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The Effects of body stress

Our bodies are self-healing and designed to handle the onslaught of daily strains and stresses, in fact not all stress is harmful.   We require a certain level of stress in our lives to promote growth and development through repeated positive adaptations – for example, Olympic athletes have to continually push themselves, putting their bodies under a certain level of stress in order to perfect their technique and reach their full potential.

However, when stress is intense or prolonged and immunity or sleep has been affected, then tension cannot be released through normal means. The body starts to take action to limit and prevent further damage by compensation, “splinting”, or protective action in the form of muscle cramps, spasms or reduced mobility.

As a result the natural healing process is disrupted and this may cause us to lose optimum functioning.  This in turn creates even more stress.  If we don’t allow ourselves rest and adequate healing time, the “stress effect” is compounded. This is why one needs to take intervention to break this vicious cycle.

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Reducing the negative stress in our lives

We all need to take responsibility for our own health, by striving to reduce the negative stresses to which we are subjected. To minimise chemical stress, it makes sense to follow a balanced and varied diet. Eat foods in forms as close as possible to their original state, and choose those containing the fewest additives.


We should avoid exposure to harmful substances, by minimising skin contact and being careful not to inhale sprays. We can reduce mechanical stress by improving our posture, by sitting, bending and lifting correctly, and avoiding potentially harmful exercises. Obviously it is helpful to pursue moderate and sensible forms of exercise to strengthen muscles.


As for the emotional/mental stress in our lives, we need to learn to relax consciously when we feel ourselves becoming tense. It is also advisable to seek out whatever activities and techniques help us, as individuals, to approach emotional balance and inner peace. By minimising stress overload, together with Body Stress Release, we allow ourselves the opportunity of expressing our highest life potential.

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Consequences of body stress

When the point of overload is reached, stress may become “locked” into the body and manifests as lines of tension. When tension becomes stored in a physical structure, the tissue is compressed, causing irritation of nerves.  Internal organs may stop functioning optimally as a result of disrupted nerve pathways, which may result in discomfort, pain, illness, medical conditions or continuously feeling listless and tired.  Body stress in the spine has the most far-reaching effects, as each spinal nerve supplies a large area of the body, both on the surface and internally.


Stiffness may become noticeable, leading to postural distortion, 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, migraines, backache, indigestion, tingling and numbness in the arms and hands, calf cramps, burning and painful feet might all be a result of locked-in body stress.

It is also possible for 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 experiencing less than 100% well-being.

While the stress or tension remains stored in the body, the body’s natural equilibrium (and muscular tone) is disturbed, causing a reduction in its general efficiency.  As its defence 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.

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Increased function, energy and well-being

With reduced nerve compression, there is often almost immediate improvement in communication, which in turn could result in improved organ function. Clients often report that certain conditions that they had not mentioned have cleared up, such as constipation, bladder problems, indigestion, heartburn etc. Usually the physical changes are accompanied by an increased emotional well-being. 

As the muscles lock up in layers, like a protective corset, the body’s energy is diverted into holding the muscles in the defensive mode, often resulting in constant tiredness. As the body stress is released, the muscles resume their normal supportive role and more energy is available for living.

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Why does pain sometimes come and go?

After a release, when pressure is released from nerve pathways, there may be a temporary increase in pain as sensation is restored to partially numbed nerves. This is not always an indication of crisis but rather a sign of reconnection. As the healing progresses, the irritation to the nerve drops below its firing point and there is a wonderful sense of pain receding. However, while the release process is on-going, if a client does something that triggers tension or stress (such as lifting something heavy or slouching on a soft couch and putting pressure on the back) the stress will quickly irritate the nerves back up to firing point, causing pain to return. If one avoids the stressful action, it allows the nerve irritability to once again drop below the threshold level and pain to recede. This is why it is essential to allow the body time to complete its healing cycle, before challenging it with stressful activities.

The process of healing

As the energy flow and communication is restored, some people may initially experience sensations of tingling or warmth. In certain cases there may be increased pain for a short time, as feeling is restored to numbed nerves. This is a healing pain as areas which had decreased sensation, may restore normal functioning and nerve regulation.

After the releases a person may feel an area stiffen slightly and temporarily as the body’s wisdom is directing the surface muscles to tighten, in order to restrict mobility and allow for the underlying structures to heal and repair. This way there is minimal irritation to the underlying tissues during their healing process.  A coming and going of pain and stiffness is a very normal part of the recovery process.

Recovery and wellness
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