December 2010 - Mind/Body Corner:
What Your Shoulders Are Telling You
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Have you ever noticed how tight or sore your shoulder muscles are? Perhaps someone gave you a shoulder massage and you couldn’t believe how painful your muscles were.
Whether you realize it or not, your body speaks loudly to you if you will listen. Many physical conditions are simply brought on by inner feelings and stresses you are not even conscious of. I’d like to share a snippet from the book: “Your Body Speaks Your Mind”, by Deb Shapiro.
“Here is where you carry the weight of the world, or your relatives, of the work you are doing. Responsibility is a word that weighs heavily here, as do duty, mortgage payments, sick children, and demanding mothers-in-law. Problems with shoulders may also indicate avoidance of your own issues: being so busy dealing with your obligations to others that you have little time for yourself.
This area of the body is your doing center. From your shoulders, your doing and creative energy flows down your arms and your hands, where it emerges in what you do in the world. This applies to the work you do as well as the way you live your life –what you do with your time, do with your relationships, or do with your feelings. The shoulders get tense and ridged when you are not expressing your real needs, when you are doing something you would rather not be doing, when you feel you have too much to do, or when you feel scared of reaching out and want to pull back into the safety of doing nothing.
If you are doing something that does not interest you while a deeper longing stays locked inside, then your shoulders may well be holding that repressed yearning. Can you find expression for what you really want to do? Tension restricts the flow of energy and feeling. In the process of putting others’ needs first, your own activity may be stifled. The shoulders are where that “doing energy” becomes blocked. See what small changes you can make in order to start releasing any blocked doing energy.
The muscles correspond to mental energy, so you manifest that energy as knotted and tight shoulder muscles, for they contain so many burdens and longings. The heart energy comes up to the shoulders and out to manifest in your arms, in hugging and touching, caring and sharing. It should be a smooth expression, but often there are blocks along the way, causing pain and stiffness –if you are hugging the wrong person, or feel your advances are being rejected, or you are fearful of intimacy. This can manifest in a frozen shoulder, an indication of where emotional coldness is affecting you, either coming from another to you, or from you toward someone else.
Shoulders get raised in fear and anxiety. If this continues over a period of time the shoulder muscles begin to lock into that position. As the posture develops, so does the attitude that goes with it. Hunched shoulders are overwhelmed by the burden of life’s problems. They also indicate a desire to protect the heart or chest by closing in. Shoulders that are pulled back, pushing the chest outward, indicate false strength, often hiding feelings of fear or inadequacy with a false bravado. Pulling the shoulders back is also a way of holding back feelings, especially ones that yearn to reach out to touch and caress.
Body/Mind Dialogue with Your Shoulders:
Painful shoulders may mean that you are carrying too much on your own. Ask yourself this:
- Do you really want to say to other people, “Please look after me, please give me some caring and nurturing?”
- Have you been carrying other people’s problems for too long?
- Is there something or someone you need to put down?
Pain, stiffness, and tension in the shoulders indicate a resistance, perhaps to the responsibilities you feel you must maintain, or the pressure that is put on you to perform.
Is it possible for you to offload some of your responsibility, so you don’t have to do all the weightlifting?”
You can give yourself permission to stop carrying the burdens of others and to ask for help and support? That is not a weakness. We’re all here to help each other. Imagine if the President of the United States tried to do his job all by himself?
By the way, Hypnosis is a powerful way to release stress, tension and the limiting beliefs that often keep us locked into inflexible ways. Consider a session or two to honor your body and your needs and let go of the emotional baggage. The Holidays are not the only time of year you should allow yourself to receive.
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