Alexander neck release
Tell the participants that the neck is a prime area for muscular tensions.
Invite people to gently press the back
their necks with both hands and
to note how the muscles feel.
Ask participants to stand with both feet flat on the ground and their
weight balanced evenly, hands hanging loosely by their sides when in a
resting position. When a disability makes standing difficult, encourage
sitting in as balanced a position as possible.
testing this is
for them to sit on their hands and feel
the weight is evenly balanced on
the two hands.
Announce that the activity to be done will help to release tension in the
neck and enable the head to be more freely balanced on the spine. It con-
centrates on working the muscles where the head balances on top
Demonstrate to participants where the head balances on the spine by
having them run a finger up their own spinal column to feel where it
enters the skull. Ask them to imagine their head floating on top
spine at the point where the skull starts. A further useful image is having
the head attached to a balloon which is gently tugging up-
wards. Pushing the nose or the chin up is to be avoided. This can be
helped by having the eyes look straight ahead comfortably at right
angles to the face.
Make sure they have found this point
balance. Then ask participants
to begin gently rocking the head forward and back with very slight
the nose up and down, thinking
the pivot as being the
the spine. Check how much they are moving their
they are having difficulty producing only a small movement
ask them to put the fingers of both hands symmetrically on either side
the spinal column
the neck so that they can check that only the top
the spinal column is involved.
A further exercise is to have them tum their heads very slightly to the
right and to the left. The movement will involve the second vertebra
only and should not twist the neck any lower.
When these two movements have been established ask participants to
repeat and feel how hard their neck muscles are again. Most
report that they feel much softer, indicating that some degree
tion has been achieved.
Inform participants that relaxing the neck muscles encourages other
the body to relax, particularly
care is taken to achieve a
balanced body position.