How To Reduce Body Stress – Prevention

How To Reduce Body Stress – Prevention

STRESS AND HEALTH

Ever wondered how to reduce body stress?

We are constantly subjected to various forms of stress in our daily lives.  A certain amount is necessary, to provide us with challenges, and to stimulate us to strive for survival and progress.  For example, a mind that is not challenged by problems to be solved becomes bored. To maintain and strengthen muscles, they must be provided with the mechanical stress of exercise.

The body is designed to be self-healing. It has mechanisms that constantly monitor every function that is taking place, and is continuously adapting to both external influences and stresses, and to internal changes and stresses.

Health may be defined as: The body’s ability to constructively deal with all the stresses to which it is subjected.  In this way it is constantly repairing itself, and maintaining its optimum level of efficient functioning.

Certain stress factors will cause a temporary reduction of the body’s efficiency, or health, eg. a strained muscle will be stiff and painful for a few days; then it will return to its normal condition.

The body is capable of healing wounds and fractures, counteracting harmful chemicals, adapting to sudden changes in temperature, etc.

REDUCING THE NEGATIVE STRESS IN OUR LIVES

We all need to take responsibility for our own health, by striving to reduce the negative stresses to which we are subjected.

To minimise chemical stress, it makes sense to follow a balanced and varied diet.  Eat foods in forms close as possible to their original state, and choose those containing the fewest additives.  We should avoid contact with harmful substances, being careful not to inhale sprays, or allow them to contact our skin.

As for the emotional/mental stress in our lives, we need to learn to consciously relax when we feel ourselves becoming tense.  It is also advisable to seek out whatever activities and techniques help us as individuals, to approach emotional balance and inner peace.

By minimising stress overload, together with Body Stress Release, we allow ourselves the opportunity of expressing our highest potential.

WHY DO PEOPLE SEEK BODY STRESS RELEASE CARE?

Most usually people are looking for relief from pain, stiffness or other discomfort.  Often it is because of lower back pain or leg pain, caused by stored tension in the lumbar spine;  headaches, resulting from body stress in the neck;  numb fingers due to compression in the lower neck affecting the nerve supply to the arms and hands. 

However, BSR has a broader objective – it is concerned with assisting the body in maintaining health. 

OUR BODIES ARE SELF-HEALING AND SELF-MAINTAINING

The body’s natural ability to maintain health depends on the coordination of all functions – this is controlled by the brain and nervous system.  If there is tension locked into the physical structures, the irritation to the nervous system undermines its efficiency.  For example, pressure in the lower back may not only cause pain, but also disturbs the nerve supply to the internal organs, such as the digestive and reproductive systems.  Compression in the neck means that there is an impact on the nerves which have connections to the eyes, mouth, heart, etc. 

Therefore, to promote efficiency of body function we need to keep ourselves free of stored body stress.

HOW DO WE ACQUIRE BODY STRESS?

In our daily lives we are subjected to various forms of stress.  Mechanical stress may arise from accidents, poor posture and incorrect lifting.  Chemical stress may be caused by harmful substances which we consume such as food additives, or inhale, eg. insecticides, or absorbed through the skin, such as certain cosmetics and cleaning products.  Mental and emotional stresses cause us to tense our neck, shoulders and abdomen.  Even if the stresses are mild, they tend to build up, causing the muscles to gradually lock up.  Obviously it is preferable to have the body stress released, before it accumulates to the level of causing pain and malfunction.

IN THE ABSENCE OF PAIN, WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF BODY STRESS?

As the stresses become stored in the body a person will become aware of not feeling completely well.  It may manifest as a lack of energy or difficulty in thinking clearly.  There may be some stiffness on rising in the morning which eases as one moves about.  Babies will become irritable  and children may appear uncooperative and lacking concentration.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD A PERSON BE ASSESSED FOR BODY STRESS?

When a person has completed the series of BSR sessions it is advisable to have a follow-up appointment within a month’s time, or in some cases sooner, as recommended by the practitioner.  In this way, any re-stressing of areas – due to the body going through a process of learning to deal with the stresses of daily life – may be released before symptoms arise.  After that, the appointments may be spaced further apart.  As the body stabilises in its ability to cope with the stresses it is subjected to, it is advisable to have a BSR session several times a year, eg. every 3 months.  The frequency will vary according to the individual. 

