Heal neck & shoulder pain
A large portion of our population lives with a nagging feeling of chronic discomfort in the neck, shoulders and jaw. Ask any massage therapist, chiropractor or acupuncturist. Many people are in such pain that their normal everyday function is significantly compromised. Reliance on pain medicine, whether prescription or over the counter, is more common than any health practitioner would like to admit. Pain in the neck and shoulders is pandemic.
The main causes of chronic neck and shoulder pain are improper alignment of the joints, poor body mechanics during repetitive motion (typing, driving, texting, working), unnatural breathing, and accumulated stress. These three forces combine to form a powerful vector, a perfect storm. Together they cause immense strain on the delicate joints and connective tissue of the upper carriage, which reduces circulation of blood (oxygen / nutrients) to the brain and important endocrine glands -- such as the thyroid, pituitary, and pineal -- not to mention the muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Unhappy tissues convey their dissatisfaction the only way they know how.
Pain in the neck and shoulders is not simply a musculoskeletal phenomenon, or a simple case of nagging inconvenience. The negative effects of chronic pain in the neck and shoulders have broader reaching implications.
Over time, chronic pain changes the anatomy and physiology which places the body into a mode of systemic inflammation. This affects mood, sleep, work performance, and vital organ function. The cascade of interrelated symptoms has implications in all Nine Spheres. Needless to say, for overall well-being, it is imperative to break the pain-cycle and allow the body to heal.
In many cases, the application of a self-healing protocol of gentle stretching, mindful movement, and awareness training (of posture and body mechanics) addresses root causes and helps the body to restore balance. Mobility exercises restore pain-free range of motion. Fluidity exercises improve the functional strength of the neck and shoulders. Awareness training teaches you how to recognize harmful patterns of posture and movement that aggravate the neck and shoulders, and how to self-correct these on the fly.
Here's what a typical self-healing routine looks like:
Practice short 20-minute sessions once a day, 4 - 6 days per week. Most people see results fairly quickly after starting a self-care practice. However, consistency and patience are key. It takes about 100 days to fully transform the way your neck and shoulders function and completely route out old patterns of chronic pain and tension. After you complete 100 days of healing, keep going with the exercises 3 - 4 times per week. This is the maintenance dose.
Throughout your day, always do your best to maintain correct alignment, proper body mechanics, and natural breathing in everything you do. This type of body-based awareness is a powerful practice of mindfulness in and of itself, and will continue deepen and yield additional benefits the more you practice.
My DVD on healing neck and shoulder pain teaches you how to heal your own neck and shoulder pain naturally, using gentle restorative exercises, breathing techniques, self-massage, and important adjustments to your everyday posture and body mechanics that will reduce repetitive stress and relieve chronic tension.