You can reduce neck strain and pain by knowing where the top of the spine is.

Looking at the first photo below, this is a very common manoeuvre that most of us carry out many times a day. You may be surprised to know that the head weighs about 5kg and the further it’s moved in front of the cervical spine (neck), the more of a drag on the spine and the muscles at the back of the neck. When this is repeated over and over again, the trauma adds up and can lead to neck strain and chronic pain. The top joint of the neck where the first cervical vertebra meets the skull, is much further up than a lot of us imagine. If you place your index fingers on the bony bump just under your earlobes and imagine a half way point between an imaginary line drawn from one finger tip to the other, through your head, this is where the top joint is. Experiment with gently nodding your head backwards and forwards from this point and look down at your phone by moving from this top joint. Contrast this with leaning the whole head forwards from the lower neck (it may help to place a hand on the back of your neck to feel where you are moving from). Notice a difference in how heavy your head feels and the pulling effect on the lower neck in each position.



Client Testimonials

My Alexander Technique sessions with Dr Ruth Clarnette were extremely helpful. The one-to-one nature of these lessons allowed me to focus on my own unique postural patterns without the distraction of others in a class. Ruth was very perceptive and gentle in her recommendations of how to adopt new postural positions and movement patterns. These suggestions have been helpful in leading me to "zone in" to muscles where I was carrying too much or unnecessary tension; or where I have developed an unhelpful protective pattern to avoid pain. Alexander Technique training is very helpful in reducing and correcting the negative impact of long-term protective patterns which can actually exacerbate pain. I can recommend these sessions for anyone with chronic pain who is interested in reassessing how their body has developed unhelpful postural patterns. Dr Ruth Clarnette is an excellent Alexander Technique Instructor.

Lyn G, Nov 2022

Thank you Ruth! I tried everything to fix my back pain and nothing worked, but your lessons have given me lasting relief. I am not someone who usually leaves reviews but I recommend Ruth to anyone who is reading this.

T Livermore, Jan 2023