Are you one of those people who carry your tension in your shoulders? I am, and it speaks volumes about who we are.
In Applied Kinesiology and Meridian Diagnostics, the upper trapezius muscle is related to the kidneys. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the negative emotion of the Kidneys is fear. What this means, in reality, is that people whose shoulders are super tight are people who don’t easily delegate. They don’t trust others to do the job properly and feel that they need to do everything themselves. They “fear” that the job won’t be done properly, and they literally carry the world on their shoulders. I tend to rewash the dishes after my husband has done them, it takes every ounce of my strength to not do them! To be honest though, they usually do need to be redone anyway.
In a stressful situation, other than the issue of the dishes, this becomes an area of weakness, so stress will tend to manifest here. We all have our areas of the body where we manifest our stress. A lady came for a massage once stating how stressed she was yet her back and shoulders were soft and malleable. She carried her stress in her stomach and had digestive problems.
So, how do we live with this feeling of burden? I think that accepting the idea that we believe we need to do everything ourselves is a start; we can begin to question some of our decisions.
Breath helps to release tension beautifully. Breathe in four to five times to the point where you’re almost taking a deep breath, but not quite, then breathe out. By the forth breath, when you feel that you really need to take that deep breath, you’ll feel that your muscles begin to relax. This has something to do with carbon dioxide being a natural muscle relaxant. This is why people who are hyperventilating are given a paper bag to breathe in and out of.
An effective by painful way to release tension is to squeeze the muscle. My daughter grabs the top of my shoulders, squeezes and shakes the muscle then releases it quickly. It’s not pleasant but the effects afterwards are good.
Massaging the shoulders properly is different to sliding fingers over the skin, although this can feel quite nice. One needs to press the thumbs into the skin then rotate them around the muscle.
My all-time favourite, though, is GB 21. This is the twenty first point on the gallbladder meridian and is situated right in the middle of the meat on both shoulders. After warming up the area through massage and rubbing, the thumbs are pressed into GB21 for four breaths. On the final out-breath the hands are removed, and the shoulders pressed down and out. Pressing this point has a strong downward energy and can make a person feel a little light headed afterwards but the relief felt in the shoulders is worth it. A vital consideration is that the point must be pressed with pressure and not with force. Force is painful whereas pressure feels pleasant. I often lean into this point with my elbows.
I’ll probably still need to redo the dishes but I’m going to try to not let them weigh on me any longer.
I've been fascinated in Traditional Chinese Medicine since the late '90s when my reflexology course introduced me to the meridians. Since then I've thoroughly enjoyed learning more about most things holistic.