Waking up with a stiff neck, the feeling of restriction and lack of motion is awful. It really makes you want to stretch. Don’t! Stretching does not cure everything. Sometimes it makes things worse. Stiff necks often occur when our necks have been overstretched. For instance, sleeping in a funky, neck-stretched-over position can create a spasm. Stretching makes those sensitive neck muscles tighten all over again.
How do I know this? I went through a period of chronic stiff necks from overstretching. Thankfully, now that I’ve learned this, I no longer have stiff necks. Phew!
What to do?
Lie on the floor; place your fingers underneath the highest vertebra in your neck that you can feel. Press up with your fingers to support that neck bone. Your neck will arch a bit, while your head remains on the floor. With your fingers maintaining this support, nod and bob your head, like a Bobble-Headed Animal. This miniscule movement is meant to loosen the tight muscles between the neck and the skull. Spend a minute or so with this supported, loosening movement while you breathe. When you release your hands, try to keep the softness of your neck, while maintaining it’s natural arch. Your neck has a natural curve that creates a supple and mobile YOU!