Do Your Muscles DO What You WANT Them
To Do, Without Aches & Pains, Lost Range-
Of-Motion, or Other Dysfunction?
The Art & Science of
How Tension + Toxicity = Old Age
AGING & Injury:
Just Don’t Do It! …
Is AGING Inevitable? . . .
Is Aging a “Natural” Process? . . .
Or Is It Something We ALLOW To Happen By “Default”?
But, first, please let me tell you a story . . .
A True Story of BodyMind Mastery:
The CLEAN SLATE
The Ultimate Musculo-Fascial Relaxation “Training”
There once was a Martial Arts Monastery in the Far East that had an unusual approach to “foundational training.” Unusual for our Western culture, anyway. It was really “UN-Tension Training.”
Yet it’s an approach I think we can, and should, all learn from.
Relaxation is not really something we “learn how to DO.” Deep Relaxation is the STOPPING of DOING.
If you clench your hand into a fist, that requires contracting of certain muscles. It is the DOING of increasing tension to produce an action. When you STOP Doing the Action of clenching your fist, when you DE-Contract the muscles, they are relaxing, and your fist unclenches.
So again, Relaxation is not something you DO. … Relaxation is the Stopping of Doing action. … Or the Stopping of Doing Tension.
In French, the word for relaxation is decontractare. So the concept of de-contraction is built right into the word itself. I think English shouldl have a similar word. … Or instead of relaxation, just use the word de-contraction.
I’m not sure if the monastery is still there (although I do believe this was the Shaolin Temple made famous by David Carradine in the old Kung Fu TV series, which IS still there in China). But in the mid-1980s there was a video about this monastery in which the newly accepted monks went through a truly profound, though deceptively simple, process. (I’ve not been able to find the video, however, as it was in pre-internet days.)
Upon acceptance into monk-hood, and before they were taught ANY exercise, training or fighting techniques, they were given a Clean Slate.
The brand new monk would lay flat on a wooden table, almost naked. An older monk would climb up, sometimes even standing on the table, and, when necessary, holding onto a rope dangling from a structure above. He would then proceed to use his feet and hands to thoroughly massage ALL the new monks’ many muscles — every portion of every single muscle, in his whole body — for extended periods of time, for HOURS a day, all week long, for many WEEKS.
This was the REAL Thing, the kind of deep, thorough Radical Relaxation some people only dream about, and few people take the time to achieve.
So this “un-training” — “un-doing of muscle tension — was done by NOT by strength, endurance or technique training, but by…
”Radical Relaxation Training.”
But not just any old relaxation. It was more like Relaxation via UN-Training. … Meaning UN-training muscles in their accumulated habits of “being tight.”
It was, as much as possible, about removing the “stress & tension residue” stored in the new monk’s psycho-neuro-musculo-fascial & joint system from their previous years.
What Do I Mean by “Psycho-“?
When I use the prefix “psycho-“, what I’m referring to is the psycho-logical — the mental & emotional — processes controlling your nerve & muscle system. So, if you decide to reach for a cup of coffee sitting on your table, you DECIDE, with your MIND, to use your muscles to produce the action of reaching for and picking up the cup.
And if you wake up having a “need” to have that cup of coffee, there is possibly some emotional background to the “need” to pick up that cup of coffee. Yet the word “emotion” literally means e- (to bring forth) motion (action).
(The Monk video, BTW, was seen way back in 1985 by a good friend of mine who was a martial arts instructor. … I think it was about a six hour per day, six week or so process. … But please don’t hold me to those numbers. …
(The point is, it was a LOT of time invested strictly in deep, thorough relaxation. A lot more massage than most people get in a lifetime. …
(Yet in my own therapy practice, I’ve had quite a few people who had so much tension in their muscles, they — literally — felt like steel cables. It took MANY hours to get those muscles back closer to “normal.”)
YET … Can You Imagine That? —
Many Hours A Day Of Deep, Therapeutic Massage,
Every Day, for Many Days, even Weeks, on End?
