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Stretch of the Week: Self Massage for the Neck

by AthleticoLeave a Comment

Week 3 of June brings us to a traction technique and self massage for the neck. Please use caution as always. If you have severe neck problems I would not recommend you do this one. 

You will need a yoga block for this technique.

How to do a Self Massage and Traction Technique for your neck:

1. Lay on your back on the floor. Knees can be bent, with feet on the floor.

2. Take the block and place it under your occipital ridge on the back of your head. The occipital ridge is the bump on the back of your head, it’s virtually where your spine and head connect.

3. Begin to tilt the block away from you as shown in the top left photo. I usually keep my hands on the block so it doesn’t just slip right out from under me. Keep the head neutral to feel the traction. The chin will tilt down towards the chest.

 traction technique4. To take this into more of a massage, you can start to gently and slowly rotate the head to the left and then the right, as shown in the top right photo and the bottom left photo. Feel free to linger in the spots you feel are tender for a few breaths.

Tip 1: Refrain from tilting the block towards you as shown in the bottom right photo. It’s not harmful but you won’t get the same effect as when it’s tilted away from you.

5. There is no time limit or repetitions on this technique. Stay here massaging and tractioning for as long as you like!

Tip 2: if you don’t have a yoga block you can duct tape together two tennis balls and use that in the same placement as above. The block is a little more effective but tennis balls can work too.


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