When there is pain in the neck or restriction in the throat chakra, it’s worth asking: What emotions are caught in our throat, unable to be spoken?
Neck and shoulder pain are very common, partly because they can come up when we are sitting in front of our screens all day, but also because these are areas that tend to hold a lot of stress. It’s common for the shoulders to inch up to the ears when we’re feeling worried, and that can cause a pinch or tension along the neck and/or shoulders.
When we are dealing with neck and shoulder pain, it’s worth considering the energetic resonance of these regions. When we look at things this way, neck and shoulder pain may indicate an imbalance in the throat chakra.
Chakra theory is all about the idea that we have specific energy centers in different places in our bodies that correspond to physical and emotional realities. They are located in specific places along the spine. Most chakra systems name seven energy centers. They are:
- Root chakra: located around the perineum. Related to home, security, connection with earth.
- Sacral chakra: located in line with the sacrum in the low belly/pelvis. Related to sexuality, creativity, and pleasure.
- Solar plexus chakra: located around the stomach area. Related to ego, sense of self, ability to stand up for yourself.
- Heart chakra: located in the center of the chest. Related to our connection to others and community.
- Throat chakra: located in the throat. Related to our ability to speak and express ourselves.
- Third-eye chakra: located between the eyebrows in the center of the brain. Related to our intuition and intelligence.
- Crown chakra: located just above the crown of the head. Related to spirituality.
Usually, neck and shoulder pain is related to the throat chakra. This region is about speech and expression. Neck pain often comes with restriction; there is this feeling that we can’t look side to side or up and down, and we’re unable to clearly see and feel what’s around us. We are stuck looking in one direction and no longer have the power of choosing our own perspective.
The throat is also the source of our voice. When there is pain in the neck or restriction in the throat chakra, it’s worth asking ourselves what we haven’t been saying. What emotions are caught in our throat, unable to be spoken?
While neck pain is almost always related to the throat chakra, shoulder pain sometimes points to the heart. This is the region where we feel connected to others, not just romantically but in terms of family and community. The heart can often be the place where we feel out our position in the world, our identity in relationship to others. The heart also holds grief for us, and sometimes shoulder pain is actually about a grief we are trying too hard to hold onto. A question to ask ourselves here is: What am I grieving? How can I give myself more space and time to feel sadness and loss?
The Highway Between
The throat chakra is located between the heart and the head. Sometimes neck pain indicates a conflict between what the mind thinks and what the heart feels. It’s like the signal gets scrambled while the heart and the head disagree. Neck pain is like the traffic jam between the heart and the head at the highway of the throat.
There are several practices that may help in balancing the throat chakra. Here are a few ideas:
- Meditate, keeping your awareness at the base of the throat. Notice what arises.
- Meditate or paint with the color blue. The throat chakra’s color is light blue or aquamarine.
- Write about your feelings.
- Speak, out loud, the feelings that may be stuck in this region, to a friend or when you’re alone.
- Address the conflict that may be sitting in your throat by speaking up to the person you need to communicate with.
- Sing, shout, or scream.
- Meditate or journal on what’s happening in your head. Then, separately, what you’re feeling in your heart. Notice the discrepancies without judgment or trying to reconcile them.
- Move your body. Focus on movement in the neck, shoulders, and upper back region.
- Lay down with a rolled blanket, pillow, or bolster under your upper back and feel into what’s happening in your neck and throat.
More specifically: Consider the spiritual meaning of left-shoulder pain.