A Closer Look at Shoulder Tension

Why do we hold so much tension in our shoulders?  A three-part enquiry.  

Part One: The Ego’s Favourite Mantra “I should” + A Million Expectations (mostly from other people).

shoulder tension massage deep tissue healing release bodywork masseuse

Most of my clients want a quick-fix shoulder release so, more often than knot I begin my bodywork sessions doing just that.

We all know that sitting at a desk and staring at a computer for 40 hours a week is just one of the many repetitive-strain, arms-forward, bad-posture positions that we do too much of.  But I wanted to look closer at the epidemic of shoulder tension to see if it has a subtle/spiritual component (as, if you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that most dis-ease does).  

My findings were quite fascinating…

The first thing that showed itself when I set upon this enquiry was the etymology of shoulder.  And to my delight, I saw that a shoulder contains the vibration of the word should (+er).  

I am not delighted at the fact that we are going around telling ourselves we ‘should’ do things all the time; on the contrary, I am very aware and always reminding clients that if they let go of this one mantra (“I should be thinner, I should earn more, I should be nicer to the bus driver, I should be more spiritual, I should have, I should really, I should be different….", their life would become much more simple and peaceful.  - I am delighted because just a few weeks ago I discovered a wonderful quote from Dr Albert Ellis in Tara Love Perry’s book: 

“Stop should-ing all over yourself”

  • I don’t think I have to explain that one.  What a quote.
Interestingly, the word ‘shoulder' is also used as a verb in English to mean ’to push,’ and this further supports my suspicion that if we would all stop pushing around; ‘shoulding all over ourselves,’ a large part of this tension that I so lovingly and regularly knead out of the should-ers of London, would be gone all by itself (and I could get on with massaging something else).
So lets try it now can we?  
For this I invoke an exercise that I have been guided through many times by my beloved teacher, Vivek:
What happens if you let go - just for a moment; only as an experiment - of all the things you think you should push for?  - all the things that you really believe you ‘should’ do?  Don’t worry, you can pick them up again afterwards.  But just for now, let go of everything you are pushing towards; trying to control and trying to get.  
....And a bit more…become aware of all the things you are pushing for, and drop them for a moment….  
Completely drop the future.  From what you should have done in the past.
What do you immediately notice happening?  What literally happens in your physical and mental/emotional bodies right now when you do that?  
I rest my case.  
End of Part I