The release of tension in the body can lead to the release of unconscious memories to the conscious mind. This is true because we can suppress painful or traumatic experiences by unconsciously tensing certain parts of our musculature. There is also anecdotal and subjective evidence to support this, such as the spontaneous tears that may occur during deep tissue massage. We can also look to the research of Wilhelm Reich and his research on “Armoring” of the body due to emotional trauma that is stored in the body as muscular tension.
How can you release the unconscious tension within the body’s musculature?
- Through the practice of Breathwork. This would often involve deep breathing, burst breathing, fire breathing.
- Another method used, but one best incorporated with Breathwork is bodywork. This would include such practices as stretching, Yoga, Pilates, Rolfing, massage, acupressure etc.
- You can also use extreme tension brought on yourself by intentionally tightening your muscles to their maximum and then you are letting go of all this tension. You will discover that your muscles are less tense than before you tensed them to their maximum point. Using the breath to aid in this particular technique makes the process even more efficient. Tension and presence and mindfulness need to be a part of this experience and practice.
The results you acquire when you release tension are:
- A greater freedom of movement and an increase in your range of motion.
- An increase in your fluidity of motion and movement
- A more harmonious relationship with your body, your environment, nature, and others.
- An increase in your awareness and trust of your intuitive nudging.
- An increased inner peace and inner calm.
- An increase in presence and mindfulness, which, in turn, increases your ability to focus.
Why is this not a common goal?
The release of suppressed, unconscious memories through the deep release of muscular tension is not a common goal because:
- The first reason is a lack of awareness that it is even a problem.
2 . The second reason is a lack of awareness of the potential benefits of this practice.
- The third reason is that it may seem too woo-woo for some people.
- The fourth reason is a disbelief in its veracity and its effectiveness.
- The fifth reason is that many have conflated muscular tension with strength and power, while in truth, what is hard is brittle and easily broken… or dead.
There are some examples of those who move tension free or at least mostly so. The ones I am familiar with are within the realm of the martial arts, though I’m sure there are others involved in other physical fields of endeavor.
Here is my list of human examples of tension-free movement:
- Peter Ralston, the founder of the school of martial movement and consciousness studies dubbed Cheng Hsin.
- Vladimir Vasiliev, Master of the Russian martial art called Systema.
- Mikhail Ryabko, who is Vladimir Vasiliev’s teacher.
- John Perkins the creator of the martial art call Ki Chuan Do, otherwise known as “Guided Chaos”.
- John Perkins’ number one student Colonel Al Ridenhour.
- Any number of high-level Tajii Chuan practitioners, or Bagua Zhang practitioners.
There is clearly a benefit to being tension free. Another benefit that I forgot to mention is that under extremely stressful conditions one can experience a form of the time dilation effect. Time seems to slow down, and you can pick up the details around you much more readily than someone who is suffering from extreme stress and great tension in the body.