Our bodies accumulate muscle tension every day. How much do you do to counter act and release it on a daily basis?
On average, we eat 3-5 times a day, and dentists recommend brushing our teeth 2-3 times daily to remove plaque and prevent tooth decay. Throughout the day, we use our muscles more often than we eat, yet most of the time, our self-care routine is even less than what we do for our teeth.
Like plaque on our teeth, muscle tension is accumulative, so every day that we don’t release our tension, it builds on top of previously stored tension. Eventually, muscle tension reaches a point where our ability to do a particular movement becomes impaired. This dysfunction can take the form of reduced range of motion or pain.
Once chronic pain becomes apparent in your body, you have a choice. You can either hold onto your tension and pain and continue to feel a relatively low-level of constant pain, (or an inconsistent sharp pain) or you can work out a method to release your tension and pain.
If you let your tension build up over a long period of time it becomes increasingly more acutely painful to release. There are techniques to releasing tension with reduced pain, but generally, the pain you ignore and store up in your body eventually has to come back out. The more gradual and consistently regular you are able to release your tension, the less acute pain you will experience with the release. However, if you wait and want to try to release your tension all at once, the more the tension release will hurt.
In other words, you can “brush your teeth” a few times a day to prevent the daily build up from becoming “decay” or you can wait until your “teeth” start to hurt and reactively go to the dentist to get the “cavities drilled and filled.”
The question then becomes, “how do I brush my muscles?”