Relieving Neck Pain – A Whole-Body Approach

Tips for Neck Pain Relief with Feldenkrais(R)

An Alternate Way to Exercise… Make Whole-body Connections

Client who see me often already seen a lot of practitioners for some aching part of their body, like their neck. They might have tried massage, physical therapy or chiropractic, or some other work with the muscles of the neck. Yet when clients get into more severe pain, they find even even the gentlest touch to their neck can easily irritate them, and they want more than temporary relie.

As a Feldenkrais practitioner, I offer a way of working that works to create lasting change.My approach moves beyond thinking about one injured part of the body to support you in making whole body connections. Your neck is connected to the rest of your body. So my goal is for you have ease in the movement patterns that strain your neck. Neck pain often persists in people who do not recover from simple approaches, because these connections remain unaddressed. This cycle of protection from pain, often occuring the rest of the body, makes it harder for you to heal.Without the rest of your body is is hard to turn  head, look up or down, or in more severe cases, even figure out where to balance your  head. Also, neck pain persists when your neck is out of coordination with the rest of your body, causing excessive stress when you do movements like get up from a chair, jump, walk, or look in their rear view mirror. With neck pain from a heavy head sitting on top of the rather tiny part of our spine, when you can’t figure out how to do all these basic movements to balance your head and can’t turn your head easily, which involves flexibility in your spine, your nervous system unfortunately – or fortunately – would rather sacrifice your comfort. Such a vulnerable area can feel like basic survival.

Thus, my approach emphasizes safety, gentleness, and finding connections to support your neck in the rest of your body.

There are many things  beyond the neck, that I sense and feel, when working with clients in these situations. For example, I think of your neck in fact being connected to the whole spine, all the way down to your pelvis, and sometimes your feet, and needing coordination and support. I think of the counterbalancing movements of your head and pelvis that go through your neck, and how there needs to be balance in these movements, as well as softness through your ribs to allow these movements to not put too much strain on one area. I think about the job your neck has to perform, and am interested in the freedom you have to move through your whole body, to look right and left. So I even think about your eyes. I might also think about the way you have organized your posture in sitting in walking, your breathing, and the use of your arms. Try clenching (gently) your fists or jaw now. You might feel it effects your neck. All these areas are connected to your neck, and by working with the connections, and becoming more integrated, your neck does not have to hold on for survival.

Even when there is a disc problem in your neck, you need to find balance in connection with other parts of yourself in order to relieve the constant stress, which can sometimes spontaneously improve the healing process significant.

So bottom-line? It is all about connections!

somatic mind/body principles.