After a relaxing session of deep head work for migraine relief, my client declared, "I think if everybody had a head massage once a day, the world would be a much more peaceful place!" I believe she was onto something!
Even the suboccipitals, some of our deepest and smallest head muscles can have a profound impact on our full-body coordination and pent-up emotional tension. The suboccipitals, which connect the top cervical vertebrae to the base of the skull, produce subtle head movements like nodding and tilting (think bobblehead doll). These muscles may be small, but their position helps determine the correct orientation of the head on the spine. Tight suboccipitals will restrict head movement, which will limit flexibility through the entire spine and disrupt full body coordination! Those of us who carry emotional tension (ehem, all of us), have a forward-head posture, or spend our days constantly looking to the side at multiple computer screens, may develop restricted suboccipitals.
Here's a little exercise to reduce this tension:
1.) Stand up and walk around, noting the ease of your movement.
2.) Using your index and middle finger of each hand, located the base of your skull. Notice the palpable ridge that is the base of the skull.
3.) Perform slow, little circles with your fingers from the outer side of the ridge towards the middle. Do 1-2 passes across the occipital ridge.
4.) Next, hold each thumb on either side in an isolated position and slowly nod "yes" and no". Try this with your thumbs in multiple spots along the occipital ridge.
5.) Take a deep breath in and out and remove your hands.
6.) When you're ready, stand up and try walking again. Your head should feel filled with newfound space and your movement should feel slightly easier. Now just add this to your morning routine and you'll be ready to take on whatever your day throws at you!!
Empowerment beyond the massage table...
As a bodyworker and teacher, I love helping to educate people about their bodies. I think our relationship to our bodies is vitally important to our mental health. This blog features a few tools, articles, and fun facts to help you empower your body :) -Emily