I'm working my way thorugh the book- so helpful.
I'm trying to go gently, but each time I work on it I end up with a severe ache right across my upper back- shoulders and neck. I can't seem to get passed this, no matter how consistent I am with stretching and massages.
I have pretty bad forward head posture and slumped shoulders, and work at a desk job. I also suffer anxiety and chronic fatigue syndrome, and I think the stress hormones from those conditions have worsened the tension in my neck and shoulders. I also have EDS, which I know can affect joint tissues. When I roll my shoulders I have a large amount of 'cracking' sounds through my shoulders, and when therapist give a massage they can feel lots of 'gritty' bumps.
I'm using a massage ball to loosen up those muscles which seems to be helping a little. I've also had some myotherapy massages.
I will keep progressing with the exercises slowly and gently, as well as supporting my health more generally to reduce stress and inflammation.
Does anyone have any other tips to loosen up the neck and shoulders and improve posture using the exercises, and to get past associated muscle pain?
3 days 5 hours ago
07/05/2009 - 7:54am
I'm glad you are finding the "8 Steps to a Pain Free Back" helpful. Your awareness of forward head position makes me think you are using the book to deepen your understanding of your body. However when something causes new pain or increases discomfort, its best to back off and change something. Less is more and focus on things that feel good.
Our ligaments are a large part of what gives our bodies structure and stability. When the ligaments are loose and overstretched then leaping into reshaping the body too soon can be problematic. Its better to work with gradually lengthening and strengthening first. It might be that working with a subset of the 8 steps in the book to start with would help.
Stretch lying on the back is often a great place to start. You can begin to very gently lengthen the back with as many pillows for support as you need to be truely comfortable, don't leave the head or neck dangling in mid air. A tiny, almost imaginery, stretch might be much more comfortable than a big stretch. To help stabilise the body the inner corset is, in my experience, the gold standard. If that seems a bit too much just now, practicing engaging your rib anchor while laying on your back is usually an excellent starting point (again less is more, be nice to the neck).
In normal times I would urge you to see the nearest Gokhale Method teacher, first for an Initial Consultation, then, when you're ready, the Gokhale Method Foundations course. One day that will be possible once again. Right now I'd suggest registering for an online free workshop. Probably better still, for you, consider the "Better Posture, Better Sleep" teleseminar, or an online Initial Consultation. Keep up the good work but go easy.
2 years 3 months ago
10/01/2017 - 12:15pm
Thank you so much John!
It is very helpful to be reminded to go slowly. I have been finding the stretch lying exercises to be the most comfortable. I will ease my way slowly into changes.
Yes I was hoping to do a course here in two weeks, but of course it has been cancelled. I will look into an online initial consultation.