T2: Pain in the Neck or Gateway to Higher Wisdom?

This entry was posted on Jun 5, 2012 by Anna Guest-Jelley.
pain in the neck

Your Beautiful Spine

T2: Pain in the Neck or Gateway to Higher Wisdom?

I’ve got a pain in the neck.

Now, don’t worry; I’m not gonna name names. Well, I take that back. I will name one:


Not the Terminator

Now, before you go and make Arnold Schwarzenegger’s phone ring off the hook, let me explain. It’s not him (although it could be; what’s up with what he did to Maria Shriver? But I digress).

Instead, it’s my vertebra–T2. Oh, what’s that? You haven’t been introduced?

How rude of me.


In my li’l spine picture accompanying this post, you’ll see that T2 is part of the thoracic spine; it sits just below the cervical spine (otherwise known as the neck).

I’ve had this pain-in-the-neck for quite some time, but it’s been worse lately. This is, of course, partially due to all my computer work. Oh, and driving in the car. And sitting down to eat. And watching TV. And reading in bed. And, well, any and every other activity I do while sitting.

Have you ever noticed how your head comes forward when you sit? Maybe that isn’t true for you, but I think it is for many people. When my teacher, Cora, talked with us about this, she reminded us that the head rest in a car is there for a reason–to rest your head on.

I couldn’t have been more shocked!

My head has never once come close to the head rest, and when I tried it, I felt like I was mashing my head back. That is, until I did a quick little measurement and realized, dangit, it was right in place.

Wanna give this a try yourself? Place your thumb and middle finger on either side of your collarbone, just below your chin. Then take your second finger up to your chin; if your head is in alignment, it should reach naturally up to it–not strain forward like it’s about to pop off.

That’s Not All

I’ve been studying the subtle, or energetic, body quite a bit lately. And I had a feeling that my pain-in-the-neck had more in store for me than just a physical pain.

I hate it when I’m right.

It turns out that this spot has strong connections in both the Chinese Medicine view of the energy body–the meridians–and in the Chakra system at the fifth chakra.

In Chinese medicine, this point is connected to the Governor Vessel. According to Cyndi Dale’s wonderful book The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy, this meridian “transports chi to the major organs and balances the chi and blood in the body … Disharmony in this vessel can cause symptoms including stiffness.”

Oh, snap!

Hopefully the chakras would have better news for me. (I’ll wait while you finish laughing.)

According to Dale, “The fifth chakra opens us to higher wisdom, our guides, and our own souls. Many sources consider it to be a center of dreams. At the fifth chakra, if we can determine what truths we really want to represent, we can reach our inner dreams and achieve meaningful lives.”

So yeah, all my pain in the neck means is that I’m blocked to a meaningful life. No biggie.

Oh, Yeah; Information is Good

I’ve often heard of people referring to pain in the cervical spine as connected to the throat chakra, but not so much in the thoracic.

But after a little reflection, it dawned on me that this totally makes sense–at least for me. T2 is supporting my cervical spine. And with something caught up at this point, it makes sense that my voice can’t come out as truly and freely as I’d like.

But there is some good news: First of all, I brought some awareness to the problem. Holy simple but amazing step, Batman! Especially since this is hardly a new issue for me.

Second, I’m investigating and releasing. I’m releasing this area every day by rolling on little tennis-ball-type-balls as well as giving myself a smidge of traction. And I’m taking actual breaks now–away from the computer.

Most importantly, I’m continuing the work of finding, and freeing my voice.

About Anna Guest-Jelley
Anna Guest-Jelley is the founder of Curvy Yoga, a training and inspiration portal offering body-positive yoga classes, workshops, teacher trainings, retreats, a virtual studio and an in-person studio in Nashville, TN, for people of all shapes and sizes. Anna is also the co-editor of Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery & Loving Your Body. Visit the Curvy Yoga website for more details: http://www.curvyyoga.com/

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