Heres what I used to do for my tight neck muscles – get them stretched…
Did they need stretching often ? yes…were they always tight? yes…
Why? Computer..stress..anxiety…forward head posture, clenched jaw..all that stuff means tight upper neck muscles.
Was I fed up with it..not really, after all it was my own fault right? I knew what to stretch though, so I stretched them, I just told myself off for spending too much time on that computer
Is that you too? Hell yes I bet it is!
Years and years later…still stretching?
Here we go – the tight muscles are telling you a story, and you’ve just read it in a different language.
For all that time…
Remember the yellow fish in Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy?
I got me one of those fish when I started to understand the WHY
I began to understand the language
I stopped chasing the pain and looked elsewhere
What was that pain telling me? Tight muscles, overworking, tired, fed up, pissed off neck muscles.
Switched off core muscles…even though I’m a Pilates instructor, my abs were NOT working in a correct pattern.
When tested using NKT (www.neurokinetictherapy.com) my Psoas (hip flexor) TA (Transversus Abs) and Rectus Abs were unorganised…thats my polite way of saying they were inhibited. Their pattern of working was all jumbled up.
My left shoulder hikes up when I’m stressed, its been like that forever, it gets tight, I’m aware of it but I wasn’t aware those muscles were working to stabilise my core as well.
As soon as they were released and my Psoas and TA strengthened, stuff changed.
As soon as my Scalenes were released after testing to find they were facilitated (left more than right) and the left ones released (ouch! ) my diaphragm went whooosshhh…and my breathing was lighter.
Oh yes, the diaphragm is a commonly facilitated muscle too, you can practice deep breathing , but for some of us, it wont “let go” if its compensating.
I love testing core muscles when a client compensates by clinching jaw or breath holding, its a common cheat, and tells a story – do you do core work at the gym or in your Pilates class with a clenched jaw and no breathing for those tricky repetitions?
Want to stop that and do the same exercises with good form (check your neck position, if you need a towel under your head to keep it neutral, then use one or you are using your neck to stabilise , not your core)and breathe out with your mouth open, and eyes open, don’t close those eyes, that just means you are searching the brain for answers when it cant find your core muscles to do the work. Bet you are clenching the jaw and toes too …
Get yourself assessed to find out whats inhibited and facilitated, what patterns are unorganised , you will get homework to do thats specific for your unique patterning, which will involve a stretch or a massage with a ball in a tender/tight area, but what you do that follows that release is crucial to allow that “stretch” to hold, for the brain to relearn the new pattern.
It can take up to 3,000 reps for the brain to cement a new pattern of learning…thats a LOT of reps.
Its a lot of wrong reps if you are treating the wrong pattern. Guys thats why I was stretching for years and nothing changed. I was stretching the tight and not strengthening the weak. I didn’t know my patterns were unorganised.
So yes, there you go, get assessed, you can search NKT on You Tube too, to get an idea of how it works..
You will save a lot of years of stretching and chasing pain, you are unique, find out whats working..and whats not.