MY Neck and Shoulder Tension
For those of you with neck and shoulder tension and annoying lingering pain that may come and go, this is an insightful experience from a professional as to the ROOT AND MANIFESTATION of this cumbersome burden. In my professional experience as an Acupuncturist, Herbalist, Biology Major and Certified Yoga Instructor, it has been proven to me time and time again, with both my patients and myself, over many years of watchfulness, that Chronic and Acute Shoulder and Neck Tension and Discomfort is Always From 1) Overuse, 2) Emotional or Mental Stress AND, 3) I may argue, most importantly, your NUTRITIONAL INTAKE. I will move quickly through my explanation of the first two reasons being overuse and stress, as most people are somewhat aware of this, and I will move into the most important aspect of which most people are unaware.
Through a combination of repetitive action, as large as moving heavy equipment, to as little as poor posture while office working, the skeletal system and muscular system experience imbalances, big and small, with enough time creating muscle tears, decreased circulation and lengthened or shorted structures in the body. Now couple this with systemic muscle tension from a mental emotional stress and physical “holding” and you have a two fold combination for pain in the body. Most Commonly upper back/shoulder/neck, yet can manifest other places too as low back forearms, knees and buttocks. And in turn, held body tension can certainly effect peoples social lives as it is a physical cause for decreased patience, frustration, sadness and much more. This most people know. YET! The third causative factor that many are unaware of is their nutrition. This is more real then you would imagine and it has been proven to me based on my own personal journey as well as my patients.
What you take into the body, through digestion, respiration, and through your skin pores, dictates the MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR make up of your Muscles! As you take in food and water, these substances get processed and go directly into your blood stream making up the composition of your blood. Then, your muscles receive this nutrition from which it uses the materials from your blood (amino acids, minerals, etc.) to build itself as it is soft tissue. So, Your food actually BECOMES your blood, and your blood actually BECOMES your muscles. This is more real then you know. This is why the ancient yogis were vegetarian, because they wanted to create an energy of stillness, calmness, and inner peace… and what is more peaceful then a Tree????
Now, I am not saying you MUST become vegetarian. This is a personal choice. BUT, What is fact is, SUGAR injures your digestion so you cannot make pure energy, COFFEE is a diuretic and completely dehydrates the body of its natural fluids as well as adding “heat” or inflammation systemically which irritates your muscles, EXCESS DAIRY MILK CHEESE YOGURT CARBS AND BREAD bog down and dampen your bodies system so your circulation is sluggish and heavy, EXCESSIVE RAW DIET AND SALADS make the body work too hard to cook the food itself as it is uncooked and with time injure the bodies QI energy. However, on the bright side, eating lightly with cooked food and lots of fresh veggies and moderate fruit with plenty of water provide a clean irrigation, thus detoxifying system for your body bringing all the essentially PURE and LIGHT nutrients creating a harmonious environment for the muscles and soft tissue to regenerate, detoxify from stress, and become pain free.
Healthy Diet is all good and well, HOWEVER, I know many people, including myself, that despite maintaining a healthy diet, yoga, and sleep, at times experience moments when the muscle tension still returns. This is obviously a time to use your “Tool Kit” to fix the pain, such as Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Massage and Yoga, BUT When the pain returns occasionally despite these measures, its time to think of more ways to change your bodies CHEMICAL AND MOLECULAR COMPOSITION on a Cellular Level. Diet will help, but slowly and mildly for the long term, however, Nothing works as well, powerfully and quickly then Natural Herbal Remedies by a Certified Herbalist, who can provide you with herbs like Bai Shao/Peony Root, Ji Xue Teng/Spatholobus Vine, and Dan Shen/Salvia Root. A masterfully crafted herbal formula will start to change the chemistry of the blood to an environment healthy for your muscle tissue, soften the muscles and calm the tension. Herbs are the perfect INTERNAL tool to use in addition to the EXTERNAL tools like acupuncture, massage, chiro. yoga etc.
I hope this writing provides you with more insight to aid self care, helping you live more comfortable lives. It is always best and well worth consulting an herbalist for proper diagnosis as all formulas are highly specific and individual. Always let me know your question and comments, I’d love to hear from you. Call Text or Email. Many Blessings and Much Health!
Christopher Grodski, L.Ac., Dipl.OM