Yesterday, I had a new client who has been suffering from neck pain for some time.
She is a fellow author, so like me, she spends many hours hunched over a computer.
Personally, I am quite fortunate in that I have a lap top, so I can take my computer with me and write from a more comfortable position, but my dear new client had not yet made the connection between the way she has been habitually sitting and standing for some 69 years and the pain in the neck and the short, sharp shooting pain radiating into her left hand.
Now it wasn’t that she didn’t want to get better. In fact, she had some 20 sessions of physical therapy for her neck, all of which amounted to nothing, as she arrived at my office in a high degree of discomfort.
Usually, before I do any healing work with any client, I sit down and interview that person and we discuss all aspects of what is going on.
However, in this case, because this dear lady had tried so many things to get better, I knew that she needed immediate relief.
I started by measuring the curvature of her upper back. It was 45 degrees, technically equaling kyphosis, practically amounting to pretty much constant pain, low energy and an unattractive look. This lady exercises practically every day of her life, so none of this was due to inactivity.
Why is measuring your spinal curvatures so important?
If you can logically, mathematically understand what is going on with your back then when I speak truth to you about why you hurt, you will get it and more than likely follow my advice.
A normal upper back curvature is 30 to 35 degrees.
Meanwhile, because her upper back was so rounded, her head was jutting forward about 7 inches in front of her shoulders.
She looked like she was leaning into the heavy wind of life simply standing up about as straight as she could.
Every inch forward your head is adds 10 pounds of pressure onto your neck.
I like to joke around a lot with everybody, as this seems to lighten our conversations.
“You don’t have your head on straight,” I advised her, showing her the measurements. “It’s official.”
Then, after measuring her spine and neck, all I did was show her how to sit properly in a chair. I used yoga eggs for training wheels, placing a yoga egg between her feet, another yoga egg between her inner thighs and then had her engage her pelvic floor by lifting the pit of her abdomen.
Without actually adjusting a single aspect of her upper back, just doing these small things, her upper back naturally straightened and she could breathe easily.
After I had positioned her in a chair, I asked, “How’s your neck now?”
“Gone!” she replied, somewhat astonished, looking around as if she couldn’t quite figure out what had happened.
We had not done a single exercise for her neck.
Then I showed her how to stand up properly.
I had her stand up. I put a yoga egg between her feet, once again another yoga egg between her inner groins and then had her lift the pit of her abdomen up and in.
Once again, just by engaging her inner groins and pelvic floor, her upper back straightened and she breathed a quiet sigh of relief.
“Any pain now?” I asked.
Once again, no pain.
“This should show you that if you have shooting pain into your neck or hand that you are not sitting or standing properly,” I said.
I repeated these same exercises with no yoga eggs, so she would know how to sit and stand anytime, anywhere without pain. I also showed her how to sleep to protect her neck.
And THEN I began to teach her exercises to heal her neck.
If you have been working hard to relieve your neck pain, ask yourself if the problem isn’t actually your upper back.
Yes, the vertebrae in your neck may be out of alignment in any number of possible ways, but you will still have no hope of relief as long as you are schlumping with your head jutting out in front of you.
When we were complete with our session, my client’s upper back curvature was totally normal – 30 degrees. I had literally taught her how to put her head on straight.
I taught her exercises she can do every day to retrain her body, strengthen the weak muscles and lengthen the tight areas and invited her to come to my yoga class for weekly reinforcement. She chose to join me today for our 11 a.m. yoga class at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. If you would like to join us, please give me a ring at 678-612-8816.
You can take advantage of a 5 percent discount on yoga eggs if you order through the end of October and use a special coupon code given to my clients by my friend Jason Scholder, inventor of the Three Minute Eggs.
As a courtesy to Total Fitness newsletter readers, my friend Jason Scholder, creator of www.threeminuteegg.com, has agreed to give YOU a 5 percent discount if you enter the coupon code TotFit into your next order!
Jason had back pain until he invented the yoga eggs.
These are brilliant tools! Even if you don’t plan to practice yoga, you can use the eggs to heal your back pain.
Sometimes when we are experiencing pain we need to look at the larger picture of how our whole body is working together and get our head on straight, literally and figuratively.