THE RETURN OF SYMPTOMS: DOES IT MEAN THAT BSR HAS NOT BEEN EFFECTIVE?

When a person has been suffering from body stress for a long time, eg. originating from a past incident, there is an accumulation of layers of muscle tension.  After several sessions of BSR there may be total relief from pain or other symptoms.   As time passes, possibly days, weeks or even months, the body will continue its process of unlocking a deeper level of stored tension.  As the muscles relax back to normal tone, there may be an uncovering of the original cause.  The return of pain or stiffness means that the body is ready to deal with this, with some help from further BSR sessions. Therefore one should not become despondent about a problem which appears to return – it is an indication that more stored tension needs to be attended to. 

Note:
**Information presented here is not qualified medical advice, as BSR is a non-medical and non-therapeutic technique. Nothing expressed herein creates a BSR Practitioner-Client relationship.

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THE EFFECTS OF STRESS On The Body

THE EFFECTS OF STRESS On The Body

THE EFFECTS OF STRESS On The Body

When the point of stress overload is reached, the stress becomes “locked” into the body and manifests as lines of tension.

The body adopts a protective mode of action by means of automatic reflexes, causing adjacent and overlying muscles to splint the area.

It appears that this action has a dampening effect on the nervous system, thereby causing the brain’s filtering mechanism to ignore the areas of body stress.

In time when the body is required to take greater defensive action, stiffness may become noticeable, ultimately leading to postural distortion.  It may also lead to loss of flexibility, pain or numbness.

A person with body stress may also feel tense, tired and lacking in energy and enthusiasm for life.  Headaches, backache and indigestion may follow.

It is also possible for the body stress to be present without the individual feeling any pain or stiffness – he or she will simply come to accept as normal their sense of having less than 100 per cent well-being.

While the stress or tension remains stored in the body, the normal tone of the body is disturbed, causing a reduction in its general efficiency.  As its defence mechanisms become weakened, the body becomes less and less able to deal with further stresses to which it is subjected daily.  In this way the individual moves increasingly further away from the optimum state of health.

Note:
**Information presented here is not qualified medical advice, as BSR is a non-medical and non-therapeutic technique. Nothing expressed herein creates a BSR Practitioner-Client relationship.

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The Causes of Body Stress

The Causes of Body Stress

STRESS OVERLOAD

Stress becomes a negative, destructive factor in life when it goes beyond the individual’s ability to adapt to it.   Overload is reached, instead of the stress being released from the body, it becomes stored within the body as “body stress”.  As we differ in our emotional and physical makeup, we have varying degrees of susceptibility to stress overload.

THE CAUSES OF BODY STRESS

Emotional / Mental Stress Factors

These include fear of the future, financial worries, competition in the work-place, disintegrating family relationships.  At times we experience sudden violent emotions, such as anger or shock, or we undergo milder but ongoing forms of mental strain, e.g. anxiety, depression, and resentment.

We may become aware of the physical effect of emotional pressures, as the diaphragm, jaw, neck and shoulders tighten in a defensive posture, to armour us against the onslaught of life’s stresses.

Mechanical Stress Factors

The body is designed to withstand a certain amount of physical force – bumps, jerks and falls, but if the mechanical stress goes beyond the body’s limit of adaptability, the effects may become stored as body stress.

The causes may be sudden and violent, such as a car accident, a severe fall, or lifting a heavy object incorrectly.  Or, there may be a gradual accumulation of milder mechanical stress, e.g. habitually sitting incorrectly, or doing inappropriate exercises.

Chemical Stress Factors

The sources of chemical stress include pollutants in the air, insecticides and certain food additives and preservatives.  Harmful chemicals may be consumed, inhaled, or even absorbed when contacting the skin.

Note:
**Information presented here is not qualified medical advice, as BSR is a non-medical and non-therapeutic technique. Nothing expressed herein creates a BSR Practitioner-Client relationship.

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Body Stress in The Whole Body

Body Stress in The Whole Body

Body Stress in the whole body.

The human body is a magnificent biomechanical “machine”. It consists out of 206 bones held together with roughly 640 muscles and supported by approximately 60 km of nerves serving as the communication pathways to the muscles and 78 organs. To make it even more special, this system has the capability to heal and restore itself and best of all it is extremely adaptable and durable.

