Case Study: How An Unconscious Judgement Created a Lifelong Shoulder Pain


As I was working on a client’s shoulder, by simply rotating it slowly, he kept noticing an inner voice chiding him. You’re worthless, it was saying. Pathetic. I saw it in his face so clearly that I could almost hear the voice. 

I narrowed in on the motion, and it seemed something like a throwing motion, the arm over the head, arcing down. Is that familiar? I asked. It seems to me like throwing something. As I said that, he saw a vague image that slowly came into focus… it was the laces of a football, lamely wobbling through the air. This shoulder pain had plagued him since high school. 

And then it came to him; the origin story of the condition. Time stopped. 

He was 16 or so, vying for a beautiful young woman during high school. Needless to say, other boys were also interested, including the captain of the football team. Somehow, he got coerced into throwing the pigskin around with the quarterback. He was given the ball, and the quarterback went out… way out.  When he went to casually throw the ball, it fell far short, and sort off wobbled off to one side. He hadn’t realized that his love was at stake. 

He lost the girl, so the story goes. He blamed his shoulder. His shoulder had failed him. 

Realizing the story allowed him to have compassion for his shoulder. I had him touch it and speak some words of reconciliation. People feel silly doing this, but usually indulge me. As they do, they often notice tingling and ‘feeling’ the body part for the first time. Usually, tears flow at this glimpse of wholeness. Wholeness is what we all desire. 

The shoulder was healed, when we realized there was nothing actually wrong to it. It was actually obeying the consciousness that chose to amputate it.  The life force was circumventing the shoulder joint. This ‘pain’ was a call to come back. This ache was the ache of separation; of fragmentation. 

No surgery could access what this simple act of human connection was able to remedy. Pharmaceuticals could numb the pain, at great cost, acidifying the tissues, and numbing other body systems as well, well taxing the body systems while they struggled to clear out the synthetic ingredients. Alternative remedies could open up the energy channels, but were powerless to override the desire to separate; the grudge he had (unconsciously) held against his own shoulder. 

Healing is simple, when we allow the dialogue to be vast. When we narrow in on the symptom, healing is complicated, and impossible. 

When I am looking at a body in distress, I remind myself to take a break and look out at leaves or stars. They remind me how beautiful this whole constellation is. 

Love and flow.