Welcome to the 21st century!
It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Most of us sit too much for work, we binge on Netflix too many weekends, and we are glued to our smartphones. If we exercise, many of us do so mindlessly and extremely. In urban areas (for example, cough cough, Houston!) we have the added stresses of standstill traffic, prolonged construction closures, and hostile, reckless drivers to add to the mix. While humans have always experienced neck pain throughout history, our modern lifestyles seem to create “the perfect storm” for most of us to end up with neck pain at some point. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that 30 to 50% of the population will experience neck pain within any given 12-month period.
We’re stuck! And we remain stuck because most exercises and stretches recommended for neck pain are ineffective at best, and do additional harm at worst. Perhaps it’s time to try a different approach?
In the Feldenkrais Method(R), we approach pain with curiosity, first and foremost. In creating the change we would like to see (pain >>> no pain), we move slowly and gently, almost sneaking up on ourselves to disarm the overactive muscular contractions. We make a small movement first, noticing where the movement is possible and comfortable. And then, we explore a little variation. Through this exploratory process, things often change for the better, all on their own, and without violence. We can then begin to create new possibilities, and new ways to move with your whole self, that save wear and tear on that neck of yours. You might still have re-occurrences of neck pain in the future, but they will be short-lived, because you have learned a process for finding relief in any moment.
Try a few F*R*E*E mini-lessons while sitting at your computer (or phone!) today. Resist the urge to binge-wiggle – perhaps do one during your next 5-minute break, and another one later. Be on the lookout for improvement, however subtle. You’ll be free of your pain-in-the-neck in no time!