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Tag: neck and shoulder pain

How to release unhelpful cell memories

hand energy

Tonight my neck and right shoulder are feeling remarkably relaxed–and I want to tell you why!

There is a medical “reason” for the trouble I often have in this area of my body. At the same time, I’ve been aware for many years that I “store stress” in my neck and shoulder area. I now have a new understanding of what that means.

Yesterday I participated in a guided meditation with a group where we were instructed to scan our bodies head to toe, and stop where we felt pain, tightness, or tension.

I wasn’t in any pain, but neither was I surprised to find some tightness in my neck and shoulder area.

We were then asked to name the emotion present in this area. Immediately “resentment” popped into my head. How very interesting! I’d never thought of it quite that way before, but there it was. The truth.

We were then asked to release it if we wanted to–or we could put it off till tomorrow, or some later date. (What was that about? Heck yeah I want to let it go right now!!)

Next I felt a physical sensation of something–resentment I think it would be fair to say–leaving my shoulder at about 8-10 different points. It wasn’t painful, but it was clear and distinct.

What I was thinking was along these lines: Wow. Didn’t know I could do this for myself!

The way my shoulder feels right now is different, looser, than I remember it feeling in the past. Different, and good. I also noticed when I was getting ready this morning that the knot that’s sometimes visible isn’t there today.

This meditation experience reminded me of a time about 15 years ago when this same area was so troubled that I had limited mobility of my head and neck, and therefore difficulty driving. I got myself to work one morning, and eventually made my way upstairs to see a coworker who was also a massage therapist–and, as it turned out, psychic. As she worked on my shoulder, she started talking to me about my father, whom I hadn’t spoken to in years. My shoulder was telling her the truth.

I also remembered that my neck and shoulder had felt quite stiff before I went to see my energy medicine practitioner a couple of weeks ago. She cleared my chakras, and did several other things, none of which directly concerned my neck and shoulder as far as I know–but afterwards I was surprised how much better they felt.

I drew this conclusion from my meditation experience yesterday: You can release resentment from your mind and heart, but you also have to explicitly release it (or whatever other negative emotion may be plaguing you) from wherever you may have stockpiled it in your body at any point during your life. (Actually, my understanding is that we can bring cell memories in with us as well … so it’s possible we might need to release something that isn’t from this lifetime, but from a previous one.)

If you’d like to try this at home … well, please do!

After writing the steps below, I thought I’d test them myself to be sure they worked, and so I scanned myself again. This time I worked specifically on my neck. “Stubbornness” is what I got. (Hard to believe, right? But it sure does give all those biblical references to “stiff-necked people” a whole new meaning!) Again I felt an energetic release, different this time, and physical relief.

  1. Sit comfortably upright in a chair with your feet on the floor.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Spend several minutes in the awareness of inhabiting your body. Feel yourself inhabiting all of your body–head, arms, hands, torso, legs, feet, and so on.
  4. Taking your time, scan your body head to toe for pain, tension, or tightness. If you find multiple areas fitting this description, you can work on the first one you find, or you can rank them in order of importance.
  5. Return to the area you’ve decided to work on, and acquaint yourself with how it feels.
  6. Name the emotion that’s behind the pain, tension, or tightness you identified.
  7. When you’re ready, release this emotion from your body. If you like, you can visualize a destination for the energy you’re releasing. Sometimes I use a Dumpster in clearing visualizations. While I was working on my neck, I opened an imaginary crevasse, let everything I was releasing flow into it, and then closed it when I was finished.
  8. When the process is complete (no more negative energy to release), feel yourself inhabiting your whole body again, including the area you cleared. Notice how everything feels–perhaps more spacious or relaxed.
  9. When you’re ready, open your eyes.

As I mentioned, there is a physical “reason” for the pain in my neck and shoulder (scoliosis, a C-curvature in my lower back, and resulting disc issues in my neck). But what I’ve found is, in some cases anyway, that it’s possible to have a chronic condition or a chronic disease and be quite symptom-free, if you’re reasonably in balance. I think it also helps to refuse to allow yourself to be defined by any diagnosis. After all, this body I inhabit now, which I appreciate and am grateful for, can never adequately define who I am–so how could any mere medical diagnosis of it? We are far more than our bodies, and certainly far more than any dysfunction they may exhibit at any given time.

