Somatics for Chronic Shoulder and Neck Tension Relief – Videos

This article lists some Somatics exercise videos (below) to release chronic muscle tension in the shoulder and neck areas and to experience (hopefully) long term and lasting relief.

I created this list for two main reasons.  The first is to experience that longer lasting relief.  I recently started to notice worsening pain and muscle tension in my shoulders near the rotator cuff area and around the neck.  Perhaps the “Frozen shoulder”.  Thanks to Michael (Germany), who pointed me to Thomas Hanna and Somatics, I have started exploring Somatics and Somatics exercises to counter what Hanna refers to as Sensory-Motor Amnesia (SMA) from [Hanna_Somatics, p. xiii]:

These muscular contractions have become so deeply involuntary and unconscious that, eventually, we no longer remember how to move about freely.  The result is stiffness, soreness, and a restricted range of movement.  This habituated state of forgetfulness is called sensory-motor amnesia (SMA).

Here is a concrete example of SMA from [ElevatedSomatics_SMA]:

…(I)f you walk around with a purse or laptop bag always on one shoulder, that shoulder will tend to become more contracted and elevated. You might notice this the first day or two, but very quickly you become conditioned to this level of contraction and the new position of your shoulder.  When that happens, you may stop feeling how tight that shoulder is and at the same moment, become unable to simply relax the shoulder.

Somatics seems to be a means to help the muscles relearn to return to and remember their natural, lengthened and relaxed state.  The second reason for creating the list of videos is for quick access to a set of videos on Somatic exercises for the shoulder and neck areas that I have found useful thus far – for myself and others who may be searching for similar relief.

You may notice a common theme recurring in the videos.  Tension is deliberately increased and then slowly released to a completely relaxed state – all the while wholly mindful of the sensory experience.  The technique, referred to as Pandiculation, apparently facilitates restoring the muscles to their natural, lengthened and relaxed state [EssentialSomatics Pandiculation] [SomaticMovementCenter Pandiculation] [Somatics Pandiculation].

Furthermore, for those familiar with Progressive Relaxation [KendoNotes ProgressiveRelaxation] [KendoNotes PMR_Quotes], Pandiculation and Progressive Relaxation seem related.  They both deliberately and perhaps counter-intuitively advocate introducing tension to promote relaxation.

If you, too, are experiencing muscle tension, may you experience relief!

List of Videos on Somatic Exercises to Release Chronic Shoulder and Neck Tension


[ElevatedSomatics_SMA] “Sensory Motor Amnesia //Explained,” Elevated Somatics.

[EssentialSomatics_Pandiculation] “Pandiculation – The Safe Alternative to Stretching,” Essential Somatics, Sept. 30, 2010.

[Hanna_Somatics] Thomas Hanna, Somatics – Reawakening the Mind’s Control of Movement, Flexibility, and Health, Alfred A. Knopf Publishing, 1988.

[KendoNotes_ProgressiveRelaxation] “Progressive Relaxation: ‘Mother Knows Best,’”, Dec. 27, 2020.

[KendoNotes_PMR_Quotes] “Quotes on Progressive Relaxation,”, Jan 25, 2021.

[SomaticMovementCenter_Pandiculation] “What is Pandiculation?” Somatic Movement Center.

[Somatics_Pandiculation] Lawrence Gold, “Pandiculation Instead of Stretching,”

Keywords: Pain relief

Copyright 2021



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