I think I have release issues. I’ve been chided before in modern dance class for not releasing my back enough. Many of my salsa partners ask me if I’m a ballroom dancer. I’ve never taken a single ballroom dance class in my life. Friends I’ve talked to about that say that it’s because of my good posture and “elegant carriage,” which is all very well and good most of the time, except I want to achieve that loose, earthy movement quality of afro-caribbean dance.

I carry a lot of tension in my upper back, and often have pain in my lower back, and have done so for as long as I can remember. I will do pretty much anything for a massage any time. I’m always massaging my own shoulders, and twisting and stretching in my chair to excise the pain from my lower back. I sit on a ball to strengthen my core; I take yoga and pilates. In short, I’m doing everything you’re supposed to do to get at back issues.

At a yoga workshop about chakras I learned that one of my chakras must be blocked. Someone else told me that there is some sort of emotional trauma that can be linked to tension in the back.

Anyone else have these issues? What ideas do you have for being able to release one’s back more?