Your Body as a Symbol: An Energy Exercise to Discover the Messages in Your Shoulders and Arms

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Your shoulders are about how you chose to use your energy in your relationships and actions.

By understanding the body as symbol, you can begin to explore the subtle energy flows through your body and learn how to positively impact your health and wellbeing

The energy in your shoulders flows directly from your heart’s electromagnetic field: a field that can be measured 6 feet away. The heart’s energy field fuels the flow of life energy throughout your upper body. The heart is the center of your passion, the source of your inner wisdom, your unique “song” and your ‘heart’s desire’. The heart’s energy flow carries the unique vibration of your passion, passing through your shoulders into your arms and out through your hands to express your love, affection, and creativity.

Your shoulders tell you how well you are responding to your heart’s true desire. We take responsibility for ourselves by responding to our heart, and allowing the emergence of capacity and potential in the upper arms: the biceps and triceps. With training and practice, the potential flows through the elbows to become capability, talent, craft and skill in the forearm.

The skills and capabilities can then be translated through the wrist into practical applications and activities to the hand. To finally be perfected by the fingers, and controlled by the thumb.

This energy flow is central to the human being. In ancient Egyptian times, the image of this energy flow was used as a hieroglyph. This symbol, pronounced KA, represented “the soul’s magnetic essence which provides potential” for the individual.

In the recent blog article: “Compassion and Overcare” (link below), we showed you how to tap into your heart’s wisdom to know if you are taking on too much, and how to provide support in caregiving without going into overcare and depleting your vital energy.
Taking a few moments to ask your heart what is best for you before making any major decisions or committing to something more, avoids the trouble we cause ourselves by acting impulsively.

If you close your eyes and in your mind’s eye trace a line from your heart to your shoulders and arms and feel the flow of energy, you will notice how important the shoulders are in permitting the flow into the arms. How we use our shoulders, in other words, the burdens we carry, is a very important factor in the flow.  Many of us carry the world on our shoulders. We take on responsibilities – in other words,  respond to things that don’t require or can’t benefit from our input.  We let too many “shoulds” burden us without objectively evaluating what is truly important.

What, then, is your responsibility? Your responsibility is to listen to your heart and soul. When you inappropriately burden yourself, your “shoulds” will eventually block your “should”-ers (shoulders) and they will tell you unequivocally, with messages of pain. They will also tell you when you are not responding to your passion, when you are choosing to distract yourself instead of developing your potential.

The exercise below was taken from the MICH Energy Anatomy Book by Judyann McNamara. 

Here is an Energy Exercise to help you decode the messages your body is sending you.

How do YOUR shoulders feel?

Get a pencil or pen and a paper or your journal.                                                                  Take a moment to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Imagine that you are living INSIDE your shoulders. What does that feel like?                                                                        If you use your mind’s eye to follow the line of energy from your heart to your shoulders. What images or colors come to mind when you feel your shoulders?
What do you feel in  your upper arms?
Do you ever have elbow problems? Or forearm or wrist problems? What of your fingers?

Once you have gotten a sense of how these different parts feel from the inside, you can ask your heart the following questions:


  1. Where and when do you feel responsible for others?
  2. In what situations are you carrying all the burden?
  3. Do you feel over-loaded?
  4. Do you know what it means to work shoulder to shoulder?
  5. What seems “heavy” in your life right now?
  6. Is your work a “drag”?
  7. When are you being a “drag”?
  8. Do you make yourself responsible for finding all the answers and solutions?
  9. When did you last feel resentment about your work, efforts or duties?
  10. What do you do to earn your “angel wings” – and is it too much?

 QUESTIONS FOR THE UPPER ARMS                                                                                       The strength or capacity to sustain the movements of the forearm comes from the upper arms. Any doubts on your capacities to effect your environment would lodge here.  

  1. Do you doubt your capacities and strengths?
  2. Are you afraid to put your plans into motion?
  3. What are your concerns about your means?
  4. Are you afraid of not being able to make things happen?
  5. Of being discouraged or not having the ability to get results?

