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Unconscious Muscle Tension

For most of us, our body is in a constant state of tug-of-war with itself, as muscles use tension to counterbalance other muscles that are carrying excessive tension to begin with. This state of affairs is analogous to driving a car with the emergency break on. It limits our range of expression, creates wear and tear, drains our energy, and makes living and moving seem more difficult than it needs to. This tension usually exists below the level of conscious awareness, so that we do not even realize that we are carrying it, nor are we in touch with what it feels like to truly relax.

Where does this unconscious tension come from? From every negative emotion you have ever felt and not fully expressed. From every stress-inducing situation that did not come to a complete and speedy resolution. From every impulse you have ever had to control the way you appear to other people.

How can we release it? Through somatic therapy and emotional release modalities: somatic experiencing, yoga, hypnotherapy, biofeedback, acupuncture, massage, breathwork, meditation, qigong.

And, of course, tai chi.

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2014 in Stress

 

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Stillness Is Death

When is the body ever completely still?

Only in death is there no movement.

If you are living, you are breathing.

If you are breathing, you are moving.

The movements of tai chi ride upon the breath wave

like flotsam following an ocean current.

The hip bone is connected to the thigh bone.

The thigh bone is connected to the shin bone.

The shin bone is connected to the ankle bone.

Thus when one thing moves, so does the next

and the next

and the next.

How could it be but thus?

As long as sequential movement is not arrested

by tension, resistance, and stress

the breath moves the body

and the body, in turn, moves the breath

and the chain is unbroken

so that the crown of the head

and the tips of the toes

are bosom buddies.

What affects the minutest part

affects the whole

and what affects the whole

affects the minutest part.

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2014 in Flow, Tai Chi

 

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Lemaire On Body Integration

Excerpted from The Body Talks…and I Can Hear It, by Jeanie Lemaire:

Within the Physical form itself also exist three facets that promote movement and our ability to grow and change.  Those more concrete aspects are the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems.  Even though they are only three of the many systems our Physical forms maintain, they must work together to keep us physically upright and not at odds with gravity.  Furthermore, adding insult to injury, if the Physical body is at-a-tilt within itself, with nerves, muscles, and bones out of alignment, it’s even harder for the Being to stay balanced and handle stress.  Then, with gravity relentlessly pulling down on us all the time, our resolves tend to weaken along with our ability to deal with life.  Again, the key to Physical balance lies with integrating all the three skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems for fluid, effortless motion and inner and outer strength, along with the Mental and Emotional team players.

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2013 in Health, Stress

 

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