Emotions and neck pain

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I was lying in bed with my daughter a few weeks ago reading stories before naptime.  I had my head propped up against the wall and didn't think much about it.  Two hours later, I could barely turn my head.
After a couple days of this, I got myself to the chiropractor.  My neck was out.  Along with my hips, and ribs.  And apparently, this was a problem that had been developing for a while, likely from postural habits, and of course, carrying my 30+lb. 3-yr-old daughter.
When I got home I decided to practice, and that's when I knew it really had been a long time coming... 

As singers, the alignment of the neck is one of the most important areas to address as the neck houses the larynx, where the vocal folds live.  The larynx needs to be able to float freely within the neck, so any misalignment or tension present within the neck will directly affect the voice.

 

I had not noticed that my head position was too far in front of my body until it was returned to its proper spot, and the change in alignment reinforced two things for me.

Singing with proper alignment feels much more effortless.

Hidden emotions lurk in misalignment.

As I had my head back upright, it felt easier to sing, but I also felt open, vulnerable, and more confident.

 

Truthfully, I struggled with feeling those things.

 

Thoughts arose, such as: "Who are you to walk so tall?" (I'm 5'9" in flats). "It's scary to be so vulnerable" "Wow, this is authentic and I don't like it!"

 

Ah, my mind and the poor frightened little girl who is sometimes trapped inside...

 

As I took each of these thoughts and did some self-coaching on them, I uncovered a wealth of information and found I could stand a little taller.  I also became deeply aware of the emotions I had been holding onto, most notably fear, that made me want to curl into myself.

 

As I acknowledged the fear, explored it, and surrendered to it as Martha Beck discussed in her teleclass last night, sure enough the fear began to dissipate and my posture quickly restored.  I'm now standing taller than ever before, the chiropractic adjustment has held, and singing continues to feel easier and freer!

 

Lasting body alignment = postural awareness + emotional freedom (Tweet this!)

 

How about you? 

 

Where does your head habitually live?  Are your ears over your shoulders or somewhere in front?  What do you notice as you guide your head back on top of your body?  Are there any emotions and thoughts that arise for you?

 

Leave your comments below!