From the day we are born it is in constant use, from the ribcage expanding with every breath to the muscles going in to action to keep us upright with the first attempt to stand up as a baby and then with every step we take thereafter. With the earth’s gravity pulling on the body, the muscles are never completely at ease so regardless whether you are doing an intense physical activity or just lounging on the couch, the body is in use and over time this constant activity can lead to overuse, causing muscle tension in a specific area, or over various parts of the body due to the body adapting to locked-in tension.

In Body Stress Release we look at various types of overload that can cause body stress in the whole body and locked-in muscle tension. There is the mechanical or physical overload – this is what we do with and to the body daily; emotional overload from mental stress, trauma and depression, which can also manifest as a physical reaction in the body; chemical stress – comes from the environment, in what we eat, drink, inhale, and absorb on the skin, and can cause a variety of symptoms.

Overloading the body with stresses is a vicious cycle, it starts with muscles tightening up to protect an overloaded area, which then causes muscle spasms, cramps and sometimes even numbness. Due to these tight muscles, there is pressure on the nerves leading to possible nervous system issues and pain. The nervous system issues may lead to lack of sleep, that causes further fatigue and tiredness. There may also be a mental emotional overload that can increase feelings of negativity and depression, and because the body’s response to emotional tension and trauma is to lock in more tension, the cycle starts again. But what exactly are the various overload factors and what impact do they have on the whole body:

Physical Overload

Physical overload is what we do with the body itself, it can build up over time due to poor posture or because of an incident. For example, as a baby you had a difficult birth where tongs or a vacuum pump was used and in the process the neck muscles were strained. Over the years life happened and now you are in a job spending 1-2 hours driving in traffic and at least 8 hours behind your computer and your neck is killing you as you suffer from muscle spasms, headaches and numbness in the arms while sleeping. To get the muscles to relax, we hit the gym, focussing on making the muscles stronger and then the repetitive strain injury (RSI) happens. In addition, physical trauma may also cause stress to be locked in the body from sources such as, operations, breaks and fractures, falls, car accidents, whiplash, childbirth and epidural injections. Often the body during these types of sudden shocks or impacts, goes into a protective mode, locks in tension and then fails to release it in the recovery process. We often see clients who suffer long-term symptoms after these traumatic events.

Tiredness and fatigue (exhaustion)

Often the stresses of modern society do not allow our bodies sufficient recovery time, and we often live in a near permanent state of stress-overload. Clients often complain of whole body tiredness, and fatigue, while some even suffer from exhaustion. This is often due to stressed and tight muscles needing energy to keep them in this protective state, thus leaving little extra time for other normal activities. The overall tiredness may disrupt your sleep and you could wake up feeling exhausted. Often, after only a few sessions of Body Stress Release, clients frequently say they feel much more energised and sleep much better as, energy is returned to the body from locked-in muscle tension throughout the whole body.

Muscle spasms and muscle cramps:

As muscles tighten up over time and become less pliable, clients often complain of a lack of mobility, muscle spasms and muscle cramps. This often occurs through our sedentary lifestyles, sitting too much or a lack of mobility and exercise in our daily routines. Sitting on the floor and getting up is not as easy as it used to be, and putting on those socks may also be a strain? The main issues we see in practice are shoulder cramps and shoulder spasms and often calf cramps, waking people from deep sleep.

Numbness

Generally we see body numbness in our body extremities, arm or hand numbness and leg numbness, often due to referred signals from locked-in tension in the spine. Body Stress Release Practitioners see two types of numbness in general, firstly clients complaining of numbness that goes away again, such as arms going numb at night when you sleep and then areas of numbness on the body. Locked-in tension causes muscles to expand and interrupt nerve pathways. A lack of sensation or numbness is for us a key indicator of body stress.

