Plagued by Tension in Your Neck and Shoulders?

Posted on Posted in Diaphragmatic Breathing

If your answer is ‘yes’ to that question, then the chances are good that you are female and that you are juggling family, career and everything else that is being thrown at you. At least 95% of the women with whom I work complain of tension in their shoulder and neck regions on a daily basis. And, generally it is worse by the end of the day.

The cure is easy, effective and efficient; however, if you do not make it a habit, the tension will return. It requires breaking an old habit and establishing a new one.

Stress is something you will never be able to completely eliminate; however, by learning how to change only one thing in your life, you will experience a tremendous difference in how you deal with that stress.

When I was raising my two small boys as a single parent in Canada, my nearest relative was 600 miles away in the States. Running a small business out of my home, I managed to put a home-cooked meal on the table every night and have my kids in bed before my small group sessions started at 8 pm. How did I manage this without benefit of a nanny or daycare?

I breathed with the support of my diaphragm.

I am sure that you are questioning what breathing has to do with stress. In truth, everything. As a voice coach, I teach people how to find their ‘real’ voice by breathing in this manner and using their chest cavity to power their sound instead of just their throat and voice box. What results is a more mature-sounding voice that can be projected without shouting. [This means that I never yelled at my sons – I projected. Kids don’t listen when you yell at them but they will sit up and take notice when you project your voice!]

What diaphragmatic breathing did for the rest of my life, however, was simply amazing. Never have I experienced tension in my shoulder or neck regions. When you breathe using only the upper portion of your chest, this shallow or lazy breathing does not allow for the elimination of the toxins in the blood. In fact, upper chest breathing actually increases your stress. Now when you add multi-tasking to the picture, the result is tightness and eventually soreness in your shoulders, neck and possibly in your jaw.

Learn to breathe correctly and I guarantee that you will notice a tremendous difference in your life, both professionally and personally.


The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, her complete video training program on voice improvement. Watch Nancy in a brief video as she describes Voice Power.