The first stretch in the yoga video i decided to follow is actually a head/neck roll. Now for most people with Fibromyalgia the actual thought of moving your head in any other position than slightly downwards looking is difficult contemplate as most of the pain is in the this area.
My pain is in my neck, shoulders, arms, upper chest, upper back and around my rib cage, in fact the pain around my rib cage can be so intense that it has affected my breathing in the past. However i have practised this move three times now and although it does not necessarily make the pain any better, well not yet anyway, it has not made it any worse.
A word of caution before you begin this move, if you have a known neck injury that is not due to the Fibromyalgia or if you are unable to straighten you head/neck sufficiently to align you head above your spine then i would consult a Physiotherapists or a Chiropractor before you begin, as they will be able to give you exercises to bring your head back into alignment. Do not push things past what you can do and do everything twice as slow as you think you should. Remember with Fibromyalgia slow slow slow and little and often is what is needed.
- Sit on a straight back chair or on the floor crossed legged.
- Close your eye and take 3 deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, you should feel your abdomen rise and fall.
- Continue the breathing in and out. On the breathing in say ‘in’ and on the out, say ‘out’. Continue in this manner for a few minutes.
- Bring your attention to your neck area. What do you feel? Tightness? Pain? Say to it ‘i feel you, i accept you’ and then move on down your neck to your shoulders and then upper back, upper chest, maybe even upper arms as well, repeating the ‘attention’ and ‘acceptance’ practise in each area.
- You may find that your shoulders are raised or tight, return them to their natural position and relax them.
- You may find your head is leaning forward or to the side, again return it to it’s natural position.
- Remain in this position following the breath in and out for a few minutes more. (There are two ways to move into the yoga practice from here, i will tell you the way i am doing it and then a simpler way afterwards.)
- Gently, slowly allow your head to lean towards your right shoulder, hold for a moment then gently roll the head/neck forward, to the left, then back and hold, then repeat the movement in reverse, then Stop.
- Return your head.neck to their natural position and remain in the meditation pose for a few moments allowing your breath to come in and go out as before.
- Gentle open your eyes and you are done.
- I repeated the exercise once more during last week and then today too.
- Remember a little something is better than nothing at all.
Gentler Way to Practise
- Take up the meditation position as above.
- Tilt your head gently to the right, then back to centre, then left and back to centre.
- Move your chin towards your chest and back to centre and then towards the ceiling and back to centre.
- Turn your chin towards the right and back to centre and then left and back to centre.
- Return to the meditation practise as above to finish.