Disc herniation

Disc herniations are diagnosed by doctors and it is common in the lower back and the neck area. Clients often come to us with reports from doctors of these diagnoses. A disc herniation can happen over time as the muscles continue to pull the vertebra together, or with a physical trauma incident such as a fall or accident. The bulging disc cause pressure on the nerve, causing possible pain in the location of the hernia or referred nervous system issues such as numbness in the legs. Often clients come for Body Stress Release prior to considering possible disc herniation operations and have success, where released tension in the spine pulls the disc herniation back into place.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis where the spine twists and curves to the sides and may occur pre or post birth. The body sees this as a structural weakness and the muscles in the surrounding area tighten up to protect and support this weakness. In pre-birth or congenital scoliosis the whole body develops differently to compensate for the structural difference. Scoliosis also has an impact on posture as you may be slightly off-centre and the muscles compensate to keep you upright and moving, leading to more body stress. Body Stress Release has assisted a number of clients in reducing the effects of scoliosis, by reducing the spinal curvature and reducing the resultant pains from scoliosis.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain all over the body, (also referred to as widespread pain), sleep problems, fatigue, and often emotional stress and mental stress. There is no clear cause of why the person is experiencing pain and often the pain moves around the body. The continuous discomfort affects quality of life and may contribute to feelings of depression. We have worked with many clients over the years who often find relief from their symptoms through regular sessions of Body Stress Release.

Mental or Emotional Overload

Mental or Emotional Overload is what happens to us when things are sometimes just too big to deal with or comprehend. Emotional stress can build up over time due to day to day responsibilities or concerns or due to a trauma, like losing a loved one or being diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer. We should not underestimate the impact of mental stress in experiencing pain and fatigue continuously. With the body’s natural response to protect itself, the emotional tension is noted in muscle spasms around the neck, shoulders and chest area and nervous system issues in the body. Body Stress Release is a gentle and relaxing technique that relies on the body’s natural ability to release tension and heal itself. Many of our clients suffering mental or emotional stress find the technique very effective, over time, at reducing these stresses.

Trauma

Trauma is experienced differently by everyone. What one person experiences as trauma may not be a traumatic experience for another. Working daily in a fast-paced world might be energising for some and cause complete exhaustion in others. Traumas may range from physical traumas such as a bad car accident to more subtle, but no less severe, emotional traumas such as the loss of a child. These types of trauma may often result in locked-in tension in muscles and muscle groups, and by releasing these physical tensions – the client’s trauma may be mitigated to more manageable levels.

Nervous system issues

Nervous system issues may occur with tight muscles causing pressure on the nerves and can arise due to locked-in tension in muscles, resulting in many issues such as bowel problems, constipation, heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux, and other organ problems. Clients experiencing emotional overload often complain of migraines, headaches, eye complaints and often dizziness. With muscle spasms in the neck area clients may experience carpal tunnel syndrome pains, arm stiffness and wrist and hand pain. The spinal cord passes about 95% of brain nerve signals to the rest of the body, so stress in the back and spine may result in numerous aches, pains, body sensations and body disfunction in the muscles and organs, Body Stress Release can assist in relieving many of these issues.

Depression

Depression affects how we feel, think and behave in our daily lives, and we see many clients on depression medication in our practices. When our quality of life is affected by pain or fatigue, feelings of depression are quite common as we just do not have the energy to participate in daily activities, which could take the joy out of living. We see many clients suffering from depression, and as Body Stress Release is a complementary technique we are able to provide Body Stress Release sessions alongside doctor’s prescribed medication. Some of our clients do come off medications of this nature while having Body Stress Release sessions, but under the full control of their doctors.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This is an emotional overload commonly associated with people from war zones and areas of natural disaster but can be triggered by any traumatic event such as a home invasion, armed robbery or hijacking. Each person process trauma differently and whether we experience an actual trauma or observe it, the emotional overload can trigger a PTSD response. First responders, ‘Blue Light Services’ and relief workers may also be prone to this type of stress, and often Body Stress Release practitioners work to complement other medical treatments such as counselling and doctor’s medications.

Chemical stress occurs when the body responds to a trigger from outside which then overloads the body, causing migraines, headaches, blurred vision, acute neck pains, sinus reactions and nausea when exposed to these chemical triggers. Our world is filled with chemicals and they are difficult to avoid, but avoidance as much as possible, by using natural products can reduce the exposure risk.

Chemical Overload

Triggers may be a sweet drink or eating a particular food or even a person’s perfume which can cause the chemical headache. A Body Stress Release practitioner knows and understands these types of stress very well, and has releases to perform which may assist clients. Also they are experienced at spotting these stresses when a client details their case history, during the first Body Stress Release session.

