Visualization techniques can turn off some muscle pain patterns

Have you ever wondered how professional athletes manage to perform at peak levels day after day? Yup, plenty of professional athletes have neck pain, just like regular people. Many use visualization techniques.

Before a 100 meter race, a gymnastics performance or even a football game, they sit down, close their eyes and see what they want to have happen, literally creating it in their mind’s eye.  This creates a muscle memory.  When they’re in the heat of the moment, their muscles repeat this same pattern, often creating amazing results.

You can use this same visualization technique to help eliminate neck pain caused by inefficient muscle patterning.


As you float one arm forward and up, envision your collarbone rotating forward and up.  As your arm floats downward, envision your collarbone spiraling downward.  Do this slowly a few times.  When this pattern seems easy and natural, add a second visualization.  As your arms floats forward and up, envision your shoulder blade gliding down your back.  As your arm floats downward, envision your shoulder blade sliding slightly up.  In your mind’s eye, see your collarbone acting as a pulley for your shoulder blade moving up and down.

Why this works: when you use these visualization techniques, your muscles and connective tissue re-organize their patterning to support the proper movement of your skeleton. See it happen in your mind’s eye to make it happen in reality.

Need a visual?  Here is a great clip by one of my favorite kinesiologists, Eric Franklin, creator of the Franklin Method.

You might also like: Dumbwaiter

Looking for a workshop where you can learn more techniques for eliminating neck pain? Look for dates for the Pain Free Neck & Shoulder workshops here

Nike WHQ Fitness Center members: find an open appointment with me here.

About the Author
Christine Binnendyk is the creator of the Ageless Pilates and Barre Fitness workout programs, taught exclusively at Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.. Nike employees take her Pain Free Body, Pain Free Athlete and Pain Free at the Office workshops at the Nike Sports Centers. Public workshops are available through Portland Community College, Club Sport Oregon and the Warrior Room. Find her best-selling book “Ageless Pilates” on Amazon.