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A Four-Step Solution to Relieve Shoulder Tension

Are you like many others who try stretching, massaging, or even taking pain relievers to relieve discomfort in their shoulders? Unfortunately, most of us don’t notice tension building in our muscles until we are screaming and feeling the muscle gets tight as a rock. I mean, OUCH! It truly feels like the muscle is in knots, or cords are in the muscle.

When muscles tighten up like this our breathing patterns change. When our posture curls forward like a “cavewoman,” it makes it hard to breathe the way that we should; relaxed and deep.

When stretching prodding and poking doesn't work, there is another option.

A Brain-Based Approach

In Brain-Based Training, we never move into pain. We offer techniques that are effective with tension before the muscles get too tight.


Before you try this tip I’m about to share with you, please consult with a healthcare professional if you have concerns about headaches, dizziness, and neck or shoulder pain.

Simple Breathing Steps for Relieving Tense Neck and Shoulders

  1. Shrug your shoulder until it is tight, then relax it a bit and keep it in this position.

  2. Next, bring your ear to your shoulder and let your eyes rest on a comfortable spot.

  3. Take some slow deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.

  4. Repeat steps 1-3 on the opposite side.

  5. Repeat. Do this a few times until your breathing feels deep and easy (Usually 3 to 5 reps).

Why this works

These breathing steps work by increasing blood flow to the muscles, increasing oxygen to the brain, and decreasing tension causing hormones in the brain.

Brain-Based Principles

Principle 1: Pain means to pay attention it is an output created by the brain.

Principle 2: Tight muscles in the neck, shoulders, and chest that create "caveman or woman" posture impacts breathing. Over a long period of time, this posture and breathing pattern can send signals to the brain. The muscles need more oxygen, so your brain makes them feel sore and hurt to get you to move.

Principle 3: Healthy bodies breathe in various breathing patterns.

Remember, you have the capacity to keep getting better throughout your life.

Have a great week.

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