Stress has a way of changing posture. As stress
begins to tighten one’s body, shoulders begin to roll forward, the chin lifts and the neck moves forward. This happens to all of us as the everyday pressures of life close in around us. In the world of psychology the term for this posture is armoring.
Think of a person sitting at a typing station. This person is not sitting erect, but leaning slightly forward. Her elbows are not hanging by her side but are just forward of her body. As her fingers dance across the keyboard she not only has to hold her forearms up, but has to hold her elbows forward. This puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the muscles of her upper back as well as her lower back.
There are two muscles that are punished the most by stress. We call these muscles the stress muscles. However, their medical name is Levator Scapula. These two muscles connect at the upper bones of the neck called the Cervical Vertebrae and connect to the shoulder blade, known as the Scapula. When we are stressed our shoulders lift putting pressure on our neck. This pressure creates headaches and neck and shoulder pain. The final result of this posturing is pressure on the Medial Nerve which eventually becomes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
This condition is easily addressed by massage and three or four visits usually alleviate this stress. How often should you get a massage? Probably once a week, if you have never had a massage before.
As the shoulders lift, the vertebrae of the spine are pulled close together, which puts pressure on the disk between the vertebrae. As the disk is crushed by this pressure it widens and puts pressure on the nerves that exit the Central Nervous System at these openings. As the nerves are impinged, everything in the body begins to shut down and we enjoy a lower level of energy. Life becomes harder.
From our point of view, stress is the fundamental cause of most illness. The Ancient Chinese said that disease was caused by congestion and wellness was the result of circulation. This was written six thousand years ago and it seems they were correct.
For those of you who have never experienced a professional massage, perhaps now is the time to give one a try. All you have to lose is stress and discomfort.
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