As you know, the electricity in a Parkinson’s body is not flowing well, and we have a host of physical issues that arrive as a result. In a couple of coaching sessions over the last week, it was brought to my attention that stiffness in the neck was something plaguing people. I would imagine that a stiff neck interferes with the smooth flow of electricity (neural impulses) generated in our brains and having to make their way down to our bodies.
For many years (8-10 years), I had been doing neck exercises to stretch and loosen my neck as part of my morning Qigong exercises. So, even though I did the neck exercises every morning while I had Parkinson’s, they are not in my Recipe for Recovery because I never associated them as something I did for recovery from Parkinson’s. The information I learned last week makes me feel that this is important enough to discuss because maybe some of you are facing a neck stiffness problem.
Here are the neck exercises:
Turning head to sides.
1. Sit up straight and slowly turn your head to the right.
2. Slowly turn your head so you are facing forward again.
3. Slowly turn your head to the left.
4. Slowly turn your head so you are facing forward again.
Repeat this 10 times to each side.
Tilting head forward and back.
1. Slowly tilt your head forward with your chin moving down toward your chest.
2. Slowly bring your head up so you are facing forward again.
3. Slowly tilt your head back.
4. Slowly bring your head up so you are facing forward again.
Repeat this 10 times forward and 10 times back.
Tilting head to sides.
1. Slowly tilt your head to the right side as if you were trying to place your right ear on your right shoulder.
2. Slowly bring your head back so you are facing forward again.
3. Slowly tilt your head to the left side as if you were trying to place your left ear on your left shoulder.
4. Slowly bring your head back so you are facing forward again.
Repeat this 10 times to each side.
If your neck is so stiff that you cannot perform any of these movements, use your hands to assist your head and your neck in doing the exercises, but only do the movements slightly so you do not strain your already stiff neck. After you have been doing this with the assistance of your hands for a number of days, the tightness should loosen up a little, and you should try again without using your hands.
I feel that tremors occur from blockages in our electrical system. Our Parkinson’s brain is sending weak impulses and the impulses are trying to get through passages squeezed tight by our rigidity, thus resulting in shaking. I feel that a tight, stiff neck negatively impacts the ability for electricity (our neural impulses) to be delivered correctly to our bodies. Our rigidity is literally squeezing the life out of our neural impulses…and out of us…we are slow, unsteady and fatigued.
And, let’s not forget about pain. But, wait! In order to feel pain, isn’t it our nerve endings themselves that send the “I’m experiencing pain” message to the brain? So, if we are just sitting around watching TV and we feel pain from our rigidity, doesn’t it make sense that our ridiculously tight muscles called rigidity are squeezing down so hard on our nerves that our nerves are sending an “I’m experiencing pain” message to our brains. This squeezing causes blockages in the energy flowing through our bodies and these blockages negatively impact our movement and cause us pain. To make matters worse, our dopamine faucet is nearly turned off, so we are getting very little assistance from our dopamine.
So, here is where I am going with this. Please try doing the neck exercises outlined above and let me know about your ability to do them or not. If you do not wish to comment publicly, please send me an email at email@example.com. Having a looser and more flexible neck will help with many things in life, including balance and looking backwards when backing up your car.
I feel very strongly it also will help with opening up the first line of electricity blockages in your body and will assist in your Parkinson’s recovery. As I said before, I did not include this in the Recipe because for 8-10 years it is something I did every morning already, so I did not view it as something I did specifically for Parkinson’s recovery. However, if enough of you do this over the next month or so and report along the way that you are seeing measurable improvement, I feel that it should added to the Recipe as an Addendum.
So, please check on the level of your neck stiffness and please do the neck exercises outlined above. Let’s work on this together and monitor the results. Aren’t you worth it?
All my best,
Hi Howard, luckily I haven’t got a stiff neck but I have been doing your exercises for the neck for a while now- they must work! Just been for my weekly tui na and my therapist was talking about chi flow. I have been feeling a lot of chi in my temples, and right at the very top of my neck – my therapist said these spots were both linked to liver wind which goes with what you have been saying. If parkinsons wasn’t so horrendous it could actually be interesting.
Warm regards Lindsey
I am happy to see how well you are progressing with your recovery. Thank you for commenting and sharing your journey. Keep up the great work!
I do have neck stiffness along with my whole body as I go through daily activities,but when I move my neck consciously it is OK.I will try the excercises to see if there is any difference.
Hi Christine. Thank you for taking the time to take a separate look at this issue. I look forward to hearing what your conclusions are.
Very interesting about the neck. I have also been doing exercises for my neck for many
years. In my work, when I am concentrating sometimes I hunch forward, and my neck becomes tired, then tight to the point of pain if I do not take care by releasing that tension.
For those experiencing neck tension, I offer these two exercises which were given to me by my qigong teacher:
Like a Turtle
Push chin forward
Gently and slowly move chin in horizontal circle
Like a Swan
Push chin forward
Move chin down then back towards the chest then up then forward, making a verticle circle Like a ferris wheel
Each of these can be done standing or sitting. Strt w 4 repititions ,gradually build to 8.
When I started these, I heard a lot of crunching. Very loud crunching. If you try these, be sure to keep the movements very slow and gentle.
With love and best wishes, Marie
Thank you, Marie. I appreciate you sharing your exercises with us!
With gratitude and love,