I had woken up one morning with a stiff neck, having been working at my computer to for lengthy spells, and my neck was all locked up. I needed some help so I contacted an osteopath I know.
He asked me a bit about my history as relating to my neck, and then proceeded to check my neck and spine out.
When something happens in my neck I find I get scared of anyone touching it, really feeling the fear that lives in the neck.
What I actually wanted which was to have my neck cracked, and that was what most scared me.
I’d said my neck was out, to which he replied that to his way of seeing the neck wasn’t out as such as much as the musculature holding the neck in place was imbalanced, and that my posture, particularly as it relates to sitting looking at a computer screen, was responsible for my problem.
He then spent the next 40 minutes or so digging really deeply into the deep muscles around my upper spine, stretching, pulling and kneading the tissue until it slowly, slowly released. Boy was it sore, but I was able to move more freely.
The osteopath had really strong hands, and really got in there, working on tiny deep muscles around the vertebrae.
After loosening up the neck he gave me a long spinal stretch with the aid of a towel, and pulling abruptly my neck cracked and released.
Still a bit sore, restricted, when I sat up to leave, he offered to adjust me. He got me by surprise, always a good thing I think, and I instantly felt much better.
People who have studied and have learned adjustment techniques association with lots of theory have a quality of assurance and care which those with more ad hoc instruction lack, being more cavalier with your neck than is comfortable.
I found the Byron Bay osteopath to be very respectful of where I was at and of not wanting to force himself on my own process with my neck and body in general. I left then, to return three days later for a follow up.
I was feeling a lot better by then, even though I was still sore and a little stiff.
Again he worked really deeply, quite painful actually, and gave me an exercise to do.
When I walked out this time I felt complete, realising that my fitness was something I would really have to take into consideration if I want to keep sitting at my computer for days on end.
I like osteopathy – I like the theory, I trust it somehow.
Written by Mark O’Brien for the “Session of the Month’, Here & Now magazine 1999-2005
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