The Neck Twist:
A Stiff Neck Exercise That
Loosens and Strengthens


The Neck Twist is an effective stiff neck exercise that relieves pain by loosening and stretching the neck muscles and tendons and stimulating the nerves in the cervical vertebrae. This particular stiff neck exercise can be done standing or sitting. Check with your health professional first though if you have a history of neck problems or you haven't exercised for some time. Also included below are two highly effective acupressure points for relieving and preventing stiff neck and associated headaches.

Neck Twist - Stiff Neck Exercise

How

1. Stand with your feet parallel and about shoulder width apart.

Keep your back straight.

Look straight ahead.

Let your arms hang loosely by your sides.

Or sit on a firm but comfortable chair with your back straight and your hands resting on your thighs.

Look straight ahead.


2. Breathe in slowly and smoothly through your nose.

As you exhale (through your nose) start slowly turning your head to the left as far as you comfortably can, or until you are looking over your left shoulder.

Hold the position for a second or two.


3. Breathe in again as you gently turn your head back towards the front.

When you are facing the front, start exhaling as you continue to turn your head to the right.

Turn only as far as you comfortably can, or until you are looking over your right shoulder.

Hold the position for a second or two.

Continue turning your head from side to side.

Breathe in as you return to the front. Breathe out as you turn to each side.

Try to stretch your neck a little further each time.

Do 10 or 12 twists to each side to begin.

Build up to 15 or 20 or simply do the exercise for several minutes each time, once or twice a day.


Benefits

  • Stretches & loosens the neck muscles & tendons
  • Stimulates the nerves of the cervical (neck) vertebrae
  • Relieves neck pain
  • Prevents neck problems
  • Tips

  • Breathe slowly, smoothly & deeply throughout the exercise
  • Don't force it - stop if you feel any pain
  • Rub some liniment into any painful spots beforehand

  • Acupressure Points For Stiff Neck

    For greater effectiveness, press the following acupressure points before you do the above stiff neck exercise or other neck exercises:

    Point 1

    Located either side of your spine on the outside edge of your neck muscles, in a hollow at the base of your skull.

    Place your hands on your head. Use your thumbs to press the points one at a time. Press in and up in the direction of your eyes.

    Use enough pressure so that you feel a comfortable pain.

    Press the right side 12 times. Each time you press, hold for 3 seconds then release for 1 second.

    Count like this: Press 123...release...press 223...release...press 323, etc, up to 12.

    Repeat on the left side.

    Press this point 2-3 times a day when you have a stiff neck or neck pain.

    Benefits

  • Relieves neck pain & stiffness
  • Relieves headache at the back & side of the head

  • Point 2

    Note: Not to be pressed during pregnancy (particularly in last trimester) as it can stimulate uterine contractions.

    Located in the muscle on the tops of your shoulders half way between your spine and the outside tip of the shoulders.

    Use your index and middle fingers to locate then press the right shoulder point 12 times.

    Apply enough pressure so you feel a comfortablepain.

    As with point 1, press for 3 seconds then release for 1 second.

    Repeat on the left shoulder.

    Press this point 2-3 times a day when you have a stiff neck or neck pain.

    Benefits

  • Relieves neck & shoulder pain & stiffness
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