Exercises for Opening the Shoulder, Neck, and Rotator Cuff

Stretching is an integral part of any healing for your pain.

Qi gong exercises are slow moving exercises and stretches that help to loosen up joints and get the circulation going in the area.

DSC00523 1 scaled 1
Neck Stretch
DSC00520 1 scaled 1
Looking Up
DSC00501 1 scaled 1
Opening the Shoulder
DSC00519 1 scaled 1
Looking Down
DSC00522 1 scaled 1
Neck Stretch Right
DSC00500 1 scaled 1
Opening the Shoulder

A Wooden Hinge Gets No Worms

There is a saying in Chinese medicine,  “A wooden hinge gets no worms.”  The idea is that a wooden door, cabinet, bench, or stump will get worms because it does not move.  It just sits there.  But a hinge moves all the time and prevents decay.  In other words, move it or loose it.

These are exercises which I have collected from many excellent teachers.  They should be performed slowly with smooth movements. You can read more about them in two excellent books: Xing Yi Nei Gong by Tim Cartmell and A Tooth from the Tiger’s Mouth by Tom Bisio.

Rotate your head

The head, neck, and shoulders are connected, pretty obvious.  The muscles of the shoulder are interconnected to these areas, and tightness in the neck will cause tightness in the shoulders, and vice versa.

Standing straight, feet shoulder width apart.  Slowly look to your right, and now slowly look to your left.  Don’t push it.  Don’t go farther than you naturally can turn your head.  Repeat 10 times.

Look Up and Down

Standing with relaxed shoulders, gentle look up. Do not push beyond your natural limit. Now, gently look down. Repeat 9 times.

Open the shoulder

Stand straight. With your right arm, grab under your left shoulder. Rotate your arm, at the shoulder in a big circle. First going forward 9 times, and then doing it in reverse, backwards ten times. Switch arms.

It is very simple. Open the joints, keep them moving, and you will feel better. Do these exercises a few times per week.  If you are very stiff, you can perform them slowly steadily, but do not push beyond your limits.  Gradually your body will loosen up.

Read More:

Joseph Alban

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.

Joseph Alban is a Doctor of Acupuncture, New York Licensed Acupuncturist, and NCCAOM Board Certified Herbalist providing the highest quality Acupuncture and Chinese medicine care tailored to your needs.

you might also be interested