How to Release Shoulder Tension in Less Than Five Minutes

Have you noticed how your shoulders rise in direct proportion to the number of tasks you have to perform on any given day?

Some of my clients tell me by the afternoon on a work day they feel like their neck has disappeared and that their shoulders have migrated up to their ears. When I do hands-on work with clients I have a few techniques that relax the shoulders in minutes. Since they can’t take me home to release their shoulders every time they get tense I have designed two strategies for self-care that will help to release those tired achy muscles quickly.  If you need to release your shoulders take a few moments right now and follow me on the video. You will see my shoulders release as the video progresses.

Here is a transcript of the instructions for the first strategy:

  • Sit on a chair with your feet planted on the floor and hands resting on your thighs.
  • Notice the distance from your right ear to your right shoulder and the distance from your left ear to your left shoulder. Become aware of the amount of tension you feel in your shoulders.
  • As you lift your right shoulder a little bit, breathe in. Breathe out as you release your shoulder. Do this movement as if your breath is moving your shoulder up and down. Keep the movements in both directions light and easy—don’t push or rush.
  • After a few repetitions stop and rest a moment.
  • Repeat the movement a few times with your left shoulder. Move as if you have all the time in the world and move for the joy of it.
  • Stop and rest.
  • Now a few times lift both shoulders as you breathe in and release both shoulders as you breathe out.
  • Once again, notice the distances from your ears to your shoulders. Has this changed? Notice the amount of tension in your shoulders. Has this decreased? Sit on a chair with your feet planted on the floor and hands resting on your thighs.
  • Notice the distance from your right ear to your right shoulder and the distance from your left ear to your left shoulder. Become aware of the amount of tension you feel in your shoulders.
  • As you lift your right shoulder a little bit, breathe in. Breathe out as you release your shoulder. Do this movement as if your breath is moving your shoulder up and down. Keep the movements in both directions light and easy—don’t push or rush.
  • After a few repetitions stop and rest a moment.
  • Repeat the movement a few times with your left shoulder. Move as if you have all the time in the world and move for the joy of it.
  • Stop and rest.
  • Now a few times lift both shoulders as you breathe in and release both shoulders as you breathe out.

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