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A Clean Slate: Body tension

4 Sep. 2014 Posted by Hannah Mich
body tension, tight muscles, muscle tension, poor posture, posture, pain

Most of us at some point and time have heard the saying, “every day is a clean slate.” Unfortunately, most of us have already discovered that this is not true. Your actions today can create some interesting consequences that seep into the days that follow.

Our body is a prime example of this. If you weight lift, run a marathon or eat too much at the family picnic, your body will not hesitate to give you the results of your actions – sore muscles, muscle cramps and indigestion, respectfully. But let’s put these examples aside, and consider one that is much deeper – body tension.

Over years and years of exercising (or not), stressful lifestyles, worn out mattresses, and less than perfect eating habits, our bodies build up layers of tension “residue.” This means that after a good night sleep, or poor night sleep, some tension residue remains from the day or days before it. So, what does this tension mean?

This means that most of us are always carrying around some tension created by some event days, weeks, months and years before. Body tension is nothing new, and some body tension is completely normal. The problem occurs when our lifestyle does not create an environment to effectively manage this building up of tension residue. It would be like not cleaning the glass shower door for 20 years and still expect to see out it of clearly – not going to happen.

The effects of tension residue built up in your muscles, tendons and fascia at a certain point, starts to impair normal health. Your posture becomes more slumped, you have chronic neck or low back pain, you can’t get up from the floor; and this downward spiral of immobility continues. This tension also impairs normal circulation and leads to a list of secondary problems, such as gastrointestinal disruptions and headaches.

So, of course this leads us to the next train of thought…what do we do to manage this tension residue? The first concept to understand is that tension is a bad combination of excessive energy and stagnation. These are very abstract terms, but it is one of the best ways to look at body tension, especially when looking for solutions. The solutions therefore need to involve removing excessive energy from the effected area(s) and creating flow or fluidity. Below I have included examples of way to manage body tension “residue.”

1. Warm espom salt baths and gently stretches
2. Acupuncture
3. Massage
4. Meditation/deep breathing exercises
5. Maintain a healthy weight
6. Walking, swimming, or other low-moderate intensity exercises
7. Reduce daily stress level (i.e. schedule less meetings in the day)
8. Drink plenty of water (8 or more glasses of water)
9. Get 8 hours of quality sleep
10. Develop a healthy support system

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