By

Dr. Claudia Holderegger McCormack

 

That’s easier said than done, right? We can tense muscles, and we can relax them, most of them on command. But some of them, when left unattended for just a second, seem determined to just hold on. Why?? In my experience there are three main reasons: Habits, stress and fascial restrictions. Over the next three posts, we’ll look at each one.

Part one: Habits. Most of us have habits that cause tension, usually related to posture and repetitive movements. And as you probably know, changing a habit by sheer force of will is incredibly difficult. The reason for this is that a habit solves a problem. It is currently, or at one point was, the best thing to do to cope with a situation. The key to overcoming a “bad” habit then lies in recognizing the problem and helping your body find a better solution!

Here is an example: No matter how hard you try, you always end up slouching when sitting at your desk. Why? Because that is the position of least effort in your current environment. One major factor that makes sitting tall hard is that most of our chairs are too short. By simply raising your chair (and desk) you can make it easier on yourself to sit with better posture.

The next time you notice tension, take a moment to look at your position, at the way you are performing your task and at the equipment you are using. See if there is anything you can tweak, such as the angle of a keyboard, the size of a grip, the stiffness of a pedal or the position and flow of the things you are handling. Ask a friend or co-worker to observe you, or hire a professional such as a trainer to help you find a better way.

Thank you for reading! I hope this little series gives you some ideas and tools to address tension in your own body! Of course, if you would like more information, or if you would like help with any of the three challenges, please do get in touch here!

Yours in Health,

Dr. Claudia

 

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