NewYears IED

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ambushing Shoulder and Neck Pain

As a CVLN, you must acquire the ability to ambush muck.

Think of a massage. I get one a month from a Chinese woman, Tina, at the mall. She can't speak a lick of English, but every month she chips a few more pieces of armor off my shoulders and neck.

You see it works like this: your body is 70-90% water and when your body doesn't flow well in certain areas like your shoulder or neck after wearing years of body armor, the areas become more viscous and eventually hard.

Tina worked with such pressure on my shoulders that it felt like ice breaking. For two days my shoulders were on fire and tense, but on the third day my shoulders felt more effortlessly mobile.

I asked my doctor about why that would happen and she said that the pressure was trauma to my muscles. The trauma caused new fresh blood to flow into areas that have been long without it and that new fresh blood sent the old muck back into the new blood flow and off to elimination.

Think back to water. When water is cut off from the flow, it stagnates, but it doesn't stop changing. It changes into muck and all muck does is muck stuff up.

One of the Vietnam vets at the Mindfulness Meditation class at the DCVA spends hours still in body armor as a security officer. He states and displays the same pains I had when I got back from Iraq.

The weight of the body armor influences the flow of blood to the shoulders creating a kinda dull feeling. You can mostly deal, but you know it's catching up to you.

The lack of smooth feeling in the shoulders is muck. To get a better performing shoulder, you gotta work the muck out.

You do that the same way your stream behind your house does after a good rain. The increased flow from the rain swells the stream carrying off muck and leaving the stream fresher than it was before.

I work on my shoulders and neck daily through soft style exercise and a monthly massage.

This way I stay ahead of the muck instead of the other way around.

When I lay face down on the table, I settle in with three breaths focusing on the exhale. Exhale is important for former smokers, HOOAH. Anyway I relax as Tina starts on my neck. I try to relax as much as I can so Tina's hands can clearly discern the places that need work.

I know where the tension is so I sit and wait for the pressure to come. I'm very still, I even slow my breath. When the pressure comes it takes a lot of will not to tense. I imagine it's much like being scared. Some freeze up, others don't get stuck on the fear and learn to work with it.

Your muck is leftover armor that's gotta be broken up

The muck has gotta go Smbrs and it ain't going on its own.


The 20th stanza of the Art of Peace, by founder and creator of the Martial Art Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba is:


  1. I suppose we all need Tina from time to time. :) Stay with her until the physical muck is all gone. I wonder if you can get rid of the mental muck; at least most of it?

  2. Hy,
    I like your post its informative for me.
    New York Pilates exercise is the best treatment for Neck Pain.