4 simple neck stretches for tension release

Neck tension can creep up on you and if you’re really unlucky, can lead to headache and migraine pain when that tension makes it way up the base of your head. And most of the time you’re not even aware it’s happening until it hurts. That because the way you might hold your head downward at work or when reading or texting, coupled with stress, is often to blame. Why?

Because of forward head posture, aka text neck. This is when the head falls forward and down and the muscles of the neck are elongated and must contract to keep you from falling forward. This causes the shoulder to tense up as well.

Your first instinct may be to take an OTC pain reliever. But growing research shows that NSAIDs can increase your risk for heart attack. So instead, in today’s video, Kellie will show you four easy stretches that will relieve neck tension and release that stress held in the neck and shoulders — without even having to leave your seat…

Chin to chest stretch

Stand or sit upright and overlap your fingers and place both hands behind your head. Use your hands to push your head down so your chin goes toward your chest. Do not lower your head and then press with your hands, as this defeats the idea of the stretch. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds and return to the upright position. You should feel a stretch between your shoulders. Repeat three times. Do this three times per day at different times.

Ear to shoulder

Stand or sit erect with shoulders level. Reach your right hand over your head and place your fingers on your left temple. Gently pull your head to the side, keeping your head straight and not twisted. You want to pull your right ear down toward your right shoulder. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds and return to the upright position. You should feel a stretch along the left side of your neck. Repeat three times and then repeat three times on the other side. Do this three times per day throughout your day.

Nose-to-underarm stretch

From a standing or seated position, turn your head to the right, reach your right hand over the top of your head, holding the back of it. Slowly pull your head diagonally down, as if trying to pull your nose into your underarm. Hold the stretch for a count of three. Next, slowly push your head back against your hand, slowly returning it to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. Now repeat this sequence 3 more times.

Looking up

Place your right fingers on your left temple. Now pull your head back diagonally, so the right side of the back of your head moves toward your right shoulder. Your head will point up diagonally with your line of sight the ceiling. Hold for 20 seconds and relax. Slowly return to center and repeat on the other side. Do each side three times to release neck tension.


Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.