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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