Neck and Shoulders
I sometimes imagine my spine to be like a hose pipe. When a hose pipe is in the right position and it is positioned properly on the grass the water flows smoothly and easily through it. But when a hose pipe is not lengthened out it gets a kink in it, the water gets stuck and cannot flow. Similarly, if we think of our spine, when we sit hunched up, we too get a kink, things get stuck, pain can set in and perhaps all those wonderful pathways in our body get blocked.
We spend a lot of time on a computer and looking at a phone. This can immediately put our cervical spine (neck) in a kinked position (imagine your head jutting forward rather than sitting on top of our shoulders. Maybe it’s happening right now?) In “Alignment Matters” written by Katie Bowman, she describes a similar thing but with a straw. Imagine your neck like the kink in a straw. The liquid is unable to get through if the kink is really great. She goes on to describe the three really important processes in the neck...blood flow, airflow and movement of food. Air is going to get through no matter what the shape of the curve but blood and food may be more difficult.
So without lifting your chin, slide your face back like you are making a double chin, with your ears stacked over your shoulders. Katie explains that by doing this you instantly increase the alignment of your cervical spine and decrease the mechanical damage to the blood vessels in the neck and muscles in the throat.
It’s a great, simple move to relieve the strain on the small muscles of the neck that can lead to headaches, disc problems and foggy head.
This week be aware of the position of your head when you are working at the computer, eating your food and looking at your phone. Does it feel uncomfortable?
Is your jaw tense? Do your shoulders hurt?
Often simple tweaks in your daily movement patterns that you can do without a teacher or a class but with your own knowledge, can lead to great things.