Anger, frustration, head, neck and shoulder pain

Angry, Frustrated WomanSome years ago, I ran a series of 'Wholeness WorXshops' - a series of talks and practical demonstrations of self help techniques, emotional release and meditation.  Each session had a different focus which links physical pain to emotional stressors.

In this example we ran a course that focused on the links between Anger and Frustration and pain and restricted movement to the Neck and Shoulders.

We started by looking at the most common physical causes of head, neck and shoulder pain and demonstrated how to locate and release common trigger points. The subject of posture was looked at in detail - common postural imbalances include desk position and TV watching position.  In the case of desk positions, those affected without exception all said - that their  "work stations have all been checked" and "we have proper chairs" and "the computers have all been set up properly".

Nevertheless on checking muscular imbalances on many of the participants clear patterns emerged of postures that showed the following tendencies:

  • inclining the head to one side
  • twisting the head to one side - to read 'copy'
  • twisting the head to talk to colleagues
  • inclining the head to talk on the phone
  • leaning into the screen

With all these postures sorted and their downside explained fully,  we moved onto the effects of anger and frustration on the neck and shoulders.

I will challenge you to do the same now as you read.

- Think of a time when you felt really angry and frustrated - maybe it was being carved up this morning on your way to work.  Or snagging your clothing on a sharp object, or maybe it was a remark made by a colleague after the journey from hell into work this morning?  Whatever it is I want you to take a moment to close your eyes and relive the exact moment you felt like 'boiling over'.

Businessman Raising ArmsOk - what happened to your neck and shoulders when you relived that moment?  For most people the muscles of the neck tighten, the shoulders are raised up and the top of the chest and back become 'tight'.

Just through emotional stress! There are many ways of removing this type of residual stress.  In the WorXshops we use a variety of EFT, Meditation and Visualisation. But however it is released, you can probably see how the smallest irritation can cause a physiological change - add to that the stresses and strains of all the work and family demands put on you day and night and you will see how easy it is for your neck and shoulders to become quite stiff.

- But here's the thing  with your shoulders raised around your ears - your body is already on 'alert' and if you are in pain you probably have a much shorter fuse than normal anyway.

Sooo.... the tighter the muscles in your neck and shoulders are the quicker you may become angry and frustrated.

The quicker you become angry and frustrated the more your muscles will tighten - can you see where this is going?

Irritating isn't it?!

... And this is where the Holism comes in - treating just the muscles will partially reduce the stress, treating just the stress will partially release the hypertonic muscles.  Treating both and finding strategies to avoid repetition is the answer to a happier, calmer and more comfortable way of life!!

Questions? leave me a comment...

Tracy x

Posted in Body, Mind.