My Alexander Technique teacher, Joan Arnold, pointed out something to me during one of our sessions. That day, I was complaining about upper back and neck tension that was giving me terrible Tension Headaches. She saw that I was holding a lot of tension in my jaw, as though I was subconscious clenching my teeth together. She said,
"The cheek bones are the base of the skull. Let the jaw drop away from the skull."
Try it. Its almost a feeling as if your ears are dropping off the sides of your head. For me, when I visualize this, my neck really eases up.
I think we often imagine the base of the skull to be the jaw bone or the chin. But check out the pictures and you'll see that the skull is not one solid block of bone.
In your mind, if you allow the jaw bone to hang free from the skull, instead of tightening face and head muscles around the joint and binding them together, a lot of unnecessary tension can be released.
You might have to remind yourself to do this often, but it can really help with tension and pain from TMJ, tension headaches, upper back and shoulder pain, calming your nerves, and don't forget shoulder tension from trying to keep warm! When you're driving off to work in the morning, the temperature is below zero, and your shoulders are up trying to keep your ears warm, try the exercise and you'll amazingly warm up without tensing up! Read more!