Neck Stretch Tension Dissolver

Neck stretch to bring balance and reduce tension in the neck, shoulder and head area – Recommended by our Physiotherapist


  • Releases tension in the neck, shoulders and head
  • Lengthens muscles in the neck that may have pain referral from tight shoulders
  • If you tilt your neck one way more than the other because of the way you hold the phone or the way your computer or other visual point is set up, this stretch can benefit you by stretching the tilted side twice as many times as the other side to bring about balance to the neck muscle area
  • Reduces pain referral into the head area
  • Helps keep shoulders in balance; decreases shoulder hiking


  • Avoid if suffering from neck pain or injury
  • If you are suffering from an injury that has not been seen by a professional, please get it checked first. If there is any pain when you do this exercise please stop right away
  • If there is any swelling in the neck, please make sure you do not do this without seeing a medical expert first

Key Points

  • Soften down and lengthen up from the waist
  • Soften gaze
  • Breathe slowly and deeply through nose
  • Can be done sitting or standing
  • Make sure shoulders are neutral (one is not higher than the other)
  • Keep shoulders drawn down and aligned across from each other throughout the stretch.
  • Draw ear towards shoulder; not the other way around
  • If you would like to move on – while drawing the right ear to the right shoulder, take the right hand over the head and place the hand gently on the left temple. Draw the left temple towards the right side while extending the left arm straight out to the left side. Flex the left hand to increase the stretch. Enjoy!


  • Start in neutral standing or sitting position
  • Bring awareness to nostril breathing
  • Allow your body to lengthen from the waist up, on the inhale. You should feel this expansion happening on all inhales. This is subtle but present
  • Gaze is softened
  • Make sure that the ears are lined up over the shoulders as you begin
  • Inhale and lengthen the vertebrae in the neck. Keep the front and back of the neck neutral. Imagine yourself growing a half inch
  • As you begin your exhale, draw the right ear towards the right shoulder. Make sure that the chin stays out from the body. Imagine the chin is like a pendulum going from side to side. Don’t draw the chin down towards the collar bone. Lengthen up and then over
  • Stay in the stretch for 10-15 seconds without holding breath
  • Inhale back to centre
  • Repeat on left side
  • Do as many rounds as you have time and energy for

Consider This

  • If you spend a lot of time on the phone without a headset or if you are sitting on an angle to your computer or if you are looking one way more than the other for any reason, you are setting yourself up to have RSI (repetitive strain injury) in the neck area. You want to create ‘equanimity’ of muscle use everywhere in your body. Position yourself so that your neck has equal movement on all parts. Tilting to one side or looking to one side more than the other will have adverse affects over time.
  • Helps reduce and prevent headaches caused by tension
  • Disc problems in the neck – avoid this stretch if you have disc problems that are not under control – again see your practitioner for approval


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