Our bodies are amazing. Without our even knowing it, our nervous systems send commands to our muscles to contract and hold in an effort to help us feel safe and supported as we move through experiences in life. Tensing of muscles can help reduce or contain the intensity of pain and discomfort due to injury, illness, and physical or emotional trauma and may stabilize weakened parts of us to prevent further insult.
That's fine in the moment, when stress or injury can feel overwhelming. But long after those moments have passed, or in an environment of recurring stress, muscles around injured or sensitive zones can remain habitually tense, held, or contracted--sometimes for decades and even throughout our lives--consuming our energy, stressing our joints and bones, crowding our organs and breathing pathways, influencing digestive, endocrine and other regulatory processes, and inviting disease. It's as if the body is simply waiting for assurance that the worst is over, that our constant holding may no longer be necessary and doesn't serve us anymore, and that it's okay now to release and relax.
Easing habitual tension can help alleviate chronic aches, pains, and other imbalances due to stress by relieving engaged nerves and muscles of their burden of having to constantly work. Energy spent 'holding' can then go back into living.
Methods that help you feel where and how you hold tension in the body, and that gently help you to relax chronic holding, may offer the profound, lasting relief and freedom you may be longing for.