Alexander Technique, body healing, carpal tunnel syndrome, colon tension, deep tissue massage, emotional connection to pain, emotional processing, emotional well being, Feldenkrais Method, head, mind body connection, neck and shoulder tension, neck tension, Rosen Method, stomach tension, tight muscles, wrist pain
I’ve been doing a lot of bodywork on the tension patterns in my neck for the past several months, and I am finding some interesting connections that I thought I would pass along.
I’ve had chronic tension patterns in my body since I was sixteen years old, and have spent a lot of time and energy learning how to resolve my body problems. Having been through chiropractors and physiotherapists, regular massages, exercise programs, swimming and yoga, as well as other alternative therapies like Rosen technique and Feldenkrais, my greatest help came from a form of bodywork called The Alexander Technique.
However, even the Alexander Technique hasn’t been enough in the past few years to maintain myself. I have had to go deeper. 2 1/2 years ago my right ear plugged up. Uh oh, I thought. The usual stuff I’d been doing wasn’t enough to stop the trend of what I feel is increasing scoliosis in my body. My hearing has gotten worse and worse, my sense of smell has diminished hugely, and my singing voice has gone completely to shit. Also, my eyesight has gotten worse. Most people say its just aging, but for me, that statement means giving up and giving in to symptoms, which means to stop searching for solutions. This, I feel, is a dangerous trend that people fall into, the ‘oh, I’m just getting older excuse’, which allows them to give up and give in to the changes happening in their body.
So determined as I am to find solutions to every problem that presents itself (and I mean every), I purchased what is called a deep tissue massage ball to work on my body. I felt I needed to go deeper into the held muscular patterns in my body. I never realized just how tense the muscles were in my neck area before I started working on them.
In my youth i did many sports. I played softball competitively for 10 years. All that repetitive throwing with my right arm formed a muscular pattern that became deep in place and also affected other parts of my body in a compensatory effect that i wasn’t aware of. Then there was years of figure skating; again repetitive movements, and lots and lots of falling. Tennis, basketball, volleyball, skiing, gymnastics … you get the picture.
Then last spring I fell off a pogo stick (yes, I know…), and fractured my elbow. I still did a lot of laying on the floor (my usual exercise), and had to use my right arm for a lot of things, including pushing myself off the floor. I strained the tendons in both my right and left wrists. This isn’t something I had done before. So I had a few months of learning how painful that was, and also, how slow to heal the wrists seem to be.
So as I say, I began working on the tight muscles in my neck with the deep tissue ball. At first, it was really slow going. The muscle on the right side of my neck was completely hard and unmoving. If I did too much work on the my neck I’d get a tension headache. But gradually, over time, things started to loosen up. I found many connections from the neck to the muscles in the rest of my body that frankly have blown my mind! For instance, as things began to loosen up in my neck, the muscles in my stomach started to relax. My whole colon began to loosen up. Sometimes that meant a large amount of gas magically passing when I didn’t think I had any. I even had my colon go into spasm as the held tension loosened up. As well, emotions often accompanied these shifts in my body. It seemed like past memories were tied into some of these physical holding patterns, which makes absolute sense to me. Our bodies retain the physical memories of experiences after our minds have forgotten them and gone on with life.
Another profound area of movement has been in my lower back and hips. The tight muscles there have started to loosen up, all the way down to my ankles, feet and toes. We are totally connected, and the neck area seems to retain a connection to all the other areas of the body. I’ve had movement in my jaw, cranium, ears, eyes, and even teeth.
Did I mention that within the past few days I have gotten my singing voice back? That has been a huge bonus because I do have a natural ear for music, and not being able to hear well, and the congestion in my neck and throat have severely affected my ability to sing. My right ear is still plugged, but I believe, with time, that will resolve itself.
Now to get to the wrists. The tightness and pain in my wrists have resolved themselves about 75% to this point. I expect in the next few months or so, full resolution. Stay tuned! I will give you an update.
It’s interesting that the medical community mentions none of this about carpal tunnel (or do they? I’m not involved in the medical community much). With people sitting at computers for long periods of time, it’s no wonder that the head, neck and shoulders would get tight. And that transfers to the wrists. It’s not rocket science, but you’d think it is considering the lack of information out there connecting these two things.
If anyone has further questions on this, I’d be pleased to answer. Thanks for reading.