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unohu1

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Reply with quote  #1 

I've recently discovered that *gently* raising your head and looking at the ceiling for a few minutes can be a helpful relaxation technique.

 

I've come up with many possibilities of why looking up toward the ceiling may be relaxing. I think the best idea I've come up with is that this movement stretches the sternocleidomastoid muscle of the neck.

Image: http://www.exrx.net/Graphics/SternoSide.gif

 

I tried searching this site for information about the relationship between hyperacusis and the sternocleidomastoid muscle. There seems to be a bug in the new 'search' feature, but I did find this arcticle from February 2004 by Astrid using the older search tool:

http://boards.hyperacusis.net/read.php?f=1&i=12787&t=12787

 

Here are all the articles about the sternocleidomastoid muscle found using the old search tool:

http://boards.hyperacusis.net/search.php?f=1&search=sternocleid&globalsearch=0&match=1&date=0&fldsubject=1&fldbody=1

 

old search tool: http://boards.hyperacusis.net/search.php?f=1

 

Here is a page that includes some links to sternocleidomastoid stretches. I was suprised to discover that the retraction stretch appears to be similar to an axial extension exercise. A while ago I posted a message where I remarked that my hearing appeared to change while doing an axial extension exercise.

     Note: It's important to keep in mind that  some neck stretches require you to relax your shoulders. If you don't relax your shoulders you may not be able to stretch your neck properly.

http://www.exrx.net/Lists/ExList/NeckWt.html#anchor170155

 

The following page from NISMAT includes additional information about neck exercises and neck stretches, including the axial extension exercise and a sternocleidomastoid stretch:

http://www.nismat.org/orthocor/programs/neck/neckex.html

 

 

Christopher McPeck

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unohu1

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Reply with quote  #2 

Here's some links to messages where I remarked that my hearing appeared to change while doing axial extension and pelvic tilt exercises:

http://boards.hyperacusis.net/read.php?f=1&i=15161&t=15161

http://boards.hyperacusis.net/read.php?f=1&i=17913&t=17913

 

Here's a list of all of the messages i've found while searching for the word 'axial' using the older search tool:

http://boards.hyperacusis.net/search.php?f=1&search=axial&globalsearch=0&match=1&date=0&fldsubject=1&fldbody=1

 

older search tool: http://boards.hyperacusis.net/search.php?f=1

 

 

Christopher McPeck
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unohu1

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Reply with quote  #3 

Here's a page with additonal information about the sternocleidomastoid muscle:

http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/Sternocleidomastoid.html

 

The following links provide information about which muscles are used when *gently* lifting your head toward the ceiling:

http://www.exrx.net/Articulations/Neck.html#anchor41337 (extension / hyperextension of the neck)

http://www.exrx.net/Articulations/Spine.html#anchor161500 (extension / hyperextension of the spine)

 

 

Christopher McPeck

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janepm

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Reply with quote  #4 
I find this to be very relaxing, too, the only thing is that exercise experts in the past have said NEVER to bend your neck that way, but to gently look to the left, right, forward and very gently go around with the head.

Any more thoughts anyone on this one?

Jane

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Jane
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unohu1

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Posts: 75
Reply with quote  #5 

Well it is a bad idea to move your head that way if you're not careful. For example, the exercise 'full neck circles' is usually not recommended.

     If my assumption that this movement is helpful because it stretches the sternocleidomastoid muscles, then there are other, safer, ways of stretching these muscles.

     I guess it's also common knowledge that stretching these muscles can also be beneficial for TMD. I haven''t mention that in my posts, but Astrid mentioned that in her article.

 

Additional info about stretching and TMD:

"Those with dislocating jaws should not do these [jaw] exercises. Please consult your doctor for further advice."

http://www.coventrypainclinic.org.uk/treatment-exercises-headneckshoulderarms.htm

 

 

Christopher McPeck

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janepm

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Reply with quote  #6 
Christoper: what does TMD mean by chance?

Jane

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Jane
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unohu1

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Reply with quote  #7 

"Today, researchers generally agree that temporomandibular disorders fall into three main categories:

·         myofascial pain, the most common form of TMD, which is discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function and the neck and shoulder muscles;

·         internal derangement of the joint, meaning a dislocated jaw or displaced disc, or injury to the condyle;

·         degenerative joint disease, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the jaw joint."

http://www.nidr.nih.gov/health/pubs/tmd/sec2.htm

 

Christopher McPeck

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unohu1

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Posts: 75
Reply with quote  #8 

I've found that focusing on a point on the ceiling after *gently* raising your head and looking at the ceiling has a greater effect on reducing tension.

