Saturday, December 11, 2010

DAY 68 - Simple Understandings #3 – I Carry My Stress in My Shoulders

“I carry my stress in my shoulders.”

You may not hear this as often as I do, because chances are that you aren’t a chiropractor, but tell me that this statement isn’t incredibly common. It is common, and it is ripe with danger.

Let me make it quick, cuz I know you are getting ready for a holiday party.

For clarification, when we say “shoulders” in this case, we are talking primarily about the trapezius muscles that run between the shoulder joints and the neck (see photo - with strap crossing the trapezius).

Stress can, and often does cause tightening and discomfort in the shoulders. One can often feel the shoulders get better and worse as stresses wane and wax. A conclusion is natural; stress causes the problem.

When one believes that stress is THE cause of shoulder tightness and discomfort, the only answer to the condition is stress reduction. But stress is rarely, if ever, THE cause.

An extremely common cause of tight shoulders is food allergy. This isn’t a guess or premonition; I have seen this in hundreds of cases since 1983. The most common single offender that I have observed, is dairy products. Most people are allergic to a number of foods; without knowing it. These foods, or combinations of foods can gradually tighten muscles and cause pain.

Take charge of your health and life and do a little experiment; take all dairy (%100 – read labels and ask what was put in everything you are about to eat) out of your diet for one week. Then put it back for a week. Repeat this on and off for 3 cycles. Most people will realize in the first cycle that they, and their shoulders, feel better off of dairy.

This self testing is not the final word, but will provide valuable feedback for many people, and may “cure” their shoulder problems. Others have more complicated physiology and will need the help of a wise doctor to sort out the causes and effects.

The fact that you don’t stretch, exercise, or get enough sleep may also play a role in your shoulder problems, but don’t miss the chance to employ this simple understanding, and experiment with dairy.

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