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Yin Yoga and pain in throat/shoulders

 
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heidrunjacobi



Joined: 23 Jul 2011
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: Yin Yoga and pain in throat/shoulders Reply with quote

I had a student in my class tonight who told me she had benign positional vertigo but said she knew how to take care of herself and how not to get dizzy. After class, she also mentioned that in the warm up, as we did some nose to knee poses, lying on the back, she was very uncomfortable in her throat - she said it got really tight - and she could only hold her head up for a few seconds. When holding longer, even her shoulders would tighten up completely so that she couldn't move them and had to bring head and shoulders down first to let them 'unfreeze' again; even corpse pose was uncomfortable for her. We spoke about some modifications like keeping the head elevated on a pillow during Savasana but I am wondering what the cause for her discomfort is. Is it the nerves that run down through the throat that are getting compressed by her collarbones and cause the sensation of tightness? Does anyone have any ideas or has come across this, too? Thank you!
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1064
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:59 am    Post subject: Pain in throat/shoulders Reply with quote

This does sound mysterious, and the discomfort may or may not be related to the vertigo she experiences. Her symptoms in the throat could be due to compression in the throat area, but I suspect that, if she never experienced that feeling before, normal compression is not the issue now.

Eventually, as we open up and get rid of all our tensile resistance, what will stop us will be compression - when she works through all the resistance that she can along the back of the neck, she will eventually reach a point where her chin will compress into her chest or the front of the vertebrae of the cervical spine will start hitting each other. That could create some discomfort in the throat area, but I suspect that this is not what is happening for her.

Your speculation, that she is compressing a nerve, doesn't seem likely to me either: If the clavicle was pushing down on any nerves, it is most likely to be the brachial plexus, but that enervates the arm, not the torso. (This is often called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome). Symptoms of this would be tingling radiating down the arm and into the hands.

I can only speculate as to the causes, and that is not helpful. If the condition keeps occurring, you may want to advise her to see her health care provider for a more thorough investigation. It could be related to muscle tension in the throat (some sort of cramping happening there), squeezing of arteries in that area that block blood flow, swollen lymph nodes or glands in the throat area, and good old fashioned anxiety or fear. Again, those are just speculations.

Maybe some other reader will have had a similar experience and can offer more helpful insights.
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heidrunjacobi



Joined: 23 Jul 2011
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much, Bernie, for your insights. I agree that she should probably consult with a health care provider. In the meantime, I'll start her off with some breathing exercises, just Ujayi breathing maybe to help her relax and massage the throat area. Thanks again for taking the time to respond. You provide such a wonderful service to the Yin community and I enjoy - and learn from y- our book as well as the youtube and myyogaonline videos tremendously! I hope I'll be able to travel to Vancouver one day and take a workshop with you!!
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