In the last few years, I discovered the link between all diseases - stress. When we think about stress, what often comes to mind is emotional or mental stress. Although this is a common stressor for people, there are many other stressors that create cumulative harmful effects over time that lead to various diseases.
In my Diagnosis+Nutrition™ Health Coach Training Program, my 21st Century Health Program Audio Series, and my 10 Class Certificate Video and PowerPoint Course, I address the different types of stress that eventually lead to health problems. The major stressors that affect humans are from diet, lifestyle practices, environment and the mind and emotions.
A few years ago, a friend and mentor turned me on to the pioneering work of Ida Rolf, Thomas Hanna, Moshe Feldenkrais and other 20th century bodywork pioneers. The knowledge that I gleaned from their writings confirmed what I intuitively knew. The body reacts to the various kinds of stress with very specific muscle tensions. Over time, these muscle tensions create habits that distort the posture and cause malfunctions of the organs.
These postural distortions lead to all major and minor diseases including arthritis, heart disease, chronic fatigue, thyroid imbalances, anxiety and depression, cancers and other serious disorders.
The body reacts to long term stress in very particular ways. The first reaction is by tightening the back muscles, straightening the legs, and accenting the curve in the lower back. This indicates that physical and/or mental effort is being made. When the body is tired from too much effort, the muscles in the front of the body pull forward, collapsing the head neck and pulling the shoulders forward.
Both of these body habits over time start to cut off the circulation to the organs and systems in the body.
As I started to be aware of these postures, I noticed these postural distortions exist in every person who comes to see me for health consultations because of their poor health or serious diseases.
One example of this imbalance was in a woman in her 50’s who was diagnosed with kidney disease.
For many years, she worked in a factory, standing for many long hours during the day. When I first met with her, I noticed that the muscles of her entire back were locked in muscle spasm which is another word for extreme muscle tension. The curve of her lower back was accented with the muscles being as hard as a rock, and her legs were hyper extended.
In addition, the neck and head were being pulled forward along with the shoulders. These habits of posture arose from various stressors with her diet, thinking and lifestyle along with long term work practices over many years.
With an understanding of stress body mechanics, it is easy to see how the kidneys in this woman which are located in the lower middle back were being pulled in two directions like under a vice, cutting off the circulation to the kidneys. These long term body habits resulted in causing poor kidney function.
Another example is a client that I saw who was in her late 60’s. She was experiencing extreme hip pain. When I touched her lower back, it felt hard and tight like cement. The whole back was also hard. She was diagnosed by modern medicine with severe arthritis in the hip.
For many years of her life, indeed many decades, she would diet severely to lose weight when she gained weight and do excessive amounts of aerobic exercises. Her personality was always to push herself in every way. I believe the end results of these mental and physical stressful habits were to create strong spasms or muscle tension in the body. These tensions cut off the circulation to the hip, creating the severe arthritis. Most cases of arthritis can be seen as resulting from a combination of muscle tension pulling on the joints and bones and poor nutrition.
These case histories reveal that in addition to getting rid of as many dietary, lifestyle and other stressors as possible, it is important to physically reverse these body tensions through a type of massage, the right type of exercises and postural awareness while sitting and standing. I emphasize the correct type of massage and exercises because certain types of exercises create more muscle tension which worsens the person’s condition. Excessive weight training, aerobic exercises and hard stretching are common forms of practices that worsen body tension.
In my own practice, I teach how to correct these in classes, and private qigong somatic exercise and acupressure sessions. Specific types of correction exercises have been designed which include various somatic exercises and qigong sets.
Without correcting these body tensions, I don’t think that the body can really fully heal and recover health.