Causes: This pattern often happens after a neck injury. It can also be a learned behavior if you grew up with a parent who had this pattern. It can also happen if you grew up under a lot of stress or in a household where it was not OK to be relaxed...
Physical Reason: This pattern is a way your body braces your neck after an injury. Your body will hold tension in these muscles naturally to help you keep the neck from moving too much as it heals. Unfortunately, the pattern can sometimes become part of your posture - even after most of the injury has healed. Unfortunately, this can hurt as much or more than the initial injury over time.
What it feels like from inside: You can’t relax. Your neck hurts! You always need a shoulder massage! When it's really bad - you can’t even think... This pattern can actually make you a chronically tense person who cannot get rid of stress in healthy ways.This pattern can also cause numbness and tingling as well as create tension headaches.
What it looks like: You look tense to yourself (in the mirror) and others. People feel your tension and respond to the tension. It ages the neck because your neck muscles never get a chance to move and detox. It can add to a pale or splotchy complexion by interfering with lymphatics and proper circulation.
Shoulder Tension Intervention: The great thing about this pattern is that it can often (not always) be easy to fix! You will learn VASIE breathing and how to first activate and then tone some muscles on your back. These muscles are probably already strong... They just need to do their job a bit differently and we need to shift the excess tone out of the muscles that lift the shoulder blades and add this tone to the muscles that support them!
Also, because this pattern is typically part of a deeper imbalance in the neck muscles, you will need to learn to turn on some muscles in your neck that you can’t actually even feel. These exercises are already in most of our teaching but will be emphasized even more in the next couple of months.
What Fixing this Feels like: What you should feel like as this pattern gets better: A nicer, more relaxed you. Far fewer physical symptoms. Stress will be tolerated and more easily discharged. You will feel ready to take on more things in life - both fun and meaningful. If your neck injury has not healed completely, you may feel your neck a bit more as this tension pattern is resolved. A more complete neck rehab might be your next step. Worth it?Absolutely…