Neck and shoulder tension are often related, and shoulder tension is released quite easily by the following manoeuvre which is carried out in the sitting position.
a. Clasp one hand in the other behind the back at thelevel of the sacral bone between the buttocks and do the following two tension-producing movements.
b. First try to draw your shoulders together forwards as far as you can. They will indeed move forward a few inches. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then release the tension. Stay with this relaxed feeling for two minutes of pendulum breathing.
c. Then try to get your elbows as close together as you can behind your back, still keeping your hands clasped. Hold this for 30 seconds and then relax. Stay with this relaxed feeling while practising pendulum breathing.
Although both these movements use the ‘feel the tension first’ principle which is not ideal for learning relaxation, such exercises are extraordinarily useful ways of mastering otherwise difficult shoulder and trunk relaxation.
Allow five to 10 minutes for neck and face relaxation learning, and complete your day’s relaxation regime with a few minutes’ pendulum breathing.