Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I wrote to Kit not long ago asking for advice for a problem and it was suggested that I post here.


For over two years now, I have been dealing with headaches / neck / jaw pain.  It is difficult to pinpoint exactly where I am feeling it, as the jaw, front of the neck and suboccipital muscles all feel afflicted.  Muscles in the shoulder and middle/ upper back will tighten as well, on one side.


The pain will be experienced almost always upon waking, though it will usually alleviate somewhat once I get up and move around a little bit.  I cannot lie around in bed at all once I wake up.  At seemingly random points throughout the day,  the pain will return.  It will also wake me up in the night.  The randomness of the pain returning is the most maddening part, as I do not feel as though I am stressed sometimes, yet the pain will still come.  Perhaps my awareness is so limited, that I simply cannot let myself relax.  I have been made aware of the idea that most are aware of the concept of relaxation, but cannot actually invoke the experience.  Perhaps I fall into this basket.


Kit recommended that I try the hip flexor and neck stretches, and in particular the latest ones from the YouTube channel.  I did so (my hip flexors are incredibly tight, especially on one side, from skateboarding - I assume)  Kit also recommended that I try cultivate a daily relaxation practice.


In response, I began to do the lying relaxation scripts.  There is absolutely no doubt that these are effective - both in inducing a state of deep relaxation in the moment (which I honestly believe I had NEVER been able to do before) and in increasing bodily awareness throughout the next day.


In the following three days, I experienced complete, sustained relief from the pain, for literally the first time in years.  This was incredible - I was ecstatic.  Life was beautiful once again.


On the third day, I began to stress about one thing or another - the pain returned.


I am now feeling as though I am “chasing the dragon” in trying to recreate the relief.  I am trying to do the same stretching exercises, though I feel as though I may be stretching far too frequently and not giving the muscles enough time to recover.  When the pain comes, however, it is hard to restrain myself from the utopia that stretching provided in the recent past.


The pain is also now returning whilst I am trying to do the lying relaxations.  I don’t know whether this is because I am missing a muscle group that needs to be stretched, or whether my muscles have been overworked, or whether I am simply stressed and unable to relax.  I have just tried one of the seated mediation audios which was better and relatively pain free - I will continue with these.


It’s worth noting here that I am currently about 2 weeks out from my final law exams.  Undoubtedly stress levels are higher than usual and this must be playing a significant role in this affliction.  However I have been experiencing this pain at relatively consistent levels throughout the past 2 years, whether on holidays or during the uni semester.  I have only sought to properly resolve the pain and enhance my relaxation in the last few weeks, whereas in the past I was merely putting up with it.


I do not know whether it is the stress that is causing the pain, or whether it is the pain that is causing the stress.  When the pain occurs, I side with the latter.  I find it hard to be relaxed when in pain, and as mentioned, it is severely disrupting my sleep, which only contributes to the stress experienced the next day.


I’m sorry for the length of this post and the lack of cohesion.  I realise I am probably rambling and I have no specific question.  Any thoughts would be deeply appreciated. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Frac,

Welcome to the forums!

Sorry to hear about the pain. Reading over your post, I see a lot of uncertainty and resulting impulsivity. It's only natural to chase after the good results you had previously, but the impulsivity is only creating lots of new variables which cause even more uncertainty. My recommendation would be to decide on a plan of attack, write it down, and stick to it. The general recommendation would be one to two relatively intense stretching sessions per week, along with daily limbering (light, comfortable stretching) and lying relaxation. You can do a sitting practice instead of the lying relaxation, but if learning to relax deeply is your primary goal, the lying relaxation is more appropriate. @Kit_L may choose to expand on that point.

I'd also recommend you keep it simple to start out. Stay consistent, and continue for several weeks (at least) before even considering any changes to your plan. Change will happen, but it will likely be gradual, over a significant period of time. Trust the process and do the work, and you can be sure things will improve. And keep us updated :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Nathan Thank you kindly for your reply.  I think you're right about how impulsively creating new variables is leading to uncertainty and is not helping at all.  I am going to heed your advice and stick to a plan.  I'm going to try one relatively intense stretching session per week, plus daily limbering and a relaxation exercise.  I will report back in the next few weeks my results!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is really interesting post Frac. I relate to it a lot. I have definitely reached some states of "deep relaxation" only to lose it, and chase after it again which only causes more internal conflict. I'm not sure how to deal with this, but something said that helped me put it into perspective is no 2 meditation sessions are ever the same. You approach a new body every day, and you can not expect to always be in the same state of relaxation. Being present is not about always feeling the same, it is being present with how your body is at that moment. Even 2 breaths back to back are unique and different if you pay attention enough. Just like this every day is unique. And accepting this, I think, resolves some internal tension. Maybe something in there will help you in some way...I'm still learning how to cultivate these mindsets as well. 

Also, could you recommend which relaxation scripts you found helpful? 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Posting a 2 month update just in case anyone else with a similar affliction comes across this post:


I have been stretching relatively intensely once per week and doing a light limbering session on other days, in line with the recommendation.

I have also been doing a lying relaxation each night following along with the relaxation scripts that Kit has uploaded.


The short story:  I rarely get headaches anymore.  My sleep has improved immensely.  I am waking up feeling well rested far more often than not.  The neck and jaw tension is rare and I am able to realise when it is occurring and actually relax the muscles through that realisation.  Psychological stressors that I have dealt with for years are beginning to fade.  The relationships I have with other people are better and life is more pleasant and enjoyable in general.  This will sound absurd, but I am also feeling more intelligent, or at least I have more mental resource to dedicate to important or enjoyable tasks rather than it being depleted it on useless worries.

It may sound like I am getting paid to say these things, but I promise you I am not...  I tend to be skeptical of systems that promote solutions to pain, because so many systems, prescriptions and exercise routines (given by doctors, physiotherapists, chiropractors, yoga teachers, osteopaths) have failed me in the past.  I am sure this is how a lot of people feel.  You have to trust that this system is different.

I remember reading a number of threads in this forum which helped or at least encouraged me when I was at some low and painful points.  I am simply posting this in hopes that I can steer someone who is in the same boat in the right direction.  Kit has said before (I will paraphrase here, please don't take it as gospel) that if you try the weekly stretching, daily gentle limbering and daily relaxation exercises, in one lunar month, you will begin to see change in your body and in yourself.  I can testify that this was absolutely the case for me.  The most popular exercises needed to start are free on YouTube and the relaxation scripts are freely available as well.  You have nothing to lose!

As a final note, I would recommend that anyone who is on the fence, listen to the Stretch Therapy podcast next time you are in the car or something.  Some of the conversations that both Kit and Olivia have and the way they talk about how this system works is fascinating.


P.s. @IanSDW I have been enjoying the Melbourne 2017 ITS one and also the 2017 Greenwell Point one.  I like to alternate between a few different ones or else I get familiar and fall asleep.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

@Mac M Thanks for responding.  To tell you the complete truth, I’m still struggling with the problem.  It’s very strange because I wake up every day with a headache, with no chance of it fading until I get up and moving.  There’s no lying around in bed; it gets worse.  I am a bit embarrassed regarding my post, as I think I spoke too soon, as if the problem was on the way out, but years later I’m still suffering with it.  I’ve tried almost everything, and I cannot put my finger on what it is that’s causing the headaches….  Perhaps I’m using my accessory muscles to breathe when I’m lying down, or something?  I’m  going to a headache clinic in the city in early 2023;  will see if that helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...