Eight Tips to Relieve Muscle Tension

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Exercise

Regular exercise helps pump fluids throughout your muscles and assists in regulating hormone production, two key components in reducing muscle tightness.

Practice Yoga & Meditation

While a type of exercise, yoga goes even further by lengthening your muscles and calming your mind.  Our minds are very powerful, and if we can train them to relax and focus on a particular issue, it is amazing how our body can respond.

Have Fun

So often these days, we are pulled in several different directions with deadlines, appointments, work, friends, and family life.  We forget or just simply do not make time to have fun!  Belly laughs and activities that we find enjoyable release relaxation hormones that are necessary to relieve tension, promote digestion, and lower blood pressure.

Drink More Water

Unless you have a particular medical condition, it is recommended to drink half your body weight in fluid ounces of water each day. For example, a 140 pound woman should be aiming to drink 70 ounces of water(a little over 2 quarts). Furthermore, beverages containing alcohol or caffeine will rob your body of this precious liquid, so try to keep these to a minimum.  In the beginning it might be a little hard to fit all this water into your day, but if you make it part of your daily routine, it will maximize its efficacy and become a subconscious act.  For example, you could drink two glasses of water when you wake up, a glass of water before each meal, and a glass or two before bed.

Perform Tennis Ball Therapy

Do you hold tension between your shoulder blades?  What about your feet?  Tennis balls are amazing ways to massage those achy, painful areas. 

To massage your upper back, lie on the floor and place a tennis ball underneath you between your shoulder blades and your spine.  Roll around until you find a knot or sore area.  (Be careful not to place the ball directly under your spine.)  Hold that position for 10-30 seconds until you feel it release; then, roll around until you find another good spot. 

If for any reason you feel a bruising sensation, try decreasing the amount of time you hold the tennis ball on a knot and/or the number of times you try this in a day or week.  To remove the day’s tension from your feet, stand up and place the ball under one foot.  Maintain your balance by holding onto a wall or chair, and roll the ball under that foot while applying your body weight.  If you feel like you are not receiving enough pressure, switch to a golf ball.  This is a very economical and effective way to find relief in the common areas people hold tension.

Stretch Daily

Take a few moments every day to do some quick stretches.  Try to stretch your muscles at least once a day, although more often is better. 

Start with some neck stretches bringing your chin to your chest and/or your ears to your shoulders.  Sometimes, I like to do random yoga poses that target my problem areas. 

Eagle pose and pigeon pose are two of my favorites.  Like drinking water, integrating this into your daily routine is key.  Find something you do several times a day, and every time you do that particular activity, do a stretch or two.  For instance, a receptionist might perform neck stretches each time she ends a phone call.  After a while, you will subconsciously remember to do them, and you will not have to actively think about it.

Have a Good Support System

Whether it is family, friends, or a room full of strangers, find someone that you can vent to or lean on in times of need and celebrate with in times of prosperity and success.  There are support groups for all sorts of ailments, conditions, and issues that you may be experiencing.  Also, church groups can be a wonderful place to find people who are willing to listen and help out.

Receive Massage Therapy Regularly

Massage is an amazing way to reduce stress and tension.  Whether it is all mental, emotional, or physical, massage therapy will reduce your stress level and help you cope in a more efficient way.  Some people are able to think more clearly; some are able to reduce all of their pain; some just get a break from their daily routine.  Everyone can benefit from massage!

Here at Anderson Chiropractic Center in downtown Holly Springs, Amanda will make you her priority to help you heal in whatever manner you need.  Deep tissue massage can really get into the deeper layers of musculature and relieve any knots or trigger points you may have.  Swedish massage is a more soothing and relaxing type of session which can really aid in reducing mental and emotional stress. 

Usually, people enjoy a nice mixture of the two so that we can approach stress from all angles.  The frequency of sessions also depends on what goal you are looking to accomplish.  Massage therapy is generally recommended at least once a month for routine maintenance.  However, the effects are cumulative; so the more often you receive a massage, the better outcome you will have.

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