Ooh, my aching shoulders! Singing without pain.
A conversation with my student.
She came for help and was looking really stressed. This is how it went….
Student: These days I am suffering a lot from sore shoulders and my arms tend to be very achy. What can I do about this? I have been to the chiropractor often and although he helps it always comes back after a while.
Me: Are your shoulders sore all the time? Or, can you tell me what you are doing when your shoulders get sore?
Student: I notice it often when I am practicing singing and also when I’m on stage. I love singing and when I perform and my shoulder start to get sore, it gets so bad that I am sometimes scared I will forget my lines.
Me: What do you tell yourself when this happens?
Student: I start to panic and this only makes it worse. I keep telling myself to relax, but it doesn’t do anything.
I stand up straight! I pull my shoulders back! Do everything I have been taught!
Then I keep shifting my feet or changing the position of my neck or my shoulders. But nothing helps for long.
The worst thing is that nowadays I don’t even want to go near the stage or practice. It just starts up the cycle all over again so I avoid it.
It’s like a domino effect, I avoid performing for a while, start to feel a bit better, think it is all ok, get back on stage, and within half an hour, it is all there again!
This perpetual cycle is debilitating to say the least. Yet is is common.
Has anything like this ever happened to you?
It is time to acknowledge it’s time for a change. After all if you keep doing the same thing, you will keep getting the same results.
Time to do something so very different!
So listen up! Let me tell you how to take the first step to changing things.
It is a no brainer that this is just a vicious cycle.
So firstly, take a break, take a holiday……Not from singing, but just from the thoughts that keep you awake at night.
Just give yourself a rest from the damage that those thoughts do to you. Remember that your brain and your body work together and affect each other directly. (They LIVE together)!
Now experiment with this little exercise.
Prepare yourself to practice your singing.
While you do, each time you notice that the thought of ‘pain’ comes into your brain, just say ‘no’ to it.
Take your time.
Let it happen as many times as it does.
And each time just say ‘no’. No to every time the thought of ‘here comes the pain’ arrives.
Now you are ready to sing.
You start to take a breath!
Just refuse to start! Refuse yourself the luxury of going any further.
I say the luxury because it is this that keeps us doing the same thing over and over and over again. AND IT FEELS RIGHT. So we keep doing it.
If we don’t do it the way we always do it, then we don’t feel right! Right?
And to deny the right feeling is to feel uncomfortable.
Is this the start of something different? Not what you might expect maybe?
Each time you achieve this, you are taking a major step to healing your ‘self’, wiping a bit more off your old slate (your neural pathway). Claiming a bit more of your natural pain free ‘self’ back.
It’s all up to you; you are the only one who can do this. The only one who REALLY knows YOU!
You are gaining bit by bit, the natural easy freedom that every singer just wants to have.
I love getting feedback, don’t we all?
Let me know what affects your singing career or makes it difficult.
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