The Causes of Body Stress in the Neck:

Mechanical Causes

Jarring or jerking the neck as in a fall or a whiplash in a car accident; working or reading with the head tilted downwards for lengthy periods; twisting the neck as in reversing a car.

Mental/Emotional Causes

Emotions like intense anger, anxiety or shock, which cause a person to hunch the shoulders and tighten the neck muscles. A state of ongoing depression will also bring about postural distortions. In addition, the physical discomfort resulting from the body stress will reinforce the negative emotions and lead to a vicious circle.

Chemical Causes

Exposure to harmful chemicals may severely irritate the nervous system and cause the neck muscles to tighten, e.g. chemicals which we inhale, such as car fumes and insecticides; substances which we absorb through the skin, such as cleaning materials and certain cosmetics. Some people react adversely to certain foods and to preservatives and colorants. Very often an infection, such as the flu or cold virus, will result in neck stress.

The Effects of Body Stress in the Neck

The body stress stored in the neck structures may cause pain and stiffness and an inability to fully turn the head. As the lower neck supplies the nerves to the arms, there may be pain or numbness in the shoulder, arm or hand. Muscles may be weakened, resulting in difficulty in grasping objects. The tension in the neck may cause headaches or pain in the face or jaw. There may be sensations of dizziness or nausea. The pressure may irritate nerve pathways which connect with the eyes, nose and mouth and this could adversely affect vision and the senses of smell and taste. Another effect may be a burning, dry mouth or excess saliva. Body stress in the neck area may also have an impact on nerve connections to internal organs, such as the heart, lungs and digestive system, undermining normal function.


Case Studies:

Chemical Headache

A woman of 28 had been experiencing almost constant headaches for 6 months, as well as a stiff and painful neck. She had 2 sessions of BSR. After each one, the pain withdrew but returned within a day. Detailed questioning revealed that she had started using a new skin cream about 6 months before. She stopped using it, and after one further session of BSR her neck stabilised and the headaches ceased.

Numb arms and fingers

A man of 42 complained of numbness in his arms, pins and needles in his fingers, and weakness of the hands. Body stress was released in his neck over 3 sessions. He reported that full sensation and strength had returned to his arms a week later.


A woman in her thirties had suffered from frequent attacks of asthma since a neck whiplash in a car accident, four months previously. After three sessions of BSR full movement was restored to her neck and all symptoms of asthma had ceased.

Ear pain

A student of 19 had ear pain for 9 months. An ENT specialist could find no cause and prescribed pain medication. The BSR practitioner released body stress in the neck and the lower back. After the first session the neck felt more mobile, and the ear pain withdrew entirely after the second session.

Improved Vision

A man in his fifties had been wearing glasses for decades. After several sessions of BSR he was startled to find they were distorting his vision. Another man in his sixties found that during the year after he’d had 6 sessions of BSR his vision gradually improved to the point that he could dispense of his thick, bifocal spectacles.

Neck immobility

A man in his early twenties had been diagnosed with neuralgia of the neck. He had constant pain on both sides with limited movement. He also felt unrelenting pins and needles in his arms and complained of lower back stiffness.

He realised that his problems dated back to a car accident seven years prior, as well as several concussions he’d suffered playing rugby. A variety of medical and alternative treatments hadn’t helped and he felt despondent as he could no longer do sport or exercise.

Body stress was released throughout his spine as well as his chest. Initially his neck pain increased and he had several headaches, although the arm sensations diminished. The next few sessions were a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, as the neck pain and rigidity lessened then worsened.

This takes place as the body progressively unlocks layers of tension, and sensation is restored to the compressed nerves. By the fifth appointment the young man struggled to hold back tears of relief when he showed the practitioner that he could turn his head from side to side. He was amazed that this process had only taken 2 weeks.