Neck massage: how to relax the neck

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Neck massages and stretches are proven methods of relieving tension in the neck, releasing tight knots and soothing pain. The best thing is that we can all learn these four do-it-yourself massage techniques.

Massage for a tense neck

The neck muscles often cramp up when receiving limited blood supply. This makes the fibres contract, which reduces the blood supply even more. To break this vicious cycle and correct bad postural positions, a mixture of stretching, neck exercises and massage is recommended.

Two pain-relieving mas­sage techniques

It’s very easy to massage your own neck. A neck massage can alleviate neck pain and help ensure an even blood supply to the muscle. The difficulty, however, is to stop yourself from tensing up even more. Be sure to take enough time for the massage.

Technique 1: Stroke on one side from back to front

Neck massage: Stroke on one side from back to front
When massaging your neck yourself, be sure to take enough time and massage with even strokes. When stroking the neck on one side from back to front, firmly grasp the muscle with your fingertips and slowly pull the muscle forward over the shoulder. Repeat the movement a few times.

Technique 2: Grasp the muscle to the right and left of the spine

Neck massage: Grasp the muscle with both hands to the right and left of the spine
In this massage technique, grasp the muscle with both hands to the right and left of the spine. Slowly pull the muscle forward. You can let your cervical spine curve and point your gaze upwards.

Relieve tense muscles with stretches

Painful muscle tension can also be relieved by gentle stretching exercises. It’s important to perform the movements slowly and with control and to adhere to the time of 30 seconds per stretch.

«Floating head» stretch

Pull your head upwards as if it’s attached to a thread at the back of the head. Pull the shoulders/arms slightly towards the floor, relax the jaw, drop the chin into a slight «double chin» position.

Stretching exercise: «Floating head»
In this stretching exercise to relieve neck tension, stretch your neck and simultaneously lower both shoulders. Keep the jaw relaxed. Be sure to adhere to the time of 30 seconds per stretch.

Side stretch

Shoulders are low and the jaw relaxed. Look forward to start with, and slowly tilt the head to the side until a slight stretch is felt. Then look downwards and upwards (slow, small movements).

Neck massage: Side stretch
For the side stretch to reduce tension in the neck and shoulder area, keep the shoulders low and the jaw relaxed. First tilt the head to the left, then to the right. Here too, stretch for at least 30 seconds.

Neck exercises prevent pain

Alleviating pain and easing neck tension is one thing – but preventing the pain from occurring in the first place is another. Often the reason for a sore neck is lack of everyday exercise. Pain and tension can be prevented by combining regular neck massages and stretches with a few simple neck exercises.

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