Neck and shoulder pain (tension too), is something that I’m struggling with BIG TIME right now.
I’m a firm believer that our trauma, pain, loss, memories and all emotions are stored in our tissues, organs and muscles. The first time I got acupuncture, the acupuncturist did what he referred to as a “trauma release” treatment on me. I can’t even begin to tell you the memories and emotions that came up. There was this feeling of euphoric (but also sad) overwhelm, memories that I had forgotten and so.many.things that I THOUGHT I had processed. I was crying, shaking, sweating and somehow shivering all at once, right under the heat lamps above me.
I feel like I’m now more in touch with my body than ever before. How? I’m living the benefits of my return on investment. By taking the time to (finally) listen to my body and feel what I’m feeling, I’ve stopped allowing fear to validate a quick-fix “solution,” in the name of numbing, justifying/excuse making, under the rug brushing and f*cktard dating.
Yet to this day, I still struggle with neck and shoulder pain, tension in my back and my TMJ will reappear from time to time.
I carry the weight of my emotional world in my shoulders, between my shoulder blades and neck.
As my favorite poet, Rumi once said: “the cure for pain is pain.” In other words, you’re not going to fully be cured or learn from pain just by experiencing it. If you can’t feel it, identify the northern stars and learn the lessons that are contained within the pain, you disable your own innate ability to heal, grow, become indifferent to the bullsh*t and EVOLVE.
This neck and shoulder pain I’ve been experiencing has got me thinking a lot about pain lately – particularly emotional and spiritual pain – and I’ve come to recognize that a lot of my destructive patterns, self sabotage, heartbreak, disease to please and reverse narcissism, was nothing more than a byproduct of my inability to be with my own pain. Not that I think I could have innately known how to be with it. As children, we are taught and conditioned to run from our pain, ignore it and find an immediate “solution,” (working out, going out, busying up our schedules, over eating, watching Netflix for 6 months straight, jumping into the next rebound relationsh*t, etc.). These “solutions,” more often than not, end up making us feel much worse.
What I do know is that in every oyster of hopelessness and pain in my life, there has always been a pearl of profound evolution and healing, not just of the painful circumstances and loss, but of myself.
And yet, I avoided pain like the plague. I mean… who wants to be in pain? I sure didn’t. No one does!
But when I honor and feel my grief and my sadness, when I allow it to work through me and manifest in tears running down my face and emotional exhales… I am cleansed because I have surrendered.
And in that moment, I know that I am single-handedly disallowing stagnation by creating movement instead of waiting for the next relationsh*t to jumpstart a engine-less vehicle.
What I’ve learned thus far, is that whenever I’ve chosen to sprint from my pain and avoid, another lesson is always on the horizon… ready to break me open even more.
The universe will always keep presenting lessons until we prove through consistency, that they are indeed learned.
So HOW is neck and shoulder pain related to this?
For me anyway, the neck and shoulder pain that I’ve been experiencing is the last residual remnant of pain that has been emotionally dealt with, but not physically. It’s the physical holding on of what was, still trapped in my tissues and balled up in my muscles.
Everyone’s budget and schedule vary, so I found 2 of the most financially assessable and “busy schedule approved,” solutions to neck and shoulder pain (+ SO MANY more ailments), that are convenient, easy and deliver RESULTS.
Here are my 2 go-to’s for neck and shoulder pain + tension in the back:
This “bed of nails,” was love at first spike. It’s been 2 months since I started using the acupressure mat – it has transformed my neck and shoulder pain and allowed me to realize that I wasn’t sleeping anywhere close to as deeply as I could be. The mat has also dramatically relieved tension in my back, muscle pain and everyday stress and anxiety. What I love about it the most though, is that it’s not only lightweight and portable, but you can do it anywhere. It’s SIMPLE, no-bs-straight-forward, affordable and the results are too significant to ignore.
Dr. Oz has featured these acupressure mats (and the pillows), on his show numerous times and has referred to acupressure mats as one of the best products for Natural Pain Relief. Oprah, countless celebs and Eastern practitioners all swear by them as well.
According to Spoonk and many other sources, The acupressure mats work by stimulating your body’s acupressure points, which releases endorphins (pleasure hormones), and reduces stress hormones and cortisol (which cause bloat). Benefits also include: relief of neck and shoulder pain (the neck pillow is EVERYTHING), aids in muscle recovery, increases blood circulation, re-engerizes the body, improves focus, relieves inflammation, can help with heartburn, allergies, relieves back and shoulder tension, helps with fatigue and digestion issues/constipation.
Make sure to use the mat as directed and do DEEP breathing while you’re on the mat. There may be slight pain at first, but soon you’ll start to feel the tension and stress release as you exhale it out. I lay on my mat topless because I LOVE intensity, but you can definitely wear a thin tee-shirt. ALSO: make sure to drink plenty of water after your time on the mat (the time that you choose to stay on is up to you. 10-30 minutes is recommended). I also love having some post-mat, fresh mint tea. I bring my mat everywhere and even put it on my office chair to sit on while I’m writing. Total game changer.
+ If you are pregnant, have any type of heart condition, bleeding disorder, diabetes, diabetic foot, on any medication involving blood-thinning drugs or agents, or suffer from any skin inflammation, you should not use our acupressure mat. If you have sensitive skin or any other medical conditions, you should consult a physician before using acupressure massage products.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again: this is hands down, the best massager for getting to specific pressure points and loosening knots. I love using it before getting on the acupressure mat. The reviews for both products speak for themselves.
Wishing you all a release in pain… wherever you’re still caring it.
You’re not alone.
BIG love to you all.