Releasing tension in layers. A whole being approach, lower back, feet, hips, feet, ribs, feet…
Strengthening and stretching.
Understanding the nervous system, and how it expresses itself, means you understand we need a whole being approach.
To apply force, is to live in denial of the past, and with an expectation of the future. Strengthening and stretching are both actions that we choose based on what has been and what we want it to be.
Are shoes to blame?
Shoes may be the creator of imbalance, or just supporting a system out of balance, but the imbalance is now held in your nervous system, as a means of survival, and it has become familiar due to repetition…
Wearing flip/flops/thongs/jandals requires us to activate our toes by pinching and pulling them up… this tension pulls all the way up to your lower back and holds our hip joint out of alignment (and also impacts your shoulders)… and as these are an unstable shoe choice, they activate our stress response, which postures us up, tension runs from the lower back all the way to the toes.
One pair of shoes, every step a repetition of two ways of creating subconscious muscle tension (habits), which impacts our organ systems and stops them functioning optimally.
Repetition creates habits, and now the muscle tension is out of our conscious control. We need to make ourselves feel safe to interrupt the stress response, and the stress response is now holding us in a state of perpetual fear, as the muscles hold us in a state of falling forward.
The body never lies.
Interrupting the stress response is easiest done on the floor, due to the result of subconscious muscle tension… which is to pull our skeleton out of balance. The perfect response to ensure we can effortlessly run, fight or jump, as it prepares us for propulsion, see Understanding your nervous system.
I wish it were as simple as changing to barefoot shoes, but, when we have habitually tight muscles, they are held in place by our nervous system, making them subconscious, meaning unless we make them feel safe, they will not release.
What can happen if I go straight into barefeet/minimal shoes?
Our nervous system will recognise that our foundation has changed, which activates our fight/flight nervous system, and our body will want to posture into the stress response posture.
We will feel better, get an adrenaline hit, and enjoy some feel good hormones, but these may fade.
If our subconscious muscle tension in our body is not released, then it will continue to pull our feet up away from the ground, which pushes some of the bones of our feet into the ground.
Our feel good hormones will mask this for a while, but may eventually run out if we are not unraveling through our body, and we will need to do something to give us a hit of the good stuff.
How does unraveling our subconscious muscle tension help our feet?
Think of each of your toes & fingers as the end point of a length of rope that begins around the lower back, sacrum, pelvis area.
When our stress response is activated, the tilting of our pelvis curls the ropes in, readying the body into the loaded spring… and the effect of this tension is at the tips of the fingers, the tips of the toes.
All in between (pelvis & toes/fingers) is held under tension.
Meaning when we become locked in the posture of the Stress Response, we are held in this position, each of our joints held slightly bent, our weight loaded forward.
Our nervous system responds to this state.
Activating more muscles to counteract the subconsciously tight muscles, and make sure we stay upright.
Which twists our core back even further, layering another tension response over the Stress Response, and also compounding the stress response, because, as our nervous system recognises we need to hold ourselves up, it is simultaneously recognising the danger, and the response to danger is to tension our skeleton in the posture of the Stress Response.
Once we are in this perpetual tension response…
Any change we make will disrupt the delicate balance our nervous system is striving for, and make us feel danger.
Even lying on the floor, in a supported rest position we will recognise the danger in this foreign land. It is the danger of the unfamiliar.
Our nervous system has worked so hard to manage in an out of balance environment, that when we realise we have created all these problems, we know there is nothing we can do without compounding the situation.
So, we learn what it is to feel our nervous system, and we learn why habits are created and what this causes, and we develop compassion for the state we are in, and we give ourselves time.
We adjust our shoes as our body releases, we refine how we move our feet and body together… there is no separation.
The same can be said for crooked teeth, teeth grinding, eye health, arthritis in the fingers, joint degradation… the same pelvis tension that holds these areas of the body under pressure, activates the posture of the stress response, and the tension pulling everything in from the pelvis, or psoas, it just keeps going round and round.
When we compromise our foundation, and lock down our pelvis, we compromise our intuition, and undermine our innate intelligence. We lose trust in ourselves, and we keep believing we need fixing, we need the external experts, and the special equipment.
When we peel back the layers of tension, as soon as we start unraveling with awareness, we are now perpetually expanding… instead of perpetually contracting.
Every move we make with this awareness is releasing pressure and allowing us to heal in motion.
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