If you try this meditation, I’d love to know how it works for you–I hope you enjoy it in good health!

What’s not to love about that?


I find it fascinating how, when I feel compelled to organize and clean, so often some sort of insight or breakthrough follows right on its heels.

This past weekend, I did two clutter-clearing kinds of things. First, I bought and organized a filing cabinet I’d been wanting for a couple weeks or so. (Really it’s years that I’ve liked the look of these little cabinets, especially the bright red ones!)

I also got a massage. It became clear to me some years ago that I tend to store negative cell memories in my shoulders and neck. My aha moment came when I was getting a shoulder massage from a coworker who was also a massage therapist (and quite intuitive as well, as I think many of them are), and she immediately started picking up on information about my father. I hadn’t been thinking about him at all–but I had far less than normal range of motion when turning my head due to pain in my neck (ah, the much-discussed pain in the neck!) and shoulders.

Unfortunately when I called to make my weekend appointment, my semi-regular massage therapist had left my salon, and I made an appointment with someone I didn’t know who was available.

The massage seemed OK, but afterwards I could quickly feel what I think was (and is) toxicity and therefore pain (a painful, slightly burning and stagnant sensation) spreading around my shoulder muscles and lower back. This was unlike anything I’ve experienced with a massage before, but I’ve since talked to someone who used to work at a spa who’s heard of this type of reaction before. (My usual massage therapist would really go after it at certain points, and I’d often do breathwork in order to tolerate the intensity. By using breathwork, I wouldn’t need to ask her to back off. I’d be sore afterwards, but not like this.)

Before long, my digestion was out of whack. And Monday morning I woke up nauseated–an unusual sensation for me. Fortunately I’d finished all pressing assignments before leaving the office on Friday, so had no reason not to stay home sick. By mid-morning, the promise of the nausea was fulfilled, and it wasn’t long before no particle of anything I’d eaten in recent memory remained in my body. (Talk about your clutter clearing.)

Meanwhile the ache had spread from the parts of my body that had been massaged (upper body only) to those that hadn’t. Note to self: Think of massage as less a salon service, more holistic healthcare. I’d actually gotten a recommendation of a massage therapist who sounds much more skillful prior to keeping my appointment … live and learn.

In my world, there are two kinds of sick–too sick to read, and the other, better kind. For a good while, I was too sick to read.

But, once I felt better, I really felt better. I got a bit of a post-illness high. I spring-cleaned some more, I felt cheery. (The high continued today. I asserted myself; there was no getting me down.) I also realized, when there was very little in the house appropriate for a sick person to eat, that my diet–organic, unprocessed, and delicious though it may be–really is too rich. I’m feeling ready to do something about that.

And … I was ready to hear the guidance that yes, at last, it is time to go. I can see clearly that now I’m in the right frame of mind to set intentions and parameters, and make good decisions about what’s next. “Get me the hell out of here” isn’t the best launching pad to success, I do see that now.

I don’t exactly regret anything, and I feel pretty pleased with the eventual outcome, but I do believe I’ll think twice about the skill of anyone in whose hands I place my body in the future. I also realized while writing this that probably the reason I have felt so traumatized recently by being treated unfairly (and I think betrayed is not too strong a word) by authority figures was a connection to past-life issues in this area. (So many of us have lost our lives and loved ones unjustly in the past. If you tend to seize up a bit around the so-called “important” people of this world, you very likely have this in common with me.) So probably the toxicity I’m feeling has not to do just with recent and earlier experiences, but likely some past-life stuff as well. All part of the clutter I’m here to clear.

The toxicity is certainly not all gone–I can clearly feel it still in my body, there’s more work to do–but today I feel lighter, as well as having a mandate to move forward. And what’s not to love about that?

This post is illustrated by my SoulCollage card Persistence + Rosie the Riveter.

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