We all store stress in various places around our bodies. Most of us store it in places like the neck and shoulders, the low back, and also in the belly. All very complicated parts of the body, and in times of acute pain, they are often challenging areas to assess and target the root of the pain.
In my case, I used to train with heavy weights, a lot. Some might say I overtrained. Some might say I created some imbalances in strength, especially from front to back. The outcome of which was pain which manifested itself in chronic neck tension. I also worked at a computer, which locked my upper back long. One day my neck seized. My neck seized in a way where my left shoulder was being drawn up towards my left ear and I couldn’t turn my head at all. Even when my neck was able to recenter itself, days later and with heavy anti-inflammatory prescription meds that were eating away at my stomach, I still held tension all through my upper back and shoulders.
I couldn’t figure out which muscles were responsible. I didn’t find the doctors particularly helpful either. But I did find that my yoga practice helped. So I committed to a daily practice. For years I worked at it, but still, during very stressful times I would notice how painful checking my blindspots, looking over my shoulder, when driving would be. And all I could think was, “How with all of the yoga I’m doing, 5 years later, is my neck still tight?”
When I was introduced to Yoga Tune Up® and we did the trapezius work with the YTU Therapy Balls (in the video below) I finally found the muscle that was inhibiting my neck’s mobility. This simple technique, when added to my daily practice was able to free up the remnants of years of overtraining and the storage of stress in my shoulders. You can get more techniques like it on the 10 Minute Quick Fix for the Neck and Upper Back.