Shoulders, shoulders, shoulders! Everyone loves their shoulders massaged. The main motivation is likely because it feels so great, but there are so many muscles in the shoulders. The intersections of so many muscles and similar attachment sites for the shoulder muscles causes them to often get tight and tense together.
The shoulder can be broken down to 2 main organizations of muscles: the shoulder girdle and the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is four muscles attached directly to your shoulder blade. The shoulder girdle is all of the other muscles. They are broken down this way because the girdle does one set of motions and the rotator cuff does another set of motions. Each has their place, but they are also interconnected. The muscles also overlap and work synergistically.
By working one set, you should work the other. Working the two together helps to relax the muscles of the whole. With how our bodies compensate and work, shoulder pain can come from the lower back–if your lower back is flaring up, shoulders often tense up to take pressure of of the lower back. If you carry a purse or briefcase heavier than 5 lbs for extended periods of time, it will cause one shoulder to tense which causes all sorts of other compensatory pains and tensions. And if one muscle in either the shoulder girdle or the rotator cuff starts to overwork or get tight, the others will as well.
All of our therapists are well-trained in shoulder and arm related work, and because of the work we do, practice on each other often.