Neck & Shoulder Tension:
The Role of Stress, Anxiety, and Trauma
Our physical symptoms always reflect what’s happening inside of us, on a deeper, and sometimes unconscious, level.
And while that is true for all our physical symptoms, neck and shoulder tension are intimately tied to the topics I work with: stress, trauma, anxiety, and depression.
Neck and shoulder tension is often due to bad posture:
➜ Your position at your desk while you work
➜ Your sleeping position, your pillow, and mattress firmness
➜ The way you hold your body−which is heavily influenced by your emotions and thoughts
➜ Physical activities, like sports, gardening, crafts, and labor
But there are also important psychosomatic factors that contribute to neck and shoulder pain like trauma, chronic stress, and anxiety.
Psychosomatic Causes of Neck & Shoulder Tension
Trauma can result in habitual posture and ‘body armor’:
➜ You create tension around your heart and shoulder blades (self-protection)
➜ You carry your shoulders high to protect yourself (anxiety & stress)
➜ You collapse your chest to make yourself small (low self-esteem)
Our habitual posture and its accompanying tension reflect not only how we feel, but also what we have lived through and the best way that we have found to deal with a challenging situation. In other words, your tension is not your fault. It’s actually a solution to a problem you once faced. Even if it’s not the best solution anymore at this moment.
The thing is, these habitual ways of holding your body also keep you trapped in those accompanying feelings.
When your shoulders are tense, you DO feel uncomfortable, burdened, and restricted.
When your neck is blocked, your energy doesn’t flow and it’s NORMAL that you’re struggling with clarity and inner peace.
That’s why releasing tension and softening our body armour is an integral part of emotional work.
This doesn’t mean that your shoulders will ever be soft like butter. Chronic tension, after all, does change the structure of muscle fibers. But your muscles WILL feel less tense and you will FEEL more soft, free, light, and unburdened.
It Doesn't Have To Be This Way
For me, it’s really been a journey towards self-love and being gentle with myself, as well as finding the right exercises to support my neck and shoulder health.
I’ve suffered from neck and shoulder tension for as long as I can remember and, unfortunately, stretching often made me feel worse.
So believe me when I say that I know what it feels like to feel stiff, tense, restricted, and even like I’m getting old!
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
While there is no magic formula, there are practical things that you can start doing today in order to feel less pain and more ease in your neck and shoulders.
It IS POSSIBLE to feel soft and free in your body again.
I’ve dedicated sooo much time to finding exercises, tips, and tricks to improve my neck and shoulder health−and I’d love to share it with you.
That’s why I’ve created a course specifically dedicated to neck and shoulder tension.
In this course you’ll learn:
✓ Tips to improve your posture
✓ The best sleeping positions and tricks to support your neck and shoulder health while you’re asleep
✓ Gentle somatic exercises to release tension from sore and stiff muscles
✓ Soft yoga stretches to increase mobility
✓ Guided breathing practices to release the diaphragm and stored emotions in the belly
✓ Self-massage to release the jaw, neck, and facial muscles
✓ Exercises that go to the root of psychosomatic causes of neck and shoulder tension such as trauma, chronic stress, and anxiety
Your body is your greatest gift. It’s your home in this life.
It’s your tool for self-expression, for connecting, for making new experiences, and for deep communion with life and spirit.
Take great care of it.
Deniz Aydoslu, MA, is an advanced certified yoga and meditation teacher and expert in the therapeutic application of yoga and somatics for mental health. She helps women heal emotionally and restore their connection to Spirit by integrating the body, heart, inner child, and soul into a meaningful whole. She offers deeply transformative work as well as simple tools to improve well-being, creativity, and productivity through fun, easy, and nourishing self-care tools.
As an experienced yoga and meditation teacher, somatic educator, and shamanic psychotherapy practitioner, she infuses her work with the healing power of love and the value of nature as medicine.