One of the shortest steps you can take to freeing up your neck and shoulders and improving the health of your whole back is ramping your head. The image above of Katy Bowman demonstrates just how simple it is to do. Her instructions are:
Keeping your eyes on the screen, and without lifting the chin or chest, slide your head back to the wall behind you. This is an easy adjustment that immediately increases the height of your head, decompresses the vertebrae in your neck, and stretches the small muscles in the head, neck, and upper back. SIMPLE and effective.
So why have I popped this one in when this term is all about the pelvis?........drum roll please........I can hear you all saying it...... BECAUSE IT'S ALL CONNECTED! Don't take my word for it, sit on your chair and rock your pelvis forwards and backwards, tuck and untuck. What happens to your head position when you tuck? What do we do when we sit for lengthy periods reading or doing computer work or driving? So how often might we be living in tucked pelvis and forward head?
Remember that no particular movement is at fault or the 'bad guy'. All potential movement is there for a reason, to be utilised and enjoyed. It's that we get stuck in limited ranges of movement and then all the issues of over use and under use start to 'raise their heads'. Sorry, bad pun.
Forward head tends to go along with a tucked, slumped kind of posture and, as we'll explore this week, if it's happening in the pelvic girdle the shoulder girdle is going along for the ride.
'Head Ramping' is on page 119 in 'Dynamic Aging'. Here's a sample:
"As often as you can - while walking, waiting in line, sitting at the computer, or driving your car - slide your chin back while lengthening the back of your neck. This not only changes the placement of your head, it gets you using the muscles that are there to support your head".
Here is a great new video from Alison Crouch showing how Head Ramping can help your whole back!