A Training & Teaching CD-R by Wayne C. Allen

Sample Chapter

The BODY – the Shoulder Zone

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Neutral Shoulders

neutral shoulders

Review the posture we described above - standing against a wall, shoulders touching, then cross hands over crotch.

The shoulders will round forward just slightly. The shoulders do not look "overworked" or saggy, but comfortable and loose. There is little or no pain in the shoulder muscles.

Shoulders Drooping

shoulder droop

The weight of the world is on one's shoulders - when you assume this posture, you just want to sigh.

People who are over-responsible adopt this position. In Bodywork language, we'll often ask the person receiving Bodywork to list the people and situations he or she is carrying on their shoulders.

Widow's Hump

Widow's Hump

A rounding over of the back at shoulder level when viewed from the side or back. This posture takes a bit of time to develop and flows from drooped shoulders.

Not only is this person "carrying" others, they're wearing a back-pack up there to hold more.

Deeply over-responsible.

Turtle Posture

Turtle PostureShoulders to the ears

Called turtle position or turtle posture, as it reflects a turtle pulling its head into its shell. The thinking of such a person is: "Maybe if I just hide, no one will notice me."

People who are in this position are scared, and try to duck their heads to be safe. It's also the "Who, me?" posture - and is a sign of under-responsibility.

Shoulders Back

shoulders backMilitary Posture

"I can take it - I'm tough." Armoured chest, also designed to protect the heart.

Invulnerability - "You can't hurt me." By extension, "You also can't get to me. I'm unavailable for depth and intimacy."

Possible repressed anger.

Shoulders Not Level


One shoulder higher than the other, and/or one shoulder farther forward than the other - This indicates an imbalance in Yin / Yang.

The person's approach to life is too heavily one or the other, not equal. If the right shoulder is high or forward, too yang or masculine. If left, too yin or feminine.

Shoulder Blades

Pronounced Shoulder Blades

shoulder blades

This one's very subjective. Go to the beach and look at backs. Shoulder blades should be visible, but not pronounced.

If they're really sticking out, the person is "sprouting wings" in order to leave a situation. This is the mark of a person who escapes rather than working things through. The escape may be mental as well as actually running (flying) away.