However, when using your phone it's quite likely your head will tilt forward, and, as you can see on the diagram to the right, this can have a huge impact on the relative weight of your head and, as a consequence, your neck.
If you tip your head forward by just 15 degrees off the vertical, it becomes the equivalent weight of 12kg to your spine. Further still and you could end up placing the strain of a 27kg 'head' on your body.
So it's no wonder many people suffer from stiff necks and shoulders, and in other cases, mid and lower back pain as well. For most, avoiding the use of these devices is practically impossible, but you can avoid placing undue stress on your body by using the following tip.
The 'Churchill' Movement
- Place your fingertips in the groove behind your ears.
- Now look up and down from that point.
- When using your phone, ensure you let your head tilt forward from this point. This will keep the weight of your head balanced correctly on your spine.
I call it Churchill after the nodding dog from the adverts ('oh yes' - remember that?)
It's called the atlanto-occipital joint, yet few even know where this point is. Ask your friends were they think their head sits on their spine, and they'll usually point to somewhere lower down, and at the rear of the neck.
If that's where you think this joint is, that is where you'll move it from, and therefore place excessive stress on your muscles to hold up a 27 head!
Try the above exercise. The next time you're using your phone, check your head is balanced and can move from this point and it will make a big difference.
Roy Palmer - Alexander Technique Teacher.