 

I think this activity has an effect which is similar to palming with visualization and Open Focus therapy.

 

Additional Information:

 

Open Focus Therapy

"Though many of us may not experience ourselves as stressed, we in fact are since stress is simply our bodies' response to ever present stimulation (stressors) in our internal and external environment. Some stressors facilitate human growth by preparing our bodies' physiology for situations that require action. However, excessive and prolonged stress, or poor ability to cope with stress, can negatively affect our health, our personal lives and job performance; in ways that we may not even imagine."

What is Open Focus?

http://www.openfocus.com/whatis2.htm

 

Palming with Visualization

"Visualisation is also valuable exercise for the memory and imagination. With your mind's eye examine some outdoor scene, remembered, imagined, or a mixture of both, that gives you particular pleasure. Allow your gaze to take in details both in the distance and near to, changing the focus swiftly and easily as various objects attract your interest. If you are short-sighted, pay special attention to distant scenes, and if you are long sighted or presbyopic, pay special attention to objects close at hand. (Page 46)"

Book: Barnes, Jonathan. Improve Your Eyesight: A Guide to the Bates Method for Better Eyesight without Glasses. Souvenir Press, 1999.

 

 

Christopher McPeck

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unohu1

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Reply with quote  #9 

Here's some additional information about massaging the sternocleidomastoid muscle:

"[7.4] How do I massage my neck?

Turn your head to one side, feel along from behind the ear down to
your chest you will find the side neck flexor or
sternocleidomastoid. This muscle can become tighter than any
other muscle in the body. Some people have mistaken this muscle for a
bone. Gently at first till it warms up, palpate, tap and stroke
it. Do each side, then massage the back of the neck working out
from the spine. The top of the spine at the very base of the
skull is often quite tight. finally finish by doing head rotations.
Start with small rotations, in each direction do a dozen circles
gradualy expanding to your full range of motion. Always do rotations
slowly and deliberately"

--Natural Vision Improvement Frequently Asked Questions V1.1

http://web.singnet.com.sg/~hanwen/nvifaq.htm

 


Christopher McPeck

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unohu1

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Posts: 75
Reply with quote  #10 

If you are seated (while you *gently* raise your head and focus on a point on the celing) it might also be helpful to use a lumbar support for your back.

 

There is also a 'Relaxercise' (based on the Feldenkrais method) exercise which is similar to what I've been describing:

 

"1) Slowly and comfortably raise your head and eyes as if to look up toward the ceiling. Then return to the starting position (facing forward) and relax.
• Don’t stretch or strain your neck or back. Your flexibility will increase automatically.
• As you look up, let your back arch slightly.
• Exhale as you do each movement.
• As you look up, notice exactly how far above your eyes can see
without feeling any strain. Later on, you can measure your
improvement. "

http://www.creationsmagazine.com/articles/C84/Bersin.html

 

 

Christopher McPeck

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unohu1

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Posts: 75
Reply with quote  #11 

I've recently noticed that I am able to increase my tolerance for the noise produced by a running faucet by tilting my head slightly upward.

 

I don't know to what degree my tolerance is increased, but I assume that after a period of time my tolerance would break down.

 

 

Christopher McPeck

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unohu1

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Posts: 75
Reply with quote  #12 

I've recently found another position which seems to have a positive impact on my hearing.

 

This position is kind of like a sitting version of the 'upward dog'/'upward facing dog' yoga position--but not exactly.

http://www.beliefnet.com/features/yoga/upward.dog/figure2.html

 

Unlike the 'upward dog' position, the back is in a concave-down position, in a way similar to a cat stretch--but the neck is tilted up, not down.

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/ErectorSpinae/BentoverCat.html

 

Here's what I did (do at your own risk):

*Sit down in a chair or on a sofa

*Extend your legs out in front of you with your ankles resting on the floor

*Extend your arms. Rest your hands on your knees.

*Lean forward slightly so you are supporting the weight of your upper body with your arms (hands on your knees)

*Tilt your head up slowly. You should feel a slight stretch in your neck.

*Focus on a point on the celing

*Trying chairs/sofas of different heights might be helpful

*Turning your neck slightly to one or boths side may be helpful for stretching the sternocleidomastoid muscle: http://www.nismat.org/orthocor/programs/neck/neckex.html#Ex3

 

 

Christopher McPeck

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