Do you have students that are tight in their neck and upper back? All of their movement seems to initiate out of their upper trapezius. I can help you with that.

What to look for in deciphering the pattern:

  1. Is their upper back in flexion in a standing position (shoulders are forward of their pelvis or pelvis is forward)?
  2. Is their head forward of the midline of the body?
  3. Are their shoulders overly depressed?
  4. Is there tightness to the arms reaching overhead?
  5. Can they move in all directions of the neck -flexion, extension, rotation, lateral flexion? Is there a restriction?

Where is the bio-movement restriction coming from? Let’s look at the bone movements and fascia exercies to explore.

Cervical Spine C1-7 - “The cervical spine functions to provide mobility and stability to the head while connecting it to the relatively immobile thoracic spine.

Thoracic Spine & Ribs T1 & T2 - movement that impacts: head, neck and arms - arm swings in the cross lateral pattern of gait.

Conceptually the relationship from the head to the tailbone is called head tail connectivity. It is a developmental pattern. This relationship is about all of the curves in the spine working together to find buoyancy and spring-like movement in gravity.

If one of the spine segments is not able to mobilize and be in relationship to the other parts of the spine then the stress of a fixed non- integrated segment will have an effect on the entire back line of fascia. Students need to develop both fragmentation and integration as movement choices.

Fascia Exercises and Movements to explore:

  • Re-education the pattern of sensed mobility of the neck by repeating the flexion, extension, rotation, and side bending 3-5 times each direction. The movement patterns should start to improve.
  • Seated nasal breathing placing the hands on the front of the first two ribs with their own hands. - Tactile cueing you could place your hands on the back two ribs. (breath focused activates the deep front line and connects to the visceral system)
  • Prone breathing with head turned to one side 10 breaths, then the other side. You might night to prop the body higher than the head.
  • Fascia Arm swings that mimic gait patterning. (non-loaded back arm lines to back)
  • Work on chest opening exercises like Chest Expansion without cueing shoulders down. This one is really important, The uplift of the back arm lines need to turn on without over depression. (Integration of back arm lines to the back fascia lines)
  • Cueing all Pilates exercises with the concept of head to tail relationship and a sense of vertical throughness.

I have more variations and exercises for patterning and strengthening the fascia lines. I would love to share them with you. I have 3 Teaher workshops coming up in October. Click here to check them out.