Reduce Stiffness Instantly

Nature's Antidote

Stiff muscles can let go quickly when you tune into and target  the brain’s command center to reset the muscles.

A simple, easy, conscious movement done with a certain level of awareness can immediately reduce stiffness.

With a little practice, the brain begins to remember the mechanism which opens the gate to relieve stiff feelings.

Nature sets it up for the brain to reset effectively so you can say goodbye to stiffness and hello to feeling freer.

Getting stiff overnight

Do you ever wake up feeling a little tighter in the morning?

While you sleep, your muscles naturally shorten and become a little stiffer.

Plus, if we happen to carry the prior days tension without any relief, then muscles can stay amped up or feel stiffer even after a night’s sleep.

Without relief, this tends to build a (brain) program or habit of having tension and stiffness hold its way where the brain will go along by making sure those tension levels remain.

Stiffness Adding Up

Our muscles get tighter when we add stress into the mix.

All the little stresses can add up along with holding tension levels.

So we may continually go around with a little stiffness here or there - and begin to “learn to live with it”.

We might even fall for the common myth of stiffness or losing range of motion happening as we get older.

When in fact, the brain program of keeping the tissues held together continues without the switch or place in the brain reversing course.

To reduce stiffness instantly - “just let go”

Try letting it go. 

Isn’t that what a friend might tell us?

Just relax.

Nervous System

To relax, this might be easier said than done since this has to do with how well you can regulate the nervous system.

How easy or difficult is it for you to shift the nervous system, say from a revved up one to a more relaxed one?

This is an area many of us don’t consciously enter since we’re kinda busy with life.

We think a little rest or sleep can do the trick - when in fact the muscles tauten up some.

So that brain bucket continues to run its program to keep the muscles (and more) held in a certain way.

That way of feeling stuck, muscles spasming or when it just feels like there is glue in our tissues are all part of a brain program which keeps replaying - until we intervene.

Sitting

When we’re sitting for a period of time, it is natural for the muscles to shorten and go to sleep.

Plus, there are any number of habits or compensations which can feel normal, yet can undermine us in the long run.

The lack of demand with our repeated sitting postures fuels the brain’s program to keep things unconsciously held in check.  

That Stretching Feeling

It’s natural to have a feeling to stretch your muscles (and groaning is normal if things are held together) when you rise.

If you’ve been sitting at the computer/phone/tv too long or riding in the car for a certain period of time, you know how things can get gummed up - or at least remind us how stiff we feel.

Lost that Feeling to Stretch

If we no longer have that feeling to stretch, we’re not alone.

From studies of vertebrate animals, it’s been found to be missing when they’re not feeling well or are no longer feeling healthy.

Naturally, if it hurts to stretch, we're probably not going to keep doing that.  At some point, the notion of stretching gets left in the dustbin as a faded memory.

To reduce stiffness instantly - reprogram the brain and muscles instead

Healthy vertebrate animals appear to stretch each morning (and even before they go to sleep too).

The human animal will also do this misnomer if he or she feels healthy and hasn’t forgotten one of nature’s best kept secrets.

See, muscles cannot stretch since they are designed to receive instructions or commands from the brain to contract.

But I get it — since a lot of us were taught to stretch.

What you’re actually doing, say in a morning stretch, is similar to the little known word called a pandiculation.

My dog, like all the other healthy animals with a spine, will do a series of movements which can appear from the outside as a stretch.  From the inside...

He opens his jaw, he might stick out his tongue, pull his ears and eyes back a little too.

Those areas are contracting — that is when you feel it from the inside.

From the outside it might appear to a casual observer that a yawn or some type of stretch is happening.

Go ahead and do a so-called stretch or yawn and pay attention to the muscles you are contracting.

You might even feel movement in the shoulders, back of the ribs and a subtle move in the hips too.

A pandiculation is actually a set or series of muscular contractions where movement takes place and which can be felt in a specific area or throughout the entire body.

