You wouldn’t think so, but stress can actually get “stuck” in the body. Whenever your mind doesn’t process something in your life fully, the effects can linger on and on in soft tissue, called the fascia, that holds all your muscles and joints together.
That’s why it’s so important to manage stress in the body and release it, using whatever techniques you can.
In this post, we take a look at some of the techniques that you can use to flood your body with feel-good hormones and beat the stress for good!
Relax Your Stress Container
What the heck is a stress container, you might ask? Well, the concept is actually quite simple – and it could be the most critical component of longevity.
According to researchers, you can find stress containers in five areas of the body. These are:
- The jaw and neck
- The shoulders and heart
- The diaphragm and lungs
- The stomach and gut
- And the hips and pelvic floor
If you have ever experienced chronic stress in your life, you’ll know that these are often the first area of the body to suffer. You get unexplained pressure in your chest or your jaw feels tight and stiff. Maybe your bowels start playing up. In every case, the body contains the stress and allows it to churn, even if it is no longer in your conscious mind.
The problems in the lower body can sometimes get so severe that people consider spinal surgery and anterior hip replacement. So these are real medical problems. When the fascia becomes tense and the body can’t let go of stress, damage begins.
Fortunately, there are techniques that you can use to release tension from all these areas. For instance, if you contain your stress in your shoulders, you may have a habit of rounding them forwards, causing you to hunch your back. The technique for getting rid of this involves rotating the shoulders back and doing exercises that help to gradually increase the mobility of the joints. When you release the muscles, you actually release the tension in the body as well. The muscle knot is the stress, not just a function of it.
If your bowels are a problem for you, then you can try adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet. The more fiber you have in your gut, the softer your stools will become, and easier they will be to pass.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Another technique you can try is called progressive muscle relaxation, sometimes called PMR. This approach involves sequentially tensing and relaxing all the muscles in the body, letting you relax them more thoroughly.
In a sense, therefore, it works similarly to yoga. You spend part of the practice putting your muscles under strain. And then once you work them sufficiently, it becomes much easier to relax them afterward, helping to manage stress.
PMR is particularly popular among people who are going through traumatic or emotionally challenging episodes in their lives. The experience allows them to shift stress out of the body before it has a chance to do any damage. With regular practice, you can implement PMR techniques rapidly, nipping tension in the bud before it affects your fascia.
Massage Away The Pain
Massage is an ancient art that involves applying pressure to the body in just the right way to relieve tension. It works by shifting blood around the muscles themselves, helping to prevent the stiffness and tightness that can sometimes arise.
If you damage your fascia, you can also use massage to help to repair them. Again, focusing on stress points will help the muscle relax which, in turn, will allow the fascia to close up around it, giving it a chance to heal.
Take A Long Soak
People have been using aromatherapy baths to release tension for thousands of years. The practice appears to have begun in ancient Egypt more than 4,000 years ago and spread all over the world since then.
As you soak in the bath, try to allow your body to relax in the water. Don’t be afraid to add some essential oils or even herbs directly to the water. If your muscles are still tight, add Epsom salts to provide additional soothing.
In summary, the body can create memories of tension and store them in the muscle and fascia tissue. And this can lead to chronic pain, fatigue, and depression. The trick here is to recognize that this tension is actually in the body itself, not the mind, and needs physical removal.