Notice the alignment of this girl's head with
her torso as she hip-hinges to pound her millet
A pain in the neck really can be a pain in the neck! Here are some tips on how to address this annoying problem:
1. Stretch it out.
(a) When you lie on your back, stretch the back of your neck out as you lay your head on the pillow. This way the pillow can help lengthen any tense muscles in your neck.
(b) When you drive, use the headrest to stretch the back of your neck out.
2. Know which way is up.
(a) Grasp a good-sized clump of hair at the base of your skull and gently pull back and up allowing your chin to angle downward in a relaxed way. Read more
This is our fourth blog post in the series where we put popular home exercises under scrutiny to examine how they stack up—or not—against the principles of healthy posture. In this post we are looking at head rotations/circling, an exercise that is often suggested to ease stiffness and mobilize the neck.
Neck pain—causes and solutions
Although not often considered in physical fitness and exercise regimens, the neck frequently becomes a problematic area for people in our culture. At that point, we look to mobilizing, stretching, and strengthening exercises to alleviate pain and stiffness. Read more
This is our fourth blog post in the series where we put popular exercises under scrutiny to examine how they stack up—or not—against the principles of healthy posture. Here we are looking at “low plank,” a whole-body exercise that particularly develops abdominal strength and trunk stability.
Our model for the photographs is Eric Fernandez, our Gokhale Exercise teacher who teaches the Gokhale Method in the Philadelphia area. Read more
Do you suffer from neck tension, muscle knots, or tingling in your fingers? Do you get frequent headaches?
Or maybe your neck is fine most of the time, but seizes up periodically, leaving you unable to function normally in your job, family life, and recreational activities.
Most neck pain involves compression.
In modern cultures, the head often drifts forward as we slouch and crane our necks towards our computer screens. The weight of the head, (typically 11 lb. or 5 kg—think bowling ball), then requires the muscles at the back of the neck to contract strongly to keep the head up. This contraction compresses the relatively delicate tissues in the area. Not a recipe for a healthy, happy neck. If you have forward head carriage but are symptom-free so far, keep reading for tips that will prevent future problems with the discs, nerves, blood vessels, and bones in your neck. Read more
August is peak holiday time across the northern hemisphere, and many of us who live here will find ourselves poolside, or even better, in it!
Being in water has the natural advantage of lifting weight off the joints while providing gentle resistance training. Aching backs or knees can find relief from compression in the natural buoyancy that water provides. This has made pool exercises a popular prescription with physical therapists over many years, especially for post-operative or post-injury rehabilitation.
On land, to relieve pain and compression, people usually use elaborate measures like inversion tables, traction units, or going to outer space! In the Gokhale Method we provide decompression for the lower back relatively simply with the Stretchsit® Cushion or the nubs on our Gokhale™Pain-Free Chair. But stepping into water is the simplest of all, giving you freedom of movement and the ability to strengthen yourself simultaneously. Read more
Choose your remedies carefully
There are many approaches to stretching tight back muscles that involve rounding the back. Though these exercises give temporary relief, we recommend against them because they threaten the spinal discs, nerves, and ligaments. They can also result in the back muscles contracting even more tightly to stabilize the area. Read more