The Lion sleeps in us.
I confess! I love anthropology and archeology! I often speculate on what sort of environment shaped us as a species and how it impacts us now.
I’m way out of my scope of practice here so take what I say with a grain of salt, but this idea is so cool that I want to share it with you.
We grew as a species in a world where we often had to react before thinking. Instinct. Impulse.
A predator, a lion, a bear, or a big old wolf out there and was going to pounce on us and eat us!
I like to tell my clients about a fictitious cave dweller waking up one fine day and seeing a sabre toothed tiger ready to pounce on them for lunch! The cave dweller thought, “Oh no, I gotta look BIG!” and hiked their shoulders up HIGH. Rather like this chap here in the picture.
That was enough to scare off the predator for that day. So the cave dweller passed on that to their offspring and so on and so on down to us.
Now, I tell this story as I’m looking at my client’s backs. With very few exceptions, they have “hiked up” shoulders. REALLY hiked up shoulders. I’ve seen in seven year olds. I’ve seen it in eighty year olds. Everyone.
The favoured expression is that they’re keeping their emotions locked up in their shoulders. I suspect they’ve got memories of a predator (or some other stress) in there somewhere and lack the knowledge about how to bring those shoulders back down.
Well, our brains are still getting us prepared to meet a stress. That is what is hiking the shoulders up. And this isn’t altogether a good thing because the sorts of stresses that we encounter (traffic, meetings, agendas, etc.) will never be frightened by us “looking big”. All we’re doing is wasting our energy and that leads to upper back pain and shortened tempers. Even worse, we might even be presenting a signal to people we meet that there is some stress out there set to eat us and THEY may unnoticeably start hiking their shoulders up too.
Pay attention to those shoulders. Get someone (your massage therapist) to show you how to bring those things down.
You will feel AMAZING!