Imagine holding a 15lb bowling ball against your belly. It's heavy, but you could probably stand there for a while.
Now, imagining holding a 15lb bowling ball with your arms completely outstretched straight in front of you.
The second one is a lot harder, right?
This EXACT principle applies to your neck. Your head is the bowling ball, and when you sink into the computer screen or phone and hold your head farther out in front of you, you stress out your neck.
In fact, if your head leans just one inch forward, it's as if it weighs an extra 10lbs! Since the human head only weighs 11lbs or so in the first place, that instantly doubles the stress on your neck!
If you have poor posture like the lady in the photo above, you could easily be carrying a 40-60lbs head on your shoulders.
Your spine was not built to support that kind of weight... Your muscles are under constant strain. No wonder your neck feels tight and stiff at the end of the workday. Constant stress like this can also cause headaches.
So what's the solution?
I don't recommend static stretches--they're not as effective as other options and it's easy to injure yourself. This is especially true with the neck, and doubly so for a neck that's already strained and tense.
Instead, here's a way to keep your neck open and healthy, AND an excuse to spend a couple more minutes in a nice warm shower as the weather gets colder!
It's simple too. Take your shower, let your muscles warm up a little, and then in large, gentle motions (gentle!), draw the alphabet with your nose.
This is a great way to move your neck in a new way without having to think about a complicated routine. After all, most muscle strains and pains simply come from repetitive use. If you can move your neck in a new and different way, it will help keep it healthy.
Massage therapy is also an effective choice for relieving neck tightness and balancing muscle groups to naturally improve your posture. After a treatment, clients will often tell me they feel so tall and open, and the weight of their head has disappeared.
How's your posture looking right now? I invite you to pay attention to your body today. Take care and be well.