Massage & Bodywork

MAY | JUNE 2019

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26 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k m a y / j u n e 2 0 1 9 SAVVY SELF-CARE best practices What's Your Neck Saying? By Heath and Nicole Reed Neck pain is one of our clients' most common complaints. As fascia detectives, we are curious about the contributing factors of neck "projects," such as history of injuries, lifestyle habits, and anatomical corollaries. From a holistic perspective, we also like to wonder about the impact of thoughts and feelings, and how these energy forms are being expressed or resisted. When we give attention to the emerging impulses of our mind, heart, and body sensations, we begin to embody the transformative power and mobility of perspective afforded by the neck. Discover how to release the pains in your neck as we reimagine, move, and express this area. "THE LONGEST JOURNEY YOU'LL EVER TAKE IS FROM YOUR HEAD TO YOUR HEART." —GARY ZUKOV Both physically and metaphysically, the neck may be described as the intermediary between what is above and below it: the head and the heart. It houses the organs, tissues, and bones related to communication and expression. The neck is home to the most highly movable vertebrae, and the cervicals give us the capacity to see from many perspectives. Symbolically, the neck is related to our ability to express what is in our heart and what is on our mind. Imagine your neck as the garden hose of your expression. If the head and heart are in conflict, the hose may become twisted and barely drip, be cut off completely, or be on full blast. If there's a kink in your hose, you may experience yourself withdrawing, going silent, biting your tongue, swallowing your feelings, or grinning and bearing it. If you're overriding feeling in favor of thinking, or vice versa, you may notice feeling disconnected and voiceless, or you may swing to the other end of the spectrum by exploding or lashing out. When thinking and feeling feel disconnected, you may notice your neck tighten, become limited in its vast range of motion, or simply hurt. How do you organize the flow of your expression? MATCHING One way to balance the flow of our experience and expression is through the skill of matching. Matching is the ability to describe or name what you feel, sense, and/or notice, without adding or taking away anything from your experience. You can change and shift the pains in your mind, heart, and body (particularly in your neck) by expressing what is fundamentally true. It is an integrity move to match your inner experience with your outer expression. When our inner and outer worlds are mismatched, we often feel stuck, cut off, or twisted up. The type of matching we advocate does not require explanation, justification, or even a goal of improving how you feel (although this may happen as a happy side effect of matching). Matching is simply the practice of being with the emerging sensations around your neck and describing these as precisely and nonjudgmentally as possible. YOUR NECK'S VOICE Bring your attention inward. In other words, presence all the sensations you are currently experiencing in and around your neck. Allow a moment of generous breath to invite your awareness into this part of your body. From a place of presence, become curious and open yourself to discovery as you inwardly or outwardly say, "Hmm …" Maybe write down what you notice. Let's explore. If your neck had a voice, what would it sound like? What would it say? Can you imagine your neck expressing as a color? A temperature? A texture? Or can you describe specific sensations on the surface or in the depths of your neck? What is the mobility of your neck: Does it feel easy to move? Do you feel free and responsive or tense and short?

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