I remember in the last newsletter I told you that we would talk about the neck. The truth is that our necks are having very hard times. The neck is a very, very special body part. Because the neck is where stress problems merge with structural problems. The combination of the crazy driver we carry in our minds, with the compensations and overloads of our posture, can cause that annoying neck discomfort.
Thus, neck problems are a good thermometer to know how stressed you are. But you still have to take care of the mechanical part of the neck, so let’s start some exercises!
Do you remember the good times before 2007? I don’t know if I have told you that I work as an osteopathic doctor, apart from giving Mindfulness courses. Before 2007 our patients mainly arranged their appointments in consultation for lumbar injuries (which are basically mechanical). Neck problems only represented 20% of cases. But then crisis arrived …. And things changed radically. Cervical injuries increased to almost 40%! Nowadays they are still rising to more than 50%!
Let’s go with an exercise to mobilize the cervical spine. It consists of bringing the neck forward and backward, to both sides and turning it to both sides describing circles with the nose.
It has two advantages. The first: with this exercise you do them all in one. The second advantage is that we exercise the neck in a more natural way. Nobody in their normal life moves their neck in the way we are told to do in standard exercises. Nature hates straight lines. We move the neck with small deviations in the line we want to see or hear.
This exercise can be done sitting or standing. I would advise you to do it standing up, as I presume you have been seated and teleworking for many hours. Keep your body relaxed, especially your shoulders, and turn your head to one side, with your chin parallel to the floor. Bring your head up to the point where your neck becomes tense, not to the point of pain. I repeat: until you feel the tension in your neck, but you should not feel pain or dizziness. Remember that my exercises are always done without pain.
The next step, once the neck is placed at the beginning of having tension, is to write between 4 and 5 numbers with the nose.
For example, the number one. With the head turned, we bring it upwards and backwards. We can go down making a backwards “S” with the nose, which would be the number two, etc. When we have finished with four numbers on one side, we repeat on the opposite side. It is very important to remember that this should be done without pain or dizziness.
I know it may seem complicated, but you will see that when you have repeated it between 3 and 5 times, you will have a looser neck and therefore less discomfort at work.
If you have repeated pain in your neck, it would be a good idea to see a health professional. Sometimes a professional hand is needed to determine the problem and improve more complicated injuries.
Breathe deeply, it’s Mindfulness!
Visit Dr. Juan Cuadrado’s website here or send him an email to email@example.com