I’ve taught stretchlying on the side for decades. So it’s a (welcome) surprise to discover a way of arranging the neck that is both more effective in adding additional neck length and more relaxing for the neck muscles.
It takes good form to be able to get rest on a surface this hard.
In July, reindeer herders in Samiland corral their reindeer to mark the ears of the unbranded calves. This involves stretches of waiting, some of it done reclining on the side, as above.
To date, I’ve taught students to grasp a clump of hair at the base of the skull and pull backward and upward so as to elongate the neck and slide the head back along the pillow into a healthier configuration.
Grasping the hair to guide the back of the head up and back.
My head is supported by a pillow and my forearm acting as a second pillow.
A new technique for lengthening the neck in stretchlying on the side
When I sleep on my side, I usually sleep on just one pillow and place my forearm under the pillow to add a second layer of thickness. Recently I discovered that I could use that forearm to manipulate my head position and enhance the stretch of the back of my neck. By slightly extending my forearm, I was able to elongate my neck further. Using my arm beneath the pillow, I was easily able to manipulate the pillow to move my head where I wanted it to go — rotated forward and glided back. This without tensing a single muscle in my neck and getting a better result — more fine-tuned and with a stronger stretch if that’s what I want (I do). The head’s journey back was very smooth — the pillow provides a soft, cushioned interface, and almost creates the illusion someone is doing the maneuver to you.
A supportive family supported by J-spines!
Forearm and pillow supporting an elongated neck. Enjoying a happy moment on the day of the public television program shoot.
Have you discovered extra techniques that improve your neck’s posture journey? Please do share your discoveries so everyone can benefit!