QUESTIONS FOR THE ELBOW                                                                                              Elbow problems are frequently linked to either demanding too great or too long a performance for the means available, or that there is much more potential that is not being translated into capability. So the elbow is where potential is allowed to flow from capacity (upper arm into capability (the forearm), or not. Upper arm muscular power must be met by an equal amount of lower arm technique. Too much technique and not enough power or too much power and not enough technique create problems for the elbow. Tennis Elbow or lateral epicondylitis, is one of the most common elbow problems seen by orthopedic surgeons.

  1. What strengths want to be translated into capabilities? What’s holding you back?
  2. How are you coordinating the manifestation of your potential? 
  3. Where are you stretching beyond your capability or capacity?
  4. In which areas of your life do your arms feel pinned down? Held behind your back? 

QUESTIONS FOR THE FOREARMS.                                                                                          With training and the development of our capabilities, the forearm can control the hands and its fingers. These muscles are behind our grip and ability to grasp.

  1. Are you able to reach out for what you need?
  2. Can you hold on to what you need?
  3. Do you lack confidence in your ability

QUESTIONS FOR THE HANDS.                                                                                                 The forearm and wrist work as a unit supporting the hands. Our hands are a very distinctive part of the human being. True hands appear only in the primates. Other mammals do not have the opposing thumb and thus do not have the dexterity we enjoy. The word manipulate comes from the Latin “manus” meaning hand. Humans manipulate their environment with their hands: the instruments of manifestation. The word manifestation comes from the Latin manifestus, manus, “hand” and festus, “visible”, literally interpreted as “seized by hand”. It is with our hands that our ideas and creativity are seized and become visible.

  1. How are you handling life?
  2. In which situations are you “sitting on your hands?”
  3. What are your feelings or experiences around exchange? Are exchanges fair?
  4. What are you holding onto, grasping?
  5. Is there any anxiety or guilt around the outcome of your actions?

QUESTIONS FOR THE WRIST                                                                                                    The muscles that control the movements of our fingers are not found in our hands, they are found in the forearms. The flexor muscles are located on the underside of the forearm and are attached by tendons to the phalanges of the fingers. The extensor muscles are on the back of the forearm and are similarly connected. In every activity that requires dexterity, from piano playing to knitting, it is the muscles of the forearm that learn the task. These muscles are formed through practice to execute the movements necessary for the craft. And so the forearm represents capability, training, craft. Wrists are the bridges between forearms and hands. The wrist is the bridge between capability and manifestation.

  1. Is there a sense of injustice, deprivation or degradation in your life? In which situations?
  2. How often have you felt that something you want will be withheld? (notice the role of the hands and wrists in such a scenario)
  3. Where do you feel helpless in your ability to manipulate your circumstances so that you can express your capabilities?
  4. Where do you have difficulty articulating and carrying out your intentions?
  5. Where and what are your concerns about your skills and competence? How confident do you feel about your capabilities?
  6. Are you uptight in your execution of tasks?
  7. Is there something that you could and should be doing but aren’t? Where or how are you holding yourself back
  8. Where are you disappointed about the lack of recognition for your performance?

If you feel that engaging in holistic health at a deep level is your calling, then don’t miss the opportunity to join our programs.

A meaningful career involves helping others

There is nothing more satisfying and meaningful than helping others on their journey

Come to MICH to apprentice the Healing Arts with the science that supports them. Study at your own pace, with the help of experienced mentor/teachers who accompany you for every step of your development. .

Apply now and get a free career counselling session to see which option is best for you or set up an exploration call, or text us at 514-486-2716 or email us at [email protected]

What our Students Tell Us

With each exercise and mentorship session, I continue to gain new insight regarding how I move through life. Collectively, these experiences have offered glimpses into what true acceptance feels like (pretty amazing). I am truly grateful to the entire MICH community for helping me to see that I was actually resisting sacredness through expectation. I am very much looking forward to continuing the journey with you all!

~ Jennifer Duncan (Level One)

About Judyann McNamara, DHOM, N.D., DHP

Originally a physicist and biomedical researcher (biophysics), Judyann has had a clinical practice for over 25 years, has held conferences since 1984 and has been a teacher of courses in physics, science, health, holism and spirituality since 1975. She is a Homeopath with classical unicist training, a Naturopath, and the founder of MICH. Do you want to embark on a journey of the soul that will help yourself and others? Learn more about how to study with us.

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