. http://wellnessinmotion.com

What Will Help the Neck?

When your neck hurts, it bothers you a lot. There is chronic pain. There are intermittent, sharp surprises. Sleeping is difficult. Invitations, that you would otherwise welcome, are declined. You worry about the future.

What to do?

Of course, the causes of neck pain are numerous. But a very common one is misalignment among the vertebrae. They work, like the rest of the body, through fine counterbalances. When one vertebra gets out of place, the overall balance is disrupted. The nervous system perceives danger and responds with signals of pain.

The solution is, somehow, to restore the alignment. One way to do this is by working with a professional who is trained in movement coordination. Specific relief for the neck can be brought about via better teamwork throughout the body. Here is an example:

  • Sit in an upright manner on the edge of a “plain kitchen chair”. Bring your feet forward and flat. Rest your hands on your legs and gaze comfortably ahead.
  • After a moment, imagine that to the left and behind you, someone calls your name. Turn and look to see who is there. Notice how you do it and how far behind you can see. Notice how you feel in your neck.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat three times. Notice further, as you turn, whether the weight remains even on the sit bones. Usually, it does.
  • Next, before you turn to the left, shift your weight onto the left sit bone. Reciprocally, the right sit bone lifts. Notice if you turn any further, and how you feel in your neck. Most people feel that both the range of rotation and comfort of the neck increase a lot.
  • Do the same, but first weight shift to the right.
  • Take the same sequence turning to the right: weight even, weight shifted to the right (same side as the turn) and weight shifted left (opposite the turn).
  • Sit comfortably for a moment as you began.

Many people experience dramatic improvement with this approach: “Weight shift first, then rotation”. The increase in rotation comes because of physics: it is easier to turn around a small base of support. The relief for the neck comes from the fact that the whole spinal column turns as one; this gives the neck a lot of teamwork.

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