Anxiety has many physical manifestations. A common physical symptom of anxiety is muscular dysfunction and pain around the shoulders. When we are anxious or stressed we tend to elevate (raise) and protract (roll forward) our shoulder blades. Assuming this posture frequently can cause certain muscles to become lengthened and weak and others to become shortened and tight. Eventually, raised and rolled forward shoulders can become our natural stance. We begin to hold ourselves in an anxious way without experiencing an anxiety trigger. In fact, the posture in itself can become an anxiety trigger and psychological distress may be a result of the posture as well as the cause for it.
The Good News – Muscles Can Be Retrained
The good news is: muscles are malleable! They can be lengthened, strengthened and re-trained by a massage therapist and by you.
Here is an exercise to get you started.
Loosely clasp your hands behind your back. Using your upper back muscles, pull your shoulder blades together and down. Hold for 10 seconds. Relex for 10 seconds. Repeat to total three sets. Remember to breath deeply. Note: If you feel any discomfort in your lower back bend your knees slightly.
Feel like you may be suffering from anxious posture? Give me a call at 780-222-7405. We can discuss your symptoms, potential treatment options and book an initial consultation and session to get you back to your balanced self.