S4 and D4 Ways
Chronic neck pain is first a
muscle problem, then an inflammation problem. It is
a common mistake to focus on tendons, nerves,
trigger points, disc degeneration, spinal stenosis,
and bone damage. The focus on muscle and
inflammation is a path of learning, knowing,
liberating, and independence. The focus on tendons,
discs, and vertebrae is a path of diagnosis, drugs,
devices, and dependence—"the D4 Way,"
seems a good term for it. Nature evolved your neck
to serve you with suppleness, stretching, swings,
and strength ("the S4 Way")—to serve you
for a hundred years or so. In this context, please
consider: Evolution did not design the wholly
integrated neck architecture and structures for the
benefit of orthopedic surgeons, physiotherapists,
chiropractors, acupuncturists, or pain specialists.
The "muscle-inflammation thinking" will help you to
live with Nature’s S4 Way, the the D4
Way will not. It is really that simple!
Basis of My
I begin by offering my
qualifications for writing about chronic neck pain
and my guidelines for nondrug remedies:
1. For 29 years, I worked in a
hospital as a pathologist and spent long hours
peering through a microscope. I do not recall if
anyone warned me against developing chronic neck
stress from leaning over a microscope before I
myself developed stiffness of neck muscles, which
sometimes turned into neck pain.
2. I have a prolapsed disc in my
lumbar spine and suffered for years. Twice the pain
was severe and restricted me to bed for days,
forcing me to consider surgery. Fortunately I
avoided surgery and have not used any pain killers
for more than ten years. I do back exercises every
morning and Feather Breathing as often as needed.
3. Orthopedics was a large part
of my surgical training. I received certification (FRCS)
in England in 1968. With passing decades I realized
the limits of physiotherapy and manipulation done by
professionals and the far superior long-term
benefits of self-administered neck stretches and
non-drug anti-inflammatory therapies.
Based on personal experiences and
clinical work with a large number of patients with
chronic neck pain, here are my seven top priorities
for addressing issues of muscle spasm and
inflammation, and for relieving pain:
1. Gentle, high-frequency,
low-intensity neck stretches and massage (described
Topical oil rubs
4. Limbic breathing
5. Four week trial of gluten-free
and sugar-free diet.
6. Readings of my poem "Sadness"
(from my book entitled Drone Democracy) for
spiritual equilibrium as often as needed.
7. Use of contour-molding pillows
(such as temperpedic)
Once the neck pain is completely
or near-completely relieved, please do not forget to
do neck stretches and massage.
The links provide detailed
information about the clinical uses of my protocols
listed above. The integrated use of all seven
recommendationwill give the best clinical results,
however, if all of them cannot be implemented, it
helps to do as many as possible.
For chronic neck pain, one needs
to become one’s own primary physician. If you can do
all of the above for just four weeks, you will be
well on your way to becoming your own primary
physician. It is that simple.
Unstretched neck muscles are
uneasy muscles. They brood and bruise easily.
Withdrawn and sullen, unstretched muscles shun
participation, much like a child who shuns other
children on a playground even though he yearns to be
there. Supple and stretched muscles are happy
and eager to respond
and vibrate. Stretched muscles are kind muscles
Limbic Neck Exercises
Below is a description of
stretches I recommend to my patients stretching and
strengthening neck muscles and for relieving chronic
neck pain. If you cannot do all six steps, please,
do as many as you can, and do them often.
First, rub the neck and shoulder
muscles between your two palms to loosen them and
warm them up for one or two minutes. Next do a
temple message with a gentle, rolling motion of your
palms placed on your temples.
Second, turn your neck to the
right as far as it will go without causing any
discomfort. Put your left hand firmly on your left
temple. Push your neck firmly against the left hand.
There should be no actual movement in the neck, the
push of the neck should be balanced by the push of
the hand. Count to ten and let go.
Turn your neck to the left as far
as it will go. Put your right hand on your right
temple, and follow the same instructions for the
left as for the right.
Bend your neck forward, as far as
it will go without causing discomfort. Put your two
hands on the back of the head as shown above. Push
your head up against the two hands as much as you
can without causing any discomfort. There should be
no actual movement of the neck. Count to ten and let
Extend (bend backward) your neck.
Put your two hands on your forehead as shown in the
preceding diagram, and follow the same instructions
for bending your neck backward as for bending your
Move your neck in gentle circles see how much
freer your neck now is compared with the same
movements before doing the preceding five steps.
* What Is Pain?
Is Not Important, Detection of Causes Is
The Oxygen Model
The Oxygen Model
Fibromyalgia and Polymyagia
of the Seniors
Chronic Neck Pain
Swivel Chair Physiotherapy
Migraine Migraine - Please Say Yes to Detection and
No to Diagnosis
Migraine Labels That
Reveal Nothing and Hide Much
and Clinical Aspects of Pain
A Pathologist’s Migraine
* Short-term Use
of Migraine Attacks With Drugs Concurrent With
Nondrug Natural Remedies