Shoulder support…

So often people come to me with sore shoulders, or tension in their shoulders. And they’re looking at where the problem is in order to find a solution. Which in my experience is usually the wrong place!

Our shoulders are amazing, both flexible and and strong. And their flexibility comes from that they are only connected skeletally into the sterno-clavicular joint, or jugular notch.

For the rest of their support the muscular connections (and other fascia of course) connect into the spine, the ribs and the sternum- it’s an elegant solution, and when we look at the anatomy, I’m always reminded of birds! 
When we look at the way the muscles hook into each thoracic vertebrae from the shoulders in the back, and along the sternum in the front, I’m always reminded of wings, and how closely we are related to birds.

Muscles of the shoulders

When we can think of the arms being supported from all the way down our back, and front, we can move them in a very different way. 
Try it:

a) Stretch one arm out comfortably at shoulder height. Then move your arm up and down, just thinking of the arm, and fingers.
Try moving them forwards, and backwards in the same way- only thinking of the movements of the hand, and arm in space.

b) Change your attention. As you take your arm backwards (move gently and easily) put the fingers of the other hand vertically next to the sternum, on the side of the outstretched arm. Feel the muscles moving under your fingers.
Move your hands down the whole length of the ribs. as you repeat bringing the arm backwards, and return. Feel the muscles elongating as the arm moves backwards.

c) Repeating the same movement (rest whenever you need to), take your attention to the back of yourself and see if you can feel the muscles of the back contracting, as the shoulder blade slides closer to the spine (go slowly and gently, you’ll feel more). Take the arm forwards, and follow the same steps, and feel how the opposite happens.

d) Move the arm upwards towards the ceiling, again with the fingers on the front of your ribs, and feel what the muscles do here. Put your hands wherever you can easily reach to feel how the ribs help out with the shoulders too, it’s not just the muscles that are in play.

e) Going down can be harder to feel what happens, but going down and up with the arm with your attention on how the ribs and spine support, like a vertical snow angel, can help you find the muscles and areas of the skeleton that are working.

f) Try it on the other side, in different positions: lying, sitting, standing, or both arms together: Can you feel your wings? And when you think of lifting the arms from the ribs, or the back, does that change how you move?

My work with Feldenkrais shows me over and over that we are a whole system, even a system within systems. When we look for our answers in the skeletal and nervous system we turn on our innate ability to learn and discover.

If you found this useful, and are free this afternoon, do come and join us to discover more about your shoulders!

If you have an opinion, discover something, or would simply like to share your thoughts on this week’s topic, drop me an comment, I’d be pleased to hear from you.

We’ll be continuing with our theme of grounding, to find resilience and quiet the nervous system in our classes for the next few weeks.

To join us for the weekly classes, you can sign up here:

Upcoming workshops:

Finding Fluidity in the Shoulders

We’ll be exploring:

  • Improving comfort
  • Better posture
  • Discovering freedom of the shoulders
  • How to find Fluid movement
  • Connecting your shoulders with the skeleton
  • Integrating ideas into the Practice Room.

Price: £20.00

Fill in the registration form below too!

Please check your time Zone if you’re not in the UK. (

Ease in the Hands

We’ll be exploring:

  • Improving comfort
  • Improving sensitivity
  • Discovering freedom of wrists
  • Connecting your fingers and hands with the rest of your skeleton
  • Integrating ideas into the Practice Room.

Price: £20.00

Fill in the registration form below too!

Please check your time Zone if you’re not in the UK. (

WellMusician Summer Course

Reconnect, rediscover, re-connect

  • Improving stage presence,
  • Dialling down anxiety;
  • Finding ease and
  • Avoiding injury as we return to playing with others, or performing live.

Prices: £40 (NUS, ISM,MU) £50

Please check your time Zone if you’re not in the UK. (


Once you’ve pressed the button, I’ll receive your details.

One thought on “Shoulder support…

  1. Pingback: Rethinking Posture

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