Something that has come up very often in my clinic are clients with headaches. Very often I have found myself looking not so much at the neck itself as the cause, but at the upper back, namely the area between the shoulder blades. This is an area of the spine that should be straight up and down vertically, but often I find that the upper back is tilted forward. When this occurs, the back of the neck muscles need to tighten dramatically to make sure the head is pulled up and level with the horizon. Naturally, I do work with the neck and spine to ensure that the tightness is reduced and the client has good natural movement in all directions but I also work with the client to make sure that the upper back is brought up into a more vertical position, so the neck doesn’t have to work so hard causing the headaches. Part of the problem exists as the back posture has become a postural habit and it is very difficult to pull out of. In my previous post, I discussed reduction of pain (headaches) as a signal for the body to pull itself out of the bad position. In this case, if the client has headaches at the end of each day, make a conscious effort to change to a good position for just one day. If there is no headache at the end of that day, then the reduced symptoms will override the bad postural habit that is causing the issues. If the cause is not reduced, the massage therapy will be good for maybe 3 days, then the headaches will return so emphasis on reducing the cause is as important as the treatment itself. So, as they say, if it hurts when you do it, then don’t do it. But sometimes you just need a little help not doing it.