Shoulder Pain Vanquished

For the past year, I’ve been experiencing chronic achiness and occasional pain underneath my left shoulder blade. I’ve tried a wide variety of treatments such as massage, Reiki, cranio-sacral, acupuncture, and chiropractic adjustments. I’ve practiced yoga nearly daily, and concentrated on releasing mental/emotional issues that no doubt contributed to the problem. Yet the discomfort persisted. As a bodyworker, I’m well versed in muscle anatomy and body mechanics. As a yogini of twenty years, I consider myself to have a fair amount of body awareness. This issue was both frustrating and humbling, as I judged myself for not being able to “fix” it. Also, it was beginning to cost me money in the form of lost revenue when I was too tired or achy to do a massage.

Yesterday I participated in a one hour posture clinic that was taught by a yoga teacher whose knowledge of alignment is spectacular. I was re-introduced to my estranged serratus anterior. This is not a well-known muscle as it is barely accessible from the outside. It is however, an important postural muscle and essentially attaches the scapula to the rib cage. The simple act of bringing my awareness to this neglected area of my body enabled me to create more balance in my torso and allowed my scapula to rest comfortably on my back. I enjoyed a wonderful bike ride home feeling like I fit together correctly once again.

Later in the day I noticed an enhanced ability to transmit healing Reiki energy to a client as I wasn’t distracted by discomfort in my body. My neck and thoracic spine self-adjusted while I was doing some gentle yoga before bed and I slept deeply and woke refreshed. I know that posture is a constant battle of awareness vs. gravity and bad habits, and that I have a lot of work ahead of me. Yet today I am delighted that my pain is diminished by 90% and I have a new tool to help myself. I am overjoyed to have yet another reminder that comfort is the reward of creating balance and that lasting change comes from the inside.

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