Most of us have probably wanted to be an astronaut at some point.
The view from space has got to be amazing. The trouble with being in space, however, is that there is very little physical stress on body.
And it’s a problem.
Their bodies begin to atrophy without the pressure of gravity. They have to go out of their way to create physical stress on their bodies in order to stay healthy.
The point is that stress is a good thing. It is necessary. Positive adaptations come from various stressors in life.
However, there is one important piece that is often ignored. For a stressor to provide lasting positive benefits, we have to be able to recover.
What Happens With Too Much Stress
In modern life, stress has become such a constant that our bodies do not get a chance to recover. We pile on stress all day everyday. Often, the amount of stress someone is able to deal with is seen as a mark of status. It’s enviable.
Without being able to dissipate stress, however, we set ourselves up for the straw that broke the camel’s back. At some point there will be too much without a good method of releasing the built up stress and tension.
The Autonomic Nervous System
The autonomic nervous system refers to the fight-flight-freeze response our body has. Especially in brief windows, the human body has a tremendous ability to respond to a threat or stress.
In modern society, however, this fight-flight-freeze response is triggered in a chronic way. This constant stress and tension leads to pain and disfunction.
In order to fully deal with the pain, the stored stress and tension has to be released.
In modern society, yoga, meditation, and hypnotherapy are growing in popularity. These methods are some good ways to give the body a chance to release stress.
In a physical therapy setting, however, there are two therapies that I have found to be particularly helpful. They are PRRT (Primary Reflex Release Technique) and TRE (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises).
Developed by John Iams in San Diego, this therapy helps to calm the nervous system. It is a hands-on therapy where the nervous system is stimulated and then relaxed.
The stimulation creates a window to be able to more effectively calm and downregulate. Downregulation is bringing the system back into balance. The movements are simple techniques that have great results.
Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) are a great tool to add to your own toolkit for self-care. The process is simple, safe, and anyone can do it.
The method was developed by David Berceli who was a psychotherapist and bodyworker. He noticed that children and animals had a natural way of releasing tension after stressful situations.
Younger children, as opposed to older children and adults, would tremor and shake after stressful events. The tremors and shaking helped to relieve the tension from the stressful event. David theorized that social conditioning stopped this tremor reflex in adults and older children.
His method involves simple stretches to gently fatigue certain muscle groups. Once these primary muscle groups are fatigued, tremoring is induced while comfortably lying on your back. The method can be modified for anyone and is self-regulated.
These methods really help people let go of stress from the autonomic nervous system. Most of us have some amount of stored tension. Dealing with that underlying stress makes other therapies for treating pain more effective.
The core issues beneath the pain you experience can be addressed. You can get back on a path to a life with movement freedom. You can recover and make positive adaptations from your stressors.
Call The Movement Studio to determine what treatment would be best for you. PRRT is done in a private session while TRE can be in a group or private setting.