Have you ever found yourself wandering through the forest wishing you could enjoy the scenery, but you’ve got this pesky sore neck thing happening. Or, you could be at work in front of your computer, and the same thing is happening….
That happened to me just yesterday! I was out on a walk one one of my favorite forested trails, and my neck was bugging me. Ahead of me was a bridge over the creek that the park is named for- Tryon Creek.
I thought, what could I do right here right now to help settle this neck down?
I am a big believer in using whatever is in your environment at the time, so I noticed the rails on the bridge over the creek. I grabbed one, turned my head to the opposite side, and tilted my chin down towards my shoulder.
The railing allowed me to create more tension and stretch in the neck muscle, and there I stayed for a full ninety seconds. That got a nice stretch in the back of the neck, in the trapezius muscle area.
However, there still seemed to be some tension towards the front of my neck. I notice the front of my neck A LOT the next day when I crash and burn snowboarding, but it can be just at noticeable when you’ve had excessive screen time. Therefore, I continued my grab of the rail (and you can grab a doorknob or chair or under the counter or desk…) and this time tilted my ear towards my shoulder.
HOLD the stretch for 90 SECONDS!
Those neck muscles, wether the front (scalenes and sternocleiodmastiod) or back (trapezius) respond best when held. Hold the stretch. Don’t bounce it, don’t let anyone squeeze and release the area, and don’t bail before the 90 seconds. That is the magical neuro-muscular release and reset point, as well as allowing emotions to process through your body!
Lots of good stuff happens in 90 seconds …let me know how you like the stretch in the comments below!