Many people suffer neck and shoulder tension caused by ‘head forward syndrome’. The head can become fixed in this position in response to misalignment in other parts of the body or simply from sitting at a desk for hours at a time, eyes glued to a computer screen. There are also mental and emotional factors which may cause the head and neck to be craned forward. A powerful need to do better, archive more, overcome ALL obstacles. Feelings of being perpetually in a race against ….the clock….your competitors…..other people’s expectations or your own self imposed, and possibly unrealistic standards.
It is of course not possible to maintain this pace indefinitely, even top class athletes include regular down-time and proper rest in their training programs. If you recognise this tendency in yourself, try this simple visualisation technique for a few weeks and make a note of anything that changes.
Sense memory Exercise 2 – Let the world come to you
As you go about your daily activities, notice how it can seem that your eyes, darting here and there are almost reaching out to grasp bits and pieces of all that is going on around you. Try imagining instead that you can soften your gaze, relax the surface tension a little and just allow the world to come to you. Imagine that all the rich colours and interesting movements come pouring in, easily and without effort, soaking into the visual centres of your brain, deep behind the eye sockets. Trust that you will see whatever you need to see and that what you miss doesn’t matter.
Let the world come to you – explanation
As I have discussed in previous blogs, when a gravity centres become misaligned, it effects not just that part, but the whole body, physically and mentally and emotionally too.
The average human head weighs around 5kg. Try holding that amount of weight out in front of you and you will feel how quickly even the large powerful muscles of your arms will fatigue. When your head is forward the body must recruit help from muscles all the way down the back of the body. From the small muscles at the base of the skull to the larger muscles down the back and even all the way down into the calves.
Most of the muscles which attach at the base of the skull and into the vertebrae of the neck are not designed for this kind of endurance. They are there to perform the incredibly fine and subtle movements required to help us; express ourselves, orient to our environment and keep the head and eyes steady when we walk and run. When they are continually recruited to help support the weight of a forward head then they become exhausted and begin to lose the ability to respond sensitively. Where there is lack of movement, connective tissue networks grow thicker, eventually preventing movement altogether. Blood supply can then become restricted, nerves compressed and joint articulation impaired. In the early stages a stiff painful neck will often disappear with a good night’s rest. But muscles need energy to relax as well as contract, and so eventually the muscle fibres become so depleted of energy that they become fixed in a rigid painful contraction that can then require many hours of therapeutic treatment to alleviate.