How Repressed Emotions Can Cause Muscle Tension

How Repressed Emotions Can Cause Muscle Tension 


While tension in the body can be caused by physical conditions, it is often a result of the body storing repressed emotions, which can be from many years ago. This energy blockage can then result in chronic health issues.

Four main causes of muscle tension have been identified:-

SOCIAL CONDITIONING - We are conditioned by family, friends and society as a whole from early childhood, and reinforcement of certain beliefs that we were led to believe made us acceptable to society, can cause muscle tension. An example of this would be when boys in particular, are told that big boys don’t cry, so they grow up suppressing their emotions, which can then manifest as physical tension.

TRAUMA - When emotions associated with trauma are not addressed, they can lead to chronic stress and PTSD, whether it’s deliberate long term abuse or a one off accidental trauma such as a car accident. When we repress chronic stress, grief and anger, they are stored in the body as muscle tension and this may lead to other health issues eg. fibromyalgia or digestive disorders,

PSYCHOLOGICAL TENSION - Any perceived anxiety, frustration, sadness or anger which we then attach ourselves to and take seriously, can lead to further negative thoughts which can result in muscle tension eg. being stuck in traffic for a long period.

ENVIRONMENTAL STRESSORS AND HABITS - Habits such as poor posture or sleeping position, as well as environmental factors such as office jobs, can increase the likelihood of muscle tension because our muscles don’t have the opportunity to get rid of tension. Chronic muscle tension due to repressed emotions can manifest itself in the following issues:-

• Mood disorders

• Joint pain

• Dysmenorrhea

• Insomnia

• Skin problems

• Asthma and hayfever

• Headaches and migraines

• Palpitations and chest pain

• Nausea

• Fibromyalgia

• Irritable Bowel Syndrome

• digestive issues

• High blood pressure

• Sexual dysfunction

• addictive behaviour


Many of us suffer from chronic pain on a daily basis and certain areas of the body have a tendency to hold tension caused by certain emotions. SHOULDER TENSION / BURDENS AND RESPONSIBILITIES – our social and emotional responsibilities often involve taking on the pain and stress of others, which then weighs us down to where we literally carry the weight of the world on our shoulders

NECK TENSION / FEAR AND REPRESSED SELF EXPRESSION – the throat chakra at the neck allows us to communicate clearly and express ourselves, so if this expression is repressed it may cause tension to be stored in this area. Due to the vulnerability of the area, and particularly following abuse or in cases of PTSD, any trust issues or fear may manifest itself in the neck as a response to the perceived danger.

UPPER BACK / GRIEF, SORROW AND SADNESS – unexpressed sadness, heartbreak and loss are stored as tension by the body in the upper back, close to the heart chakra.

MIDDLE BACK / INSECURITY AND POWERLESSNESS – near to the solar plexus chakra which channels confidence, self expression and personal power, tension will build in the muscles of the middle back if you feel hopeless, unsupported and insecure.

LOWER BACK / GUILT, SHAME AND UNWORTHINESS – near to the sacral chakra which channels emotions and sensuality, any repressed feelings of low self esteem, guilt, shame and feelings of sexual inadequacy are likely to cause muscle tension in the lower back

STOMACH / INABILITY TO EXPRESS EMOTIONS – also near the solar plexus chakra, the stomach will hold muscle tension if you have difficulty in processing emotions, particularly negative

INNER THIGHS / FEAR OF VULNERABILITY – when we are presented with danger the automatic response is to run, so when we suffer with anxiety and find it difficult to trust people this may result in tension in the inner thighs

OUTER THIGHS / FRUSTRATION AND IMPATIENCE – if you tend to do things quickly and without thinking, or are frustrated by our personal or work life, this energy can cause tension in the outer thighs

BUTTOCKS / ANGER – when we don’t have an outlet for anger this negative energy builds causing tension around the gluteal muscles, literally a pain in the bum