The Causes of Body Stress
Emotional / Mental Stress Factors
These include fear of the future, financial worries, competition in the work-place, disintegrating family relationships and many others. At times we experience sudden violent emotions, such as anger or shock, or we undergo milder but ongoing forms of mental strain, e.g. anxiety, depression and resentment. We may become aware of the physical effect of emotional pressures, as the diaphragm, jaw, neck and shoulders tighten in a defensive posture, to armour us against the onslaught of life's stresses.
Mechanical Stress Factors
The body is designed to withstand a certain amount of physical force - bumps, jerks and falls, but if the mechanical stress goes beyond the body's limit of adaptability, the effects may become stored as body stress. The causes may be sudden and violent, such as a car accident, a severe fall, or lifting a heavy object incorrectly. Or, there may be a gradual accumulation of milder mechanical stress, e.g. habitually sitting incorrectly, or doing inappropriate exercises.
Chemical Stress Factors
The sources of chemical stress include pollutants in the air, insecticides, certain food additives/preservatives and ingredients in creams and lotions. Harmful chemicals may be consumed, inhaled, or even absorbed when contacting the skin. We may typically become aware of the physical effect of Chemical Stress in headaches, migraines or tension in the neck/shoulders.
The Effects of Body Stress
When the point of stress overload is reached, the stress becomes "locked" into the physical body and manifests as lines of tension. The body adopts a protective mode of action by means of automatic reflexes, causing adjacent and overlying muscles to splint the area. It appears that this action has a dampening effect on the nervous system, thereby causing the brain's filtering mechanism to ignore the areas of body stress.
In time when the body is required to take greater defensive action, stiffness may become noticeable, ultimately leading to postural distortion. It may also lead to loss of flexibility, pain or numbness. A person with body stress may also feel tense, tired, and lacking in energy and enthusiasm for life. Headaches, backache and indigestion may follow.
It is also possible for the body stress to be present without the individual feeling any pain or stiffness - he or she will simply come to accept as normal, their sense of having less than 100 per cent well-being. How many times have you heard people say “Oh well, you should expect this at my age”
While the stress or tension remains stored in the body, the normal tone of the body is disturbed, causing a reduction in its general efficiency. As its defense mechanisms become weakened, the body becomes less and less able to deal with further stresses to which it is subjected daily. In this way the individual moves increasingly further away from the optimum state of health.
With the person fully clothed and lying down, the practitioner carries out a series of tests to locate the exact sites of body stress, and determines the precise directions in which the lines of tension exist. This is done by applying light pressure to various points on the body, and observing the body’s response (through the feet). In this way, the body acts as a biofeedback mechanism, supplying the information required.
The practitioner then applies stimuli, by means of light but definite pressure, in the exact directions necessary to encourage the body to release the stored tension. If the body stress has occurred recently, the process of releasing it is usually very rapid. However, if the stress has been stored for a long time, the stress releases may have to be carried out a number of times, over a series of consultations. This is because the tight, protective layers of the muscles tend to relax by degrees back to their normal tone.
Because Body Stress Release works with the body's natural striving to be stress free, it is a gentle procedure that does not require excess force.
Body Stress Release is not a diagnosis or treatment of any condition or disease. It is concerned only with locating and releasing stored tension, so that the body is assisted with its in-built ability to maintain and heal it-self.
Who Needs Body Stress Release
Body Stress Release is for everyone, from infants to the elderly, whether sick or healthy. As we are all subjected to the stresses of living, we all tend to accumulate stored tension, with the resultant decline in the body's efficiency. Even babies may have body stress after a difficult birth. Therefore, everyone's quality of life may be enhanced, by being assessed for body stress and having it released from time to time.