What the Healthy Animals Do

If you release yourself slowly, like an animal does, you can pay attention to how you let go or how your brain organizes the letting go.

When you tune into or feel whatever groups of muscles let go as you release, your brain does a wonderful thing.

Afterwards, your brain sends a message to reset the muscles to lower tension levels where you can feel a little more relaxed.

See how this neuromuscular process works 

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Now you can go ahead and wag your tail confidently with a more relaxed nervous system.

Message the Muscles via the Brain 

The brain’s command center can be targeted so it resets the ongoing rate of contraction or tension levels.

Thus, muscular stiffness is reduced instantly.

That is, if we go about it consciously using our awareness.

Since the brain can affect the rate muscles are contracting at -- or held at certain tension levels.

Over time, you can get used to those higher levels of tension, compensate and still move around stiffly.

Heck, I see my fellow weekend athletes wanting to keep moving because they know if they take a break, then their muscles start to tighten up all over again.

They haven't yet figured out a way to restore relaxation and rejuvenation so they simply push their areas of stiffness along with them.

They do have the part of the equation right by moving—but they are missing the key piece—to target the brain’s command center.

The stress or tension we feel in our stiff muscles can be relieved by consciously engaging the brain so it sends the message to the muscles to reset and relax.

This is what we have thought stretching has done, but it doesn’t since it is more than likely we’re pulling our ligaments and other connective tissue which does need some tension.

Antidote to Stiffness

So our antidote to the stiffness and the accumulating stress or tension we feel is relieved when the brain sends the messages to the muscles to let go or relax.

How the brain does it 

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With some practice, the brain can get the muscles to reduce stiffness more quickly as a result of the brain getting better at tuning into and tuning down amped up tension.

Time for a Reset

Our body gives us all sorts of clues and signals to let us know to reset.

Stress, tension, and tightness lets us know it is time or past time to reboot the brain’s software.

The question is whether we listen to our internal signals or feelings to take care of it.

If we don’t, then stiffness rules.

Nature has given us the blueprint and we’ve merely figured out how to consciously use the brain and body in movement so that the brain's software program gets updated.

Our brain is just waiting for us to tap into this natural resource so we can reset ourself accordingly.

We can reset the resting levels of our stressed, tight muscles instantly, once we get the hang of it again.

Systematized Reset to Reduce Stiffness

Simple, easy conscious movements have been systematized to reduce stiffness in a manner of 3 simple steps.

The system is known as Somatics Exercises where the act of a conscious pandiculation is at the heart of the matter.

To get the muscles to let go quickly and confidently happens when the brain and body work together.

Once you feel the power of the brain reconnecting, you'll know nature's antidote to feeling comfortable for life!

 

ed-barrera-hanna-somatic-educator-holistic-health-advisorEd Barrera is a Hanna Somatic Educator®, H.S.E., Holistic Health Advisor, H.H.A., Muscle Balance & Function Development Trainer, M.B.F.

Ed is the author of Move Like an Animal:  Feel Comfortable, Move Well for Life in 3 Simple Steps, Amazon Bestseller in Pain Management & Aging.  

Ed lived with chronic pain and fibromyalgia in his 20's & 30's, so he appreciates the long road out and can help you shortcut your way back to feeling comfortable for life.

Ed has over 15 years of experience, helping people find natural pain relief with somatics exercises which are the complete reverse to most approaches since we use conscious gentle body movements that targets the brain’s motor cortex, resets the nervous system, and provides deeper states of relaxation which leads to a healthy, fully-functional body.

Essentially it's motor control exercises (MCE), mindful-based stress reduction (MBSR)and progressive relaxation all rolled into one which now the American College of Physicians (ACP) are saying is "the first thing to do relieve pain".

Muscle lengthening, recovery, relaxation and control are restored by this "alternative to exercise” approach; plus it's natural pain relief that actually works!

Learn more about our mindful pandiculation movement classes.