Anyone who deals with chronic anxiety knows how crippling it can be and how much it can affect your day to day life. If you are struggling with anxiety, you may be desperately searching for something, anything, to dull the senses.
The human body is an incredible thing. It gives us signs and signals when something isn’t right whether mentally or physically, in the form of symptoms. You may develop a cold if you’ve been overworking yourself or not taking the time to properly care for yourself. It’s your body’s way of telling you to take a break. Anxiety is a physical response to an emotional pain that stems from fear. Our emotions have a deep connection to the body. Often when difficult emotions arise, if we are unable to process them, they can get stored in the body. I’ve noticed mine come in the form of extremely tight muscles that have contorted my body. I also notice my buried emotions come in the shape of large, deep knots, daily pain all throughout my body (particularly the back and neck) and a significant decrease in my range of motion. No two people are the same, so your body may store emotions and show symptoms differently. The key here is awareness.
Physically, I’ve found a few ways to release some of the emotions stored within the body. My personal favorite, because it can provide instant relief, is called dry needling. It’s very similar to acupuncture, with the main difference being that dry needling is more science based whereas acupuncture is more spiritual. So rather than targeting stuck chakras and things like that, they target the heart of your pain, which is called the trigger point. When they correctly hit the trigger point, you feel the area tighten, then release. I like to call these twinges. If the spot is particularly deep, old, or tight, when the muscle contracts, it may even bend the needle (which I find fascinating)! Yes, I said needle, but let me try to ease your mind before you freak out. They are more like little pins, just like the acupuncture ones. Personally, I’m not a fan of needles; I tried acupuncture before and didn’t like it. Dry needling can change your life; it definitely changed mine! After years of a mix of chiropractic care, physical therapy, stretching, yoga, and anything else I thought might alleviate some of the pain, relax my muscles, and realign my spine. I did several sessions through a physical therapist’s office, which also allowed my insurance to cover the expense which was a life saver! Some people may only need a few sessions depending on your situation. I immediately saw huge improvements, and kept seeing them! My posture improved, various symptoms due to my nerves being compressed by my vertebres disappeared, headaches and migraines are practically nonexistent now (except for the occasional hangover..lol..), and I even grew a few inches from my lengthened and more aligned spine! Sometimes, I could feel the emotion leaving, and often people have emotional responses to the dry needling either during the session or afterwards. If you have any other questions or comments about dry needling, comment below or feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The next best thing, is to try to achieve the same muscle spasms that release trapped emotions is through either stretching or rolling on a ball. It’s a much slower process than dry needling, but basically works the same way. Through stretching, you target the spots that are giving you trouble. This can often be difficult because you have to push into the trapped areas, which you may not have been able to use those muscles in many years. I find taking deep breaths and breathing into the pain allows the muscle to relax to reach the trigger point, and you’ll know when you do! You’ll get that same muscle spasm that can be large, sometimes painful, but super gratifying afterwards. You can also use a ball, I prefer a lacrosse ball like this.
If you find yourself in constant pain, particularly in your back, I find foam rollers really helpful. I need the extra firm kind which really digs into those tough spots and loosens them up. I’ve tried all kinds of them and still wasn’t getting enough, so I finally got the RumbleRoller and I am super happy with it! I use it on my back, neck, hips, psoas, glutes and hamstrings, arms, and everything else! I love it!
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