The way someone holds their head has a subtle but deep influence on how we perceive them, and can influence their health in may ways. From voice power to headaches, and from neck pain to comfort while dancing, all these things are heavily influenced by head and neck posture. Here are 5 images to help you carry your head closer to your optimal.
Empty the neck
Think of the area in the front of your neck, in front of the spine, as being empty. Imagine lots of space between your upper ribs, your jaw, and your spine. To add to this, imagine there still is some dust or crumbs remaining, and picture a brush softly brushing those away, until the area is completely clean.
Brush open the shoulders
Many muscles and other tissue holding our neck and head erect are connected to the shoulders. That’s why I included this image here.
Like before, picture a brush opening your shoulders, brushing the front the area, horizontally and away from your centre.
Lift the back of the head
There are a few images for this. A very soft one is again using a brush, brushing the back of the neck and the lower part of the back of the head. Imagining brushing upwards from the top of the thoracic spine (opposite the sternum), all the way to about the height of the top yof your ears (an a bit more).
Another a bit more intense one is to imagine that you have a long braid starting at the very bottom of your back hair line, and that someone is gently pulling you up from said braid.
Suspend your coracoid process
The coracoid process is a part of the scapula that we can touch from the front of the body, under the clavicle. See this article for more details on how to locate it. Now imagine that you have a bunch of helium balloons attached to each of these bony protrusion, and let them float up.
Lift the sternum
Many muscles and other tissue linke the neck to the upper ribs and the sternum (breast bone), so if the sternum is kept down from below, it’s almost impossible to have good neck posture. Locate your sternum by tapping gently on it, until you have a pretty clear idea of its shape and location (start at the top, just under the soft part of your neck, and explore down and to the sides, noticing when the texture of what’s under your fingers changes. Now just picture this bone floating up, and tilting slightly back; or rather, the bottom of it floating slightly away from you.
This article also exists in French.
Want more like this?Check out the following blogs from massage therapists I know from around London:
- On The Run Health and Fitness on running, nutrition and sports massage.
- The Soma Room on sports massage and exercise.