If you’ve read my writing or watched my videos, you know that I love the neck. I fearlessly grasp sternocleidomastoid, I’ll draw the scalenes in as I work the traps, and I’ll happily give the local fascia a stretch with a slow, soft fist. I know there’s a lot of nervous, vascular, and lymphatic tissue present, but the neck is a robust structure full of feel-good muscle, begging to be explored. If you deal with it mindfully, you can really offer the client a new experience of a structure that has previously only caused them pain, or that they think of as the place where they “hold their stress.”
But… there are limits. That brings us to today’s massage malady: “Cervical Sadism.”
This is rarely seen with actual massage techniques: People tend to respect the anterior and lateral neck’s potential vulnerability by being careful with it, or even avoiding it altogether! While that’s not great, at least it’s erring on the side of caution. Conversely, this particular problem is characterized by a blithe disregard for the neck’s normal range of motion.