Do you know what I treat more than other health condition?  Shoulder pain.  All day long I treat shoulder pain.  Actually, I love to treat it because I have suffered with it myself and feel like I understand the pain.  And it’s so fun to see it go away!  

My shoulder pain started with chronically tense and tight shoulders.  They were tight, but didn’t necessarily cause me “pain.”  The real pain started when I moved across half of the United States to escape from some job and relationship-related angst.  

It took a few months of acupuncture and yoga, but the pain did go away eventually.  One yoga class in particular which was almost all breath-work.  It was deeply relaxing and my shoulders had never felt looser in my life!  

small intestine meridianThe acupuncture meridian where most shoulder pain occurs is on the Small Intestine meridian.  You can see how it zig-zags across the entire scapula (the meridian is on both sides, even though only the right side is illustrated here) and up into the neck and around the head.  

In Chinese medicine, stagnation of qi (oxygen) and blood is what causes pain.  Your qi and blood stagnate from injuries, repetitive movements, and also from emotions.  

gall bladder meridianAnother meridian where shoulder and neck pain can occur is the Gall Bladder meridian.  It crosses the top of your shoulders, occipital region of your neck, and zig-zags around the side of your head (where many headaches occur).  

An interesting point about pain in these meridians is the emotional component to healing.  Your Small Intestine meridian is connected to your Heart meridian and can therefore be injured from “heartbreak.”  Your Gall Bladder meridian is connected to your Liver meridian and can be injured from excessive anger.  

Ever feel pissed off at work?  Of course from time to time we go through a whole array of emotions at work and anywhere.  The problem occurs with excessive anger (or worry or fear, etc.).  

In Chinese medicine we say that anger causes your qi to “rise.”  Rising qi – or rebellious qi – could manifest as headaches, dizziness, hypertension, acid reflux, or tightness and pain in the upper body.

If your job is “causing you pain,” it may be time to “dig deep” and figure out why.  

  • Are you in a field that you love?
  • Do you feel in-line with your greater purpose on earth?
  • Are you able to freely express your needs at work?
  • Do you  work with “sand people?”  (People who like to bring everyone else “down.”)
  • Are you holding your breath?

Try working instead with purpose and joy and see if your pain doesn’t go away and stay away!