Exercise: freeing and strengthening the neck

... in which I get distracted by the cameraman. :)

As you'll hear me say in the video, this move comes from a Qigong routine called, "The Eight Pieces of Brocade".

As the legend goes, it was developed in the 11th century by a Chinese general to help strengthen, revitalize and even heal his troops before and after battle. This particular exercise helped the soldiers maintain strength and mobility throughout the neck muscles in order to bear up under their heavy helmets.

For us, it can help us bear up under our 42-pound heads (Hopefully, you read that post, or you may not get the reference...)

And, as I also say in the video, it can be soooooo boooooorrrrring to do.

But, in my own experience, as well as the experience of almost everyone I've recommended it to, it's almost miraculous for dealing with neck pain, and in my case, putting an end to months of vertigo.

A few key points to remember:

~ Remember to tuck your chin under slightly and bring the ears back over the shoulders. Doing this with a hyperextended ("turtle") neck will work against you, as you'll be creating a shearing force in the vertebrae.

~ As you reach your end range of motion in the turn, think 'opening' rather than 'stretching'. This matters particularly if you have a lot of tension, as pushing past your 'easy barrier' can make the tension worse, and possibly bring on dizziness or headache.

Yeah, it's that powerful.

Okay! So give it a go and tell us what you think.

One more thing, if you are really committed to trying this out, consistency is really important.

Trying it once or twice, even a couple times a week, probably won't do much for you. In my case, I was practicing this every day for 23 days (eight times in each direction, and with three different hand positions - 24 times in all) when I suddenly felt a noticeable release in my neck and into my shoulder.

So, be patient and persevering. That's probably the hardest part of all this. (And if you have questions, or a neck condition you're dealing with, please feel free to contact us!)

Good luck! (Click the image to view...!)