free on demand training: How to remove the root cause of pain & injury

Stretching for Stress Relief and Worry

Are you stressed out or worried?

Chances are, yes...

According the the Houston Behavioral Healthcare hospital the 3 main causes of stress are:

  1. Money
  2. Work
  3. Poor health

According to the American Institute for Stress,

"People have very different ideas with respect to their definition of stress. Probably the most common is, physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension. Another popular definition of stress is, 'a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.'"

and: 

"About 33 percent of people report feeling extreme stress. 77 percent of people experience stress that affects their physical health. 73 percent of people have stress that impacts their mental health."

What are the most common treatments for stress and worry?

According to the Mayo Clinic: 

  1. Get active
  2. Eat a healthy diet
  3. Avoid unhealthy habits
  4. Meditate
  5. Laugh more
  6. Connect with others
  7. Assert yourself
  8. Try yoga
  9. Get enough sleep
  10. Keep a journal 
  11. Get musical and be creative 
  12. Seek counseling

All of these options are great! But at Bendable Body, we of course have a different from the norm take on most things... as you probably have noticed by now! 

The Bendable Body Method and developing the whole you.

At Bendable Body, our doorway into health on all levels (physical, physiological and emotional) is the physical body, the fascia and getting your body to actually work better. But what does that really mean and how does it relate to stress and worry. 

You've heard it before: the body is a map of the mind. It's actually a very true statement and the fascia is the storehouse for that body-mind connection. It's also the place where you can make a big impact and change to both your body and your mind. 

If there is a part of your body that doesn't work well (and by work well we mean the muscles don't contract and shorten and lengthen to move you) your alignment will be off in that area. Perhaps you have injury or pain in a specific area. If that is the case, the meridian channel that runs along that area and the associated organ function will also be is compromised. In general, there will be ill health and lack of optimal functioning in the specific area. Many of us have many areas like this in the body (whether we know it or not) and perhaps the whole body in general is only functioning at a low percentage of its full capacity. 

However, there is another level beyond the physical within us that is also compromised. The mental and emotional. Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, emotions are also associated with specific areas of the body. When it comes to TCM a practitioner might put needles in the meridian channel associated with stress or worry. At Bendable Body, we stretch the associated muscle group and aim to change the surrounding fascia so that the muscle can work better, the meridian channel can open and the associated physiological and emotional health can improve. 

So if you are wondering 'can stretching relive stress?' or what's a good stress relief routine or what stretches relieve stress... we've got answers 🙂

Anxiety, depression, stress, worry... many people put them in the same bucket and perhaps the Mayo clinic would suggest that list of 12 solutions above for all 4 of these. But there are very different areas of the body and meridian channels associated with each of these specific concerns. 

Stress is associated with the skin meridian - the back of the shoulders (Teres Major and Minor) and the triceps. Whereas worry is associated with the pancreas meridian - the back inside of the legs (the medial hamstring). 

So the best exercises to relive stress are resistance stretches for the skin meridian muscle group. And for worry, stretches for the medial hamstring. 

Another important point to make about the Bendable Body approach to dealing with emotional problems like stress and worry. Our objective isn't to remove me them from life. That would be unrealistic. Human life will always have stressors and things to worry about. Instead we want to be able to handle the stress, process it, transmute it into something positive and in fact eventually handle more and more.

If you consider it from a physical up-grade standpoint it will make more sense. Let's say the muscles running along the back of your shoulders and arms (associated with the skin meridian) are full of dense, unhealthy fascia and you aren't able to make many movements with your arms that those specific muscles are responsible for. If you stretch those muscles with resistance and change that unhealthy fascia, you will begin to be able to make more movement with your arms. The more you stretch, the more sophisticated and involved the movements you can make. The process applies to stress. The healthier this part of your body gets, the more intense stress you will be able to deal with and process. 

When to stretch to deal with stress.

Are you wanting to know stress relieving exercises to do before bed? Or perhaps stretching to relieve stress at work? Or stress relief exercises to do at home? The answer is the same for all of these. If you are suffering from periodic, chronic or acute stress, stretches for the skin meridian will help tremendously. You can do them at your convenience or when you are in the throws of actually experiencing the stress. Depending on how bad it has become will determine how much stretching you need to do. But if you keep at it, it will change! 

Watch this video and learn the best stretch for stress: 

Watch this video and learn the best stretch for worry: 

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