Newsletter no. 6 – Thursday 5 August, 2021
This is the web-based version of Stretch Therapy Newsletter no. 6
– Read about techniques used in Stretch Therapy.
– Watch and practice two videos to reduce tension in your neck muscles:
* Gentle exploration of flexion (chin-to-chest) and extension (taking the head back on the neck) stretching movements
* A RollStretch (softening) sequence to relax the muscles at the base of the skull
Techniques in Stretch Therapy
We use the term ‘technique’ interchangeably with ‘method’ or ‘approach’; and as used here, is synonymous with ‘tool’, or a device designed to produce a specific effect.
Techniques include manipulating the three fundamental neural reflexes of the body, use of a number of core techniques from the original “PNF” manual including Contract–Relax, and a number of new techniques that have emerged over the last ten years, including pulsing, long-holds, micro-movements, directed breathing, controlled cramping, and deep relaxation.
Many people hold excessive muscular tension in their neck. Here are two solo sequences – one explores gentle neck stretches, and the second is a RollStretch technique to relax the muscles at the base of the skull.
Easy-to-do effective neck stretches | flexion and extension (perfect for computer and phone users)
Many, many people's necks are tight, and sometimes (often?) painful. Working at the computer, or driving, can increase this tension dramatically. A gentle stretch can make the world of difference to the comfort of this area.
This sequence uses hand support for the head, contractions to loosen tight muscles, and an innovative way to take the neck into extension without the rear neck muscles spasming.
The secret is to open the mouth wide; this relaxes a number of muscles at the front of the neck, allowing much easier movement.
Try this slowly and gently; your neck will thank you!
RollStretch techniques for releasing sub-occipitals and back of the skull
This short video shows a RollStretch exercise – how to use a hard ball to target the muscles in which most people's headaches start: the sub-occipitals. A softer ball such as a tennis ball can be used to start with.
As well, you'll learn how to move the point of maximum pressure around the whole base of the skull, as well as up and down the side of the back of the neck and skull. Brilliant five-minute break for computer users!
A note from a student
Also, I love both your energies (Olivia's and yours). You emanate such composure, presentness, calmness and positivity. Perhaps that sounds a little like a cliche, but you feel authentic.