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September 5, 2019

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How muscles react to life

January 11, 2018


So what this picture is showing is what happens to muscles when “life happens”.  
When we are born we generally (unless something goes aray) have full use of our muscles... and as we grow they grow. However life doesn't always go smoothly... life “happens”; “Stuff” happens .. accident happens, and on an impact or jolt the muscles “ouch” and recoil; They can do this too at a negative – brought up in a negative environment or bullied with negative words that stick – the body recoils from that too – although the tendancy here is for the body to go into protective mode – curling inwards; or sometimes we just tense up because our muscles/bodies react subconsciously to stressors or we hug oursleves against the cold, or huddled over the steering wheel as we dash about ....... life happens – and the muscles just forget that that they have the ability to release and let go .... and they stay in a contracted state – what we call a “holding pattern”. To be able to keep going and moving, the body then learns to adapt it's patterns of movement to accommodate the “holding” pattern, and it sets up compensatory patterns of movement, which over time through repetition it adopts as it's new “normal state of being”; and so we are left with a smaller range of movement (the red line area in the diagram is the contracted "life happenings" the green line area shows the reduced range of movement and what the body eventually imagines to be 100% but is actually a smaller range of movement due to the contracted muscles). People also think that their muscles are weak – or it's due to the aging process. But that isn't so – if the muscles were weak they wouldn't be able to maintain the contracted state – they are weak in effect because there is less muscle being used, and so less powerful....(which is very different!). They (muscles) are also in a shortened state too – hence the smaller range of movement... so your reach is less, your mobility is reduced – as is your circulation etc etc. your skeletal system (bones) can be pulled out of place and alignment too – that is not an aging process, muscles are functional and they have just plain and simply forgotten to release themselves back to neutral.  
Can you get out of it? For sure, yes! Teach the muscle to relax, switch off and fully release and you can reset the muscle back to it's natural neutral state... you also regain the energy that the muscle has been using up to “hold it” in that contracted state – release the muscle and you regain that energy too! And the freedom is amazing! The energy is amazing...... 
But that is only half the picture – because the body learns movement by repetition.... and the new feels alien and the body isn't used to being in the "new" place.... it is so easy for the muscles to revert back to a contracted state and to it's old habituated ways of moving again – that's why people come back to me with the same recurring issues ...........but perseverance pays off – and your body can regain – and maintain it's freedom to move well – for life!!


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Susan Roberts Body Therapy provides professional treatments as a therapeutic means of promoting prevention, wellbeing and health. Based in Cheshire.

© 2018 Susan Roberts Body Therapy

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