I have had neck/shoulder pain for a while, and especially since my second son was born. After he was born the pain was debilitating. I couldn't hold him & could barely move.
I went to physical therapy for a while, made progress, worked on neck strength and mobility at home (because, you know...babysitter arrives, transition time, 20 minutes to drive there, wait around 5-10 minutes, only 20 minutes with the physical therapist, pay, 20 minutes home... pay babysitter. You can only go for so long).
I did make good progress with strength, but I went back to PT for a while. Made progress, worked on it at home. Felt good about the whole thing.
Then I was getting headaches and not able to figure out why. I thought I was maybe dehydrated.
So I hired myself a health coach last year. (Yes even health coaches need health coaches at times!)
That work was really helpful, and I discovered it was still the neck issues, and that it was triggered by lack of sleep! What helpful information my coach helped me discover.
So I started working on getting more sleep. And now I'm seeing a naturopath! Because my sleep quality wasn't good, and I thought there may be something more going on. And guess what... I'm anemic!!!
So I've been working on balancing that out, feeling less exhausted during the day, and getting more restful sleep. So at this point, as you can see, I've worked hard to take good care of my body.
And yet I still have lingering neck/shoulder pain at times. I know I need more strengthening, and unfortunately that takes time (especially because I can only do so much without causing MORE pain, so it's just slow work).
And I also have taken to looking at what this pain means in a more esoteric sense.
Many times when I've explained my neck pain to friends they instantly shout "It's stress!"
And while it's not ever what I have though , I also know they are right. Parenting is stressful. As a parent, and especially as a mother, I "shoulder" a lot of emotions, logistics, and even socks and underwear.
(My husband: "Where are all the boys' underwear?"
Me: "In the drawer where they belong.")
So I'm looking at my neck and shoulder pain as more symbolic in my life. How can I relive myself of some of this burden? Obviously, to some extent I can't. My kids are here forever.
So what CAN I change? And then how can I "shoulder" it with less stress? I believe our pain and discomfort is our body talking to us. When he have body issues, our body is telling us something. Unfortunately, our world makes it hard to speak this language. But with a little patience and guidance, we can learn it again.
What is your body telling you? Where do you have pain or discomfort? Write me back and let me know, and I'll be happy to tell you what may be a helpful next step to learn more.
Recently I suggested a woman who called to try ayurveda or acupuncture, because it sounded like her digestive issues where based on too much "yin" food (like lot of cold smoothies and salads) that can be healthy, but which I suspected may be causing some of her imbalance.
Sometimes a new perspective can help you make a small adjustment to course. Imagine a ship sailing and how one change in direction make a great change in the final destination.
So, what is your body telling you?
I help busy, ambitious leaders to step off the emotional eating roller coaster, so they can lose weight and keep it off, still eat all the foods they love, and finally find the work life balance they crave.