You ever feel your shoulders start to creep up to your ears? That is stored energy in the muscles that is not being used. What? Most of us feel that we dont have enough energy during the day, and we have energy being stored that is causing our shoulders to get tense?
Our bodies are funny, complicated machines that work very well. In fact, our bodies produce its own electricity - on average 150 watts at rest, and up to 2000 watts when doing bursts of movements/exercise. For muscles to contract, an electric impulse is sent from our brain through nerves to the fibres that fire hook like arms that pull on the underlying fibres - resulting in the muscle contracting.
Stress can be caused by stressful situations (fight or flight), and/or by overthinking - negative influences that cause our brains to fire synapses and release hormones. For our brains to work, electricity is needed - stress causes a lot of needless brain work. During stressful times we often become sedentary (dont feel like doing much). This inactivity when we are stressed can build up access electricity in our bodies - this is possibly why when we are anxious or stressed we may start to shake our legs, twiddle our thumbs, etc. This could also be why those who understand this, when stressed, they exercise (walk, run, fitness, etc.) and say that helps them feel less stressed.
So, if we think about how our bodies are producing electricity all day - even when we are at rest, we could say that our bodies begin to store potential energy - just like a battery. At some point, if we are not using that stored electricity - our battery overfills with energy, which then leaks out. This results in involuntary muscle movements - such as shoulders creeping up to our ears. Because, the energy being stored in the muscles is needing to be used!
In my last post/column I wrote that "Movement is Life" and how our bodies need to move in order to heal, prevent/decrease pain, and limit injuries. The hypothesis that the electricity that our bodies produce - if not used is stored in muscles, which results in our bodies moving involuntarily. Like sparks from a Tesla Coil triggering fibres in the muscles to contract.
Putting together the increased electricity our bodies produce to deal with stress, and not moving, we can understand why our shoulders often feel tense, and creep up to shoulders.
Now with that image, we can now understand how to prevent or stop the shoulders from creeping up to our ears. We use that stored energy! Here is a trick when feeling those shoulders getting closer to our ears - shrug as much as you can. Pull those shoulders up high and hold it - this will cause the muscles to contract, and use electricity that is stored. This tip is called "hold and release" which I do with clients at the clinic and encourage them to do at home.