Friday, November 9, 2007

Stiff neck /Stiff shoulder

Stiff neck
Stiff shoulder
Tightness of the neck and shoulders caused by draft
Crick in the neck

The neck is the bridge or channel between the head and body. Many important nerves and blood vessels gather in this area. If the neck is troubled, it is easy for many head problems to develop such as brain tumor, ringing in the ears, sinus congestion, headache, and glaucoma. Once established, head problems are difficult to cure. It will take a long time to change, so be persistent in the application of shiatsu.

All of the above mentioned conditions indicate varying de¬grees of restriction in the neck region. All neck conditions except sore throat can be treated in the same way.

Ginger Compress

If movement is severely restricted and painful, first apply hot ginger compresses on the painful area. Approximately fifteen minutes of compresses should warm and relax the tightened area, making the effects of shiatsu much more penetrating.


Knead Shoulders. The receiver is seated on the floor or in a chair while the practitioner stands behind. First, a kneading method is used to loosen up the whole shoulder and neck area. This is applied across the top of the shoulders and to the sides of the neck. This will make the person feel more comfortable and relaxed.

Press Shoulders. With the thumbs on the back of the shoul­ders and the other fingers laying over the top of the shoulders, press and hold with the thumbs for about five seconds. Begin near the spine and work outwards, moving every 1-1 172 inches toward the edge of the shoulder. There are about four to five spaces where you can hold. Repeat this several times until the muscles of the shoul­ders begin to soften.

Press Neck. Next, the practitioner should move from behind to beside the receiver. Place your closest hand on the back of the neck at shoulder level and the other hand on the forehead to stabilize and support the head. Your thumb is on the side of the neck closest to you and the other four fingers are on the opposite side of the neck, giving support. Hold and press with the thumb, beginning near the lower part of the ear and continuing until you reach the shoulder.
Either press and move your thumb quickly from one point to the next, or hold each point for a few seconds, depending on the pain response of the receiver. Repeat this method until the muscles be­come softer. You can press on three lines from the lower ear to the shoulder. Be especially attentive to the sore and painful areas. Gent­ly making a circular press with the thumb on the painful area will increase circulation and relieve pain.

Rotate Head. Maintaining the same body position, that is, standing to the side of the receiver with one hand on the neck and the other on the forehead, rotate the neck. The range of movement should be small at first. Just guide the head first in one direction several times, then in the opposite direction several more times. While turning the neck, ask the receiver to relax the neck muscles.

Avoid producing any unnecessary pain.

Relax Muscles. Finish the treatment with chopping move­ments, with the sides of the hands on the area near the spine at the shoulder level and between the shoulder blades.

Neck Exercises

Stretching exercises are an important part of treatment to re­lieve discomfort in your neck. They help restore motion and relieve pain associated with stiffness. These exercises are more effective when performed in the shower, after a shower or following the appli­cation of hot, moist towels. Moist heat relieves pain by increasing blood flow to the muscles of your neck.
Gradually increase the number of times you repeat each exer­cise as your condition improves, but stop when fatigued. In the be­ginning five times per day may be enough, as you continue ten to twenty times per day will not be too many. They may be done inter­mittently during the day to help relax and relieve tension of the neck and shoulder muscles. Take an exercise break during your work day.

1. Stand erect. Turn your head slowly to the right as far as is possible without straining. Return to normal center position and re­lax. Repeat on other side.

2. Stand erect. Try to touch the left ear to the left shoulder. Never force or strain. Return to normal center position and relax. Try to touch the right ear to the right shoulder. Return to normal cen¬ter position and relax.

3. Stand erect. Raise both shoulders as close to the ears as pos sible and hold as you count to five. Relax. Stretch you shoulders backwards as far as possible and hold, then relax.

4. Stand erect. Slowly try to touch your chin to your chest. Ro¬tate your head backwards slowly, looking up at the ceiling.

5. Stand erect. With one hand, grasp the other hand behind theback, then pull downwards towards the floor. Take a deep breath,stand on your tiptoes, and look at the ceiling while exerting thedownward pull. Hold momentarily, then exhale slowly and relax.Repeat ten times.

6. Lie on your stomach with your hands clasped behind yourback. Pull your shoulders back and down by pushing your hands to­wards your feet, pushing the shoulder blades together, and lift headfrom floor. Take a deep breath. Hold for two seconds. Relax.

7. Lie on back, knees flexed. Take a deep breath slowly, usingelbows for support, fully expanding chest, touching top of head on thefloor, then exhale slowly. Repeat ten times.

Calcification of the neck

Avoid all dairy products including milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, cream, butter, and cream cheese. Also avoid beef, chicken, eggs, and sugar.
Try the macrobiotic diet with the addition of seaweed and dai-kon radish or turnip every day.
Ginger compresses are important to loosen up the neck and

improve circulation. Repeat every night for five days. Rest for the weekend. Repeat this series until pain decreases.