As a massage therapist, you see it daily. Clients come in and say,” I hold a lot of tension in my shoulders” or, “all of my stress in is my upper back.” We know now that this is literally true and our bodies carry stress physically. We store our emotional memories within the tissues of our bodies. We have all heard the saying, the weight of the world is on your shoulders…truly this is the case.
Research has revealed that there is actually physiological reasoning as to how these emotions and memories become stored in our bodies. Neuropharmacologist, Candace Pert, was able to identify that as a feeling or experience is had by the brain or the body, peptides are released. These peptides and peptide receptors are found in organ tissue, skin and glands. This allows for emotional storage within the tissue and not just in our minds. Emotions that go unexpressed are stuck and create these areas of tension. Stress really is lodged in your shoulder muscles.
We all carry this emotional weight which creates discomfort in our bodies. Sometimes leading to unhealthy body weight; through an increase of pounds or a rapid weight loss. There are also theories that these emotional memories can affect chronic pain. While it is important to seek medical attention and diagnoses through proper allopathic channels, how can we begin to explore and release these negative emotions?
We can address these issues with alternative healing modalities. Massage, physiotherapy and chiropractic care can prevent some of the discomfort we hold in the body. As the bones come into alignment and the muscles are loosened up, sometimes a client may feel a rise of emotion and it is so important to allow this to come up and out. Movement can help decrease our stress. In yoga class, you will hear or perhaps experience first-hand what it’s like to have a wee cry in pigeon pose.
Even when we aren’t able to work with our therapists though, we can still work on recognising what is causing our pain. Through meditation we can tune into the body and begin to notice what issues come up again and again. One might notice they have some discomfort in the shoulder while they are absent mindedly thinking about a conflict with a family member, or a fight with a loved one. Affirmations can help to release this conflict. These power phrases help us to remove emotional blockages. You may say to your shoulder, “I love myself and choose to have loving experiences.” If you are in a meditative state you might focus on breathing into the shoulder or stretching the shoulder in ways that help it to feel better.
Learning to tune into your body and understand when it is trying to communicate with you is just one of the many ways to lift the weight off of your shoulders. When we set down the burden created by stress, it changes the way we view our world and the experiences we have in it.
Registered Massage Therapist
Willow Esthetics Boutique