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Shoulder Roll - impinging nerves / circulation

Raaamil
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08/13/2020 - 9:13am
Shoulder Roll - impinging nerves / circulation

Hello dear community,

I am into the method for roughly a month now and I still have quite some issues with the shoulder roll.

After performing a shoulder roll my arms/shoulders get into a position which seem to cut off circulation to or from the arms. It feels the same as when having a tight rubberband around the arm - I start to feel the pulse very strongly in hand and especially the fingers. Additionally the shoulders start to feel heavy - lifting the arms takes more effort (it seems like the muscles get into a mechanically disadvantageous position somehow but it should be the other way around doesn`t it?) Also I often get a tingling feeling in my hand/fingers. Those issues generally arise on both sides but the effect seems to be worse on the left side for whatever reason - most likely this is not too relevant for now.

Do you have any ideas on why this is happening? Having visited the Foundations Course I am pretty confident that my techinque is okay, but maybe I get a subtlety wrong every time. And do you have any advice on how to deal with those difficulties?

 

Kind regards,

Ramil

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08/26/2018 - 4:08am

Hi Ramil,

I suggest you watch this video and practice the shoulder roll along with Esther. I am wondering if you are trying too hard and stretching too much and muscles are spasming a little? Better to do it gently and often, opening up your chest little by little. You don't want to be doing something that is causing circulation to cut off so you do need to change what you are doing... 

Rachel Margaret, Gokhale Method teacher

Raaamil
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Hi Rachel!

Thanks for the reply. The shoulder roll still confuses me quite a lot. Sometimes it works out fine, sometimes it works out fine only on one side and sometimes it does not work at all.

I have the feeling that it depends on the level of relaxiaton I have in my upper back. Is that possible? I very often have very tight muscles in the back - spasms really. Is it possible that this interfers with the shoulder roll somehow?

Kind regards

Ramil

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Hi Ramil,

Yes, tight back muscles and spasms would very much interfere with the shoulder roll. Most of the time we want the muscles in our back to be relaxed, so I think that is the more important thing to be working on right now, to relax the back muscles.

I remember that you said that you have done the Foundations Course recently - do you remember how much the anteversion of the pelvis affects the curvature of the upper back? If you are standing, sitting or walking with a tucked pelvis this will increase the curvature of your upper back (and then also increasing muscle tension holding you up while you are curved forward). Reread the early part of the Stacksitting chapter, pages 70-73. Practice your stacksitting with your pelvis anteverted, your imaginary tail out behind you, which allows the bones to stack well and  your back muscles to relax. If you are stacksitting well your relaxed chest will be able to expand and rise with each breath.

Two other things that can help you with this are the bolster exercise and using the Gokhale Method roller. Do you remember the bolster exercise from your Foundations Course? It would help you to set up a bolster of some kind with extra cushions (so your shoulders and head are slightly raised like a ramp) and practice lying on the bolster and wriggle down until your bottom is gently hanging over the end of the bolster (without your back swaying). Do this a number of times a day, no more than 5 minutes at a time. This is teaching your body to get used to the anteverted pevis position with a curve at L5S1, the lowest part of your back that can bend, with the rest of your back tall and straight. The reason this would be particularly good for you to do is that by lying down hopefully you can allow all your back to relax as you are doing this, so you are teaching your body to get used to the anteverted pelvis position and teaching your body what this feels like with your back relaxed. The more you have an anteverted pelvis all the time the less your upper back will want to curve forward. The other thing we talked about in a different thread is using the Gokhale Method roller to help release your upper back if it is kind of fixed into place into a forward curve.

So yes, before focusing too much on the shoulder roll I think you need to focus first on your pelvic anteversion, always having your imaginary tail out behind you, and on having the rest of your back tall and straight and relaxed. I think once you have got these things happening the shoulder roll will not be difficult and will feel nice to do.

Rachel

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