Note:
**Information presented here is not qualified medical advice, as BSR is a non-medical and non-therapeutic technique. Nothing expressed herein creates a BSR Practitioner-Client relationship.

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Body Stress in The Upper Torso

Body Stress in The Upper Torso

Body Stress in the Upper Torso

The upper torso also referred to as the ribcage area, with a complex set of muscles for the shoulder blades which assist with the movement of the arms and neck. On the front, there is the collarbone with the chest muscles supporting arm movement, but also assists in breathing. Within the upper torso resides important organs such as the lungs, the heart and the diaphragm. The tightening of muscles in the upper spine and rib cage can cause pain and discomfort in the upper torso and possible referred pain to other muscles and organs inside the body. As body stress in tightened muscles interrupts nerve communication, the effect may result in organ disfunction.

Tension in the upper torso can build up over time due to poor posture, like slouching before the computer or not having your car seat set correctly and driving for hours a day. Even bending to pick up your child incorrectly, or carrying heavy bags over one shoulder, can cause strain in the upper torso. Often, we have clients complaining of a tight chest or chest pain after having the flu or COVID due to the constant coughing and straining the chest and upper back muscles as well as the diaphragm.

Common complaints of body stress (locked in muscle tension) or muscle overload in the upper torso region could be expressed as chest pain, rib pain, diaphragm pain commonly combined with indigestion, heartburn and sometimes IBS while the mention of a tight chest is also quite common.

Diaphragm pain or diaphragm sensations

The diaphragm muscle is not only important for breathing but also plays a key role in keeping the body upright and in balance. In Body Stress Release we also consider it a muscle strongly influenced by emotional stress. Clients working in high stress environments often complain about diaphragm pain and even heartburn or indigestion. A tight diaphragm can also manifest as stomach ache which are often the way children express their discomfort. In babies, mothers often describe the baby struggling with bloating, colic, and flatulence if there is a tight diaphragm.

Heartburn and indigestion

With a tight diaphragm there may be pressure on the oesophagus stimulating stomach acid being produced which might contribute to heartburn. In babies the tightness of the diaphragm might create acid reflux or may present as symptoms of colic. Indigestion is often expressed as a diaphragm sensation in children. BSR Practitioners are trained to release diaphragm tension in adults and can also work on very young babies from about two weeks old, if they experience these symptoms. Childbirth, naturally or by C-Section may result in body stress in babies.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a medically diagnosed condition we see in many clients often referred to us by doctors. Due to muscle tightness in the upper torso the function of some organs can be affected, be it due to pressure in the nerves supporting the organs or due to poor body posture. With pressure on the nerves the functioning of an organ can be overactive or underactive, thus with the colon clients may suffer from diarrhoea (overactive organ) or constipation or IBS (underactive organ). Sitting in a slouched posture or hunched posture due to muscle tension in the upper torso, you minimise the torso cavity by squeezing the organs into each other and limiting the natural movement of the organs, possibly contributing to IBS.

Chest pain

Due to the continuous use of the arms, the chest muscles can be overloaded causing chest pain due to the pressure on the brachial plexus nerve. Doing heavy garden work or overdoing it in the gym can cause a sport’s injury in the chest muscles causing possible chest pain. Chest pain is mentioned often in the flu season or post-COVID with all the coughing and unusual sleeping postures. Chest pains may also be the result of intense or prolonged emotional stress and your practitioner can test for and release stress locked into the chest area.

Rib pain

The ribcage is continually active due to breathing and can be overloaded by something as small as a sneeze or doing that warm up exercise too vigorously. The intercostal muscle area is a complex array of multi-directional muscles supporting and allowing the ribs to flex while breathing. At times of overstress, they may tighten to protect the area of overload causing rib discomfort or rib pain. The nerves supporting the lungs and organs run along the ribcage and referred pain or discomfort might be experienced – further causing heartburn, indigestion and bloating among other things.

Note:
**Information presented here is not qualified medical advice, as BSR is a non-medical and non-therapeutic technique. Nothing expressed herein creates a BSR Practitioner-Client relationship.

View Case Studies

View body stress release case studies to see how clients have benefited from Body Stress Release.

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Find more information on body stress and Body Stress Release on our Knowledge Portal.