What emotion is stored in the neck?
Our body is a powerful container for storing emotions, whether conscious or subconscious. The neck is one of the most common places to store emotion, with tension and tightness arising from fear, anxiety, grief, anger, and other strong emotional experiences. Neck tension can also be associated with trust issues, feelings of insecurity, and weak willpower. In traditional Chinese medicine, the neck is also connected to the kidneys, which are important for sustaining life and reproduction, as well as growth, development, and maturation.
When we experience strong emotions, our body responds to the intensity of these feelings. We can develop an emotional vibration, with the accompanying thoughts and physical sensations related to that emotion. It is not uncommon for us to store these feelings in the muscles of our neck, shoulders, and upper back. For example, when we feel burdened and overwhelmed, it can manifest in our neck and shoulders as tension and neck pain. Similarly, if we're struggling to express ourselves or combating feelings of sadness, grief, or betrayal, tightness in our upper back area may emerge.
The Symptoms of Neck Tension
When emotions are stored in our neck, they can manifest as physical tension, such as tightness, pain, and restricted movement. As a vulnerable part of the body, the neck is very prone to tension and muscular knots. Other areas in the body where tension is commonly store dinclude the hips, shoulders, and lower back — those areas that are already weak and prone to injury may be particularly vulnerable to storing emotion.
In addition to physical tension and discomfort, there can also be psychological symptoms that accompany neck pain. A fear of danger and/or strange environments, trust issues, feelings of insecurity, and overwhelmedness are all closely linked with neck tension.
The Benefits of Releasing Neck Tension
When you're able to consciously acknowledge the emotion held in your neck and shoulder area, you can move towards healing and releasing this energetic block. By focusing on releasing shoulder and neck tension, you may experience a deep sense of emotional wellbeing, improved physical health, and a newfound sense of confidence.
Releasing neck tension through massage therapy or yoga can be incredibly powerful tools. Massage therapists are adept at addressing neck immobility, tightness, and pain. Yoga postures, such as neck rolls and shoulderstands, can also help to release tension and keep you in alignment with spirit.
What to do if your neck is stored with emotion
If your neck is feeling especially tense, here are some things you can do to help release any stored emotion and ease the discomfort:
Acknowledge the feeling: If your neck is feeling tight, take a few minutes to sit with your discomfort. Acknowledge the emotion associated with the tightness and gently allow it to be there. It may feel strange in the moment, but this simple practice can help to bring physical and emotional relief.
Examine the feeling: Spend some time reflecting on the feeling and why it may have been stored in your neck. Is it coming from a specific event or memory? Does it stem from unresolved issues or recurring worries? Examining where a feeling comes from can help to provide insight into why it exists and allow you to release it.
Do some stretching: Gently stretching your neck and shoulders can be a great way to loosen and release any stored emotion. Remember to take it slow and only move as far as you’re comfortable — it should never hurt.
Your breath and visualization: As you focus on your breath and visualize your body letting go of any tension and tightness, imagine that the emotion is being released from your neck and shoulders. Just focus on your breath and let the feeling of relaxation wash over you.
Our bodies have incredible innate wisdom and our neck is no exception. Neck tension can be a physical manifestation of our emotional pain and is often a sign that there’s something that needs to be addressed. By recognizing the emotion stored there, we can begin to move towards healing and releasing this energetic block. Taking the time to stretch, practice yoga, and become mindful of your breath are all wonderful ways to relieve neck tension and any underlying emotional discomforts that may be held there.
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