The Exercise
Have your client sit up straight or stand and ask them to relax their shoulders and neck. Then have them bring their shoulders forward and then rotate them up to the ears and back down. Have her do this with both shoulders at the same time or one at a time. Also, make sure to reverse it and rotate the other way. She should do at least 3 rotations on both sides each way.

Pregnancy-related stress can cause neck and shoulder pain because it causes you to clench and tighten muscles in the neck, jaw, and shoulders. This is because our bodies react to all stress, either mental or physical, by preparing for action (the “Fight or Flight” response). This means that the muscles of the upper body are constantly tensing up and getting ready to either fight or run, and of course, we don’t do either when we are pregnant.

This exercise helps because it enlarges the blood vessels in the large muscle groups to allow faster oxygen delivery. When done slowly it also counters the “fight or flight” message by telling to the muscles that “there is no threat to react to” and allows them to release the tension and relax.

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