The myth of constant tension

Last weekend, I participated in a wonderful course. It was a topic I knew nothing about and luckily, I didn’t investigate beforehand. It taught chi Kung (in Spanish, maybe Qi gong in English). This method is all about energy and how you “vibrate” or feel the energy in your body and how to utilize it to live happier and healthier. One of the cornerstones of this discipline is to recognize tension in the body and release it to allow proper energy flow.  If there is constant tension (conscious or unconscious) in the body, energy does not flow properly and it’s the source of many health problems.

I am struck by the similarities chi Kung has with our now developing understanding about alignment and health.  The very old is returning as new.  In order to have energy flow, I need to be aligned, there has to be awareness of the body and a conscious release of tension.  I have to focus on breathing and, at times, coordinate my movement with my breath.

In present times, the “rule of thumb” is to, at all times, suck in your belly and puff out your chest to compensate for poor posture and muscle activation.  That has resulted in, among other things, terrible forward tilt to hips which translate into back, hip, knee and or leg pain. If we were more conscious of alignment, and released tension regularly, we would be in much better shape physically and mentally.

I invite you to try the following:  (read first then try)

  • Close your eyes and scan for tension in your body.

  • Bring your attention to places that you have tension and inhale into your belly.

  • As you exhale, envision that tension being released from your muscles and exhaled (through your mouth)

Try doing this 3 to 5 times once an hour and before meals. It will help activate the parasympathetic nervous system and bring a moment of calm reflection.


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