“Frozen shoulder” is a medical anomaly, an idiopathic occurrence. Idiopathic means a “spontaneous” condition with no known cause. Why would any human body “freeze” a joint like the shoulder, even if there is no tear or obvious physical injury to be found?
My working theory on frozen shoulder, having worked with quite a few frozen shoulder clients in my private practice since 2008, is that this condition has more to do with the nervous system than anything purely physical. And under the umbrella of the nervous system, I’ve observed a pattern that made itself known when client after client opened up to me about their histories.
The emotional or historical pattern I’ve seen accompanying frozen shoulder has to do with grief, or loss, and an instinctive drive to protect the heart from “too much” pain to bear.
And, under the umbrella of “loss” or bearing pain, another pattern emerged: unexpressed or unprocessed grief.
Many of these clients were/are extremely self aware. They’ve done the therapy and growth work necessary to make sense of their past and live in the present. And…there’s always been a palpable undercurrent of emotion disguising itself quite brilliantly as intellectual capacity, as strength, endurance and a persevering self-reliance.
The clients of mine that recovered full range of motion in their shoulders also recovered and integrated their full range of E-motion.
Sometimes, there can be an underlying nervous system pattern that’s still operating even though my client has explored their emotions and worked through them.
Watch the video for my take on frozen shoulder, and if you are arriving to this blog post with a current frozen shoulder condition, then here’s what I recommend:
- Start with your nervous system, not your fascia. Identify any patterns of protecting your heart against pain, loss, grief, surrender…and if you discover there are still emotions needing to be felt and/or processed, then:
- Feel it to heal it. Seek help if you feel you need professional help from a well trained therapist, somatic life coach or someone who understands the body-mind connection.
- Once you feel sure the emotions are moving through or already processed, then you can begin working with your fascia and nervous system pattern(s) simultaneously.
- Be aware of nervous system reactivity while doing fascia release work. If your body rejects physical work by increasing your pain or decreasing range of motion after a session (whether by yourself or with a professional), then consider it could be a message from your nervous system that it’s not ready for freedom yet…there’s still healing work to be done first.
Please keep in mind that I’m sharing this in the hopes it is helpful, and I in way think this is the only possible cause of frozen shoulder. I’m sharing the patterns I have seen in my private practice, and I am open to being wrong.
I’d love to hear from you! Do you think this is a viable working theory? Do you or someone you know have frozen shoulder? If so, what are your thoughts on this theory and where are you at on the healing journey right now?
I look forward to reading your comments!