Archive for May, 2011

How to Release Muscle Tension and Tightness

Today, we continue this week’s discussion on releasing stress. One of the primary signals that you are holding stress in your body is muscle tightness. Besides being painful, this can also lead to headaches, poor circulation, and low energy, among other things. For many people tension holding is especially prominent in the neck and back—these are our primary tension-holding zones.

It’s great if you have the opportunity to get a massage or sit in the jets of a hot tub to ease this tension. However, both those things may require considerable time and effort. What I’d like to talk about today are four simple steps you can use to release muscle tightness at any time.

Here are the four steps:

1. Identify the pain point that seems to be the center of your tension/tightness and apply a steady pressure with a fingertip or tennis ball into that point.

2. Imagine yourself breathing into that point. Inhale and imagine your breath filling up your tight muscle. Exhale through your mouth and imagine that muscle relaxing and emptying out. You can sigh as you exhale to help you let go.

3. Use your mind to actively relax the tension point as you apply pressure to it. You can even say to yourself something like: “I can let this tension go now.”

4. Move and stretch the tight area.

You can see in the picture above how I am applying pressure with my middle fingertip to the middle of my upper trapezius muscle between my neck and shoulder. This is a great tension-release point for the neck and shoulders. You can use tennis balls to apply pressure to areas that are hard to reach, such as between your shoulder blades. You can lie on a tennis ball or put it between your back and the back of a chair as you press back into it.

If you have an especially tight area, apply these four steps to that spot multiple times daily. You’ll find that it will gradually release through consistent practice.


Kevin Schoeninger

P.S. The Holistic Fitness Training Program shows you how to create relaxed vitality in your body using the four components of mind-body training. Check it out here: “Holistic Fitness Insider

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How to Release Stressful Thoughts

This week, we’re talking about ways to release stress in our lives. Yesterday, we talked about having a daily practice of active relaxation such as Qigong, T’ai Chi, Yoga, deep breathing, or meditation. Today, we’ll explore a practice to release stressful thoughts.

One way to look at stressful thoughts is to see them as the result of making judgments about what “should be” in contrast to “what is.” When you judge “what is” by the way you think things “should be” that creates stress. To see if that is the case, when you feel stressed-out, you might try asking this question:

“What do I think ‘should’ be happening right now?”

See if you can put that into a “should” sentence. For example, “You should have been on time for our appointment,” “You should pick your clothes up off the floor,” “You should consider my feelings,” “Traffic should be moving faster,” “The government shouldn’t spend so much,” “The government should spend more to help the economy,” “I should stop smoking” or “I should exercise.”

Becoming conscious of your “should” statement frees you from being subconsciously “gripped” by it. It frees you from reacting with the negative emotional charge contained in your “should.” This opens the way for you to look at how “things are” and accept them. It opens the way for you to see the reasons why things are the way they are, instead of fighting against them. It opens the way for you to consciously choose the best course of action, given what is actually happening.

Who knows, maybe there’s even an unseen gift in the way things are that your “should” didn’t take into account. The fact that you are late could be what kept you from getting into that accident that happened just a couple minutes ahead of you. Who knows?

The basic idea is to become aware of your “shoulds,” accept what is actually happening, and move forward in the best way possible, given the circumstances. As you can train your mind to consciously go through this process, you release yourself from the stress that results from “should.”


Kevin Schoeninger

P.S. Meditation is a great way to learn to observe your thoughts and accept what is happening. Learn more here: “Secrets of Meditation

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Undoing the Layers of Stress

In my Friday Qigong class, we discussed how patterns of tension and resistance are stored in our bodies. This understanding is so essential that I thought I’d start our week talking about it here. The rest of the week, we’ll explore ways to gradually reduce accumulated stress and make sure that we aren’t adding to it over time.

Imagine that tension in your system has three different layers. The first relates to what is happening in your day today, the stresses that you are dealing with at the moment. This layer of tension is readily released by Qigong, T’ai Chi, Yoga, deep breathing, meditation or other active relaxation practices. When you practice active relaxation daily you keep tension from accumulating in your system.

The second layer of tension you might call your “Life History.” These are the unresolved experiences or traumas that are recorded in your body from life events. Any situation that overwhelmed your ability to resolve it to completion is stored in your body until it is released. Becoming conscious of these past stored tensions and actively letting them go happens progressively over time through consistent practice of active relaxation techniques and other body-heart-mind-spirit therapies.

The third layer of tension resides in what you might call your genetic/energetic blueprint, what you carry into this life from your parents and from any experiences you might have had before you arrived here in this body. Your “energy body” patterns your DNA and gives you the specific characteristics of your genetic and personality makeup. Strong and consistently repeated experiences in your life also imprint your energy body so that your cell replication is influenced by your habits and experiences in this life.

Why is this important?

It’s important because tension in your system is the precursor to the frustrations, illnesses, and conflicts that you experience.

It’s important because the more often, the more intently, and the more consistently you practice active relaxation, the deeper the release of tension in your system. As you clear the current day’s tension, you begin to undo the layers of tension in your life history, and then to re-pattern your energetic blueprint so that you express your fuller, healthier, more authentic potential.

Underneath these layers of tension you discover a more primary and essential layer that is always already healthy, whole, and connected to the One Life that we all share. As you live from that experience, your life takes on brilliant new dimensions.

Enjoy your practice!

Kevin Schoeninger

P.S. Qigong Meditation is a powerful practice to actively release the layers of tension from your body. You can check it out here: Qigong Meditation Secrets

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