Where Do You Hold Stress?

we hold stress in two major muscles in our backsWhere do you hold stress? What muscle bothers you the most? In my experience, there are two muscles that dominate the average pain or discomfort landscape. The first is the “Levator Scapula” muscle. This is the one in the mid, upper back that a client will typically refer to as the “this is where I hold my stress” area.

The second muscle is the Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL) located in the side of the hip, just above the Trocanter (hip joint). Although not located in the back, it is a surprise to most clients that it is generating their lower back tension and discomfort. We will discuss this one in a future conversation.

The Levator Scapulae is easy to find but uncomfortable to release the first few times it is worked on. It is located deeper than the Upper Traps group, so the traps need relaxation first. Other muscle groups will also need to be loosened up first such as the Rhomboids and the Rotator Cuff group.

The client will be in a prone position (face down) on the table and will perform a shoulder shrug movement while the therapist applies mild to deep pressure on the tight areas of the muscle.

This can take more that one visit to resolve as “muscle memory” and old posture habits allow the tightness to revisit. The good news is that each time it is worked it should become less uncomfortable and be longer lasting.

To your better health,


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