I saw a patient yesterday that sparked today’s blog about an interesting issue that comes up while
performing corrective stretching programs.
Why is it that some muscles just won’t release?
First off, we must keep in mind the driving influence for muscle tension, and that is your central nervous system.
You see, your muscles are frankly quite stupid. They aren’t the “brains” behind the operation so to speak.
Your muscular system takes the cues from what your nervous system tells it to do.
However, that does NOT mean that muscles can’t have their own problems. For example, there is a close
correlation between the amount of athletic training years (or years in the gym also!) and the amount of muscular adhesions and scar tissue someone has.
Why? Well, the more years you have “beat up” your body as a result of training, you will have had strains, micro damage and so forth to your muscles.
In this situation, your muscles will respond VERY well to stretching and specific massage techniques like neuromuscular therapy applied to certain areas.
Now, back to the central nervous system. There are 2 major divisions, the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic.
Sympathetic is the “fight or flight” aspect, while Parasympathetic is the “rest and relaxation” aspect.
Sympathetic stimulation will increase muscle tension in preparation for a potentially stressful event. This is the primary reason for the inability to get a muscle to relax.
Now begs the question, what causes sympathetic stimulation?
Thats one LONG list!
This is by far not an exhaustive list!
Of course, this is one of primary reasons why I address nutrition and emotional stress in my programs. It has
led to breakthroughs in some of the most challenging cases I have seen!
Soon, I’ll be coming out with some resources on how to address these factors, so keep checking back!