City dwellers like us are always on the move, and always on our devices and gadgets while doing so. We look at our phones when we are on the public transport, stare at the computer screen when we are at work, and watch dramas on our ipads when we are at home. Excessive use of such electronic devices put a huge strain on our necks, and increases the risks of bone spurs (骨刺) grown from the joints in our neck.
There are 206 bones in our body, and around 250 to 350 joints that allow us to move freely. The joints in our neck are flexible and sensitive, thus allowing us to move our necks in many directions and look at the world in 360 degrees. Keeping your neck joints active and healthy in these 3 ways can help reduce the risks of joint aging and “wear and tear” of your neck joints.
1. Massaging the 7 joint points
There are 7 joint points in our neck, and from the tip of the skull to the neck joint connecting to the spinal cord.
Place both index and middle fingers of both hands at the back of your head where there is a little dip in the middle. Meet all 4 fingers there, and press lightly on the point. This is the first point to press. Upon pressing the point, tilt your head upward at about a 60 degree angle, and hold it there for 2 seconds.
Return your head to upright position. Move your fingers downward along your neck at about 1cm intervals, and repeat the exercise until you covered all 7 points, stopping at the neck joint connecting to the spine.
Repeat this entire set 3 times to improve the “curve” posture of your neck.
2. Forward neck stretch
Stand with your back against a wall, and rest the back of your head too against the wall. Tuck your chin inwards slightly. With your eyes staring straight ahead, nod your head (tucking your chin further inwards) and hold it there for 2 seconds. This stretches the neck and reduces the forward inclination of your neck’s posture.
Repeat the exercise for 10 times.
3. Side stretch
This last exercise allows your neck to relax and loosen up the muscles around your neck.
With your left arm behind you, hold your right hand to the left side of your head, and gently pull your head downwards. Keep your shoulders even and your left shoulder parallel to the ground, and hold it there for 10 seconds when you feel the strain in your neck.
Repeat it on the left side with your right arm behind you and your left hand pulling down your neck.
Do the entire exercise for 3 sets for best effects.