Every Knot … Every Tight Spot …
Every wire or cord of muscle … would be released from the Bonds of Tension. Bonds that might be holding YOUR body back from the things you want it to do.
Now, YOU are probably NOT up for being a Shaolin Monk,
or anything like them. BUT ,,,
WHAT Would That FEEL Like?
The monks muscles were restored, as much as possible, to a totally neutral, deeply relaxed state, almost to the state of their youngest years. Thus, allowing them to build their strength, endurance, cardiovascular, coordination, and psycho-physical skills to their maximum effecticiency,* on a Clean Slate, on a solid yet fluid foundation, with the least amount of resistance, stress, tension and strain as possible in their musculo-fascial system.
* Effecticiency: Effective plus Efficient, because they should come together!
And whenever they did contract or tighten their muscles to accomplish a task or movement or full out action, they could, when they were done or finished with that action or task, instantly return to the fully relaxed state … AT WILL.
Even the Great Martial Arts Master, Bruce Lee, said muscle training was mostly about training the NERVES controlling the muscles. … Many great martial artists and athletes will tell you half of every action must be a relaxation, a DE-contraction of the involved muscles.
If not, the difference between the contraction and only a partial relaxation will accumulate, making the muscles tighter all the time.
Eventually, the muscle cells become so chroniclly contracted their effecticiency of action will go WAY down.
By the way … Please Ask Yourself … WHEN does the heart muscle rest?
This is a part of the foundation of what has made the Shaolin Monks, and others, into Magnificent Fighting Machines. They have little or NO internal resistance to movement & action. Their muscles and fascia move freely with full power and coordination and minimal, if any, internal resistance.
It was (probably still is) a process giving them the neuromuscular & myofascial preparations & foundation necessary to become True Masters of their living, fighting & meditational arts. … Masters of their BodyMind.
By the Way … There are a lot of important Myth-Conceptions about the differences between muscle cells and fascia. If this catches your attention, PLEASE SEE this Article:
Whatever Ever Happened to the MYO in Myofascial Release?
And if you’ve ever watched any Shaolin Monks in full fighting form in martial arts competitions (which you can on YouTube), you’ll know they probably have elegant anti-aging down pretty well!
An important point is that most of the new monks were relatively young. So you’d think they wouldn’t have so much tension to let go of. Yet, in my practice, I’ve worked with children as young as two years old (!!!) who ALREADY had VERY tight muscles. …
I was kind of shocked when I first experienced a two year old with super tight muscles! I’ve often wondered how she would be feeling and functioning when she was 20 years old? (I only worked with her a few times for very short periods of time.)
But NO, you are NOT, most likely, going to have to go through all that monk-like UN-training to get the results you’re looking for. (Well, you’ll want to do at least SOME of it, but we must be realistic here!) But the above story makes an important point about the NEED for Deep, Radical Relaxation.
What’s Unique & Different About
Our Focus of Therapy is NOT primarily on “fixing” your pain or dysfunction, or all the various “Soft Tissue Issues“ happening in your body, causing so much trouble. Those positive results are, in many cases, inevitable BY-PRODUCTS of what we REALLY do …
While we WILL address specific musculoskeletal issues if you prefer, HERE is what we are REALLY focused on …
Ideally, when we work with your muscles and fascia, or the skin over your muscles, we are NOT primarily focused on “treating” those tissues to “fix” or “repair” or “adjust” them, or “break up” so-called adhesions or “scar tissue” or other such alleged anomalies. … even if there are “hard knots” or otherwise dysfunctional musculo-fascial tissues.
What we ARE doing is applying manual pressure or stretching to the various skin, muscle & fascial tissues and joints in a way that sends NERVE SIGNALS from your Body into your Central Nervous System ( CNS ) and up to the three Primary Levels of you Brain.
It just so happens that most of the time, the musculo-fascia with Hard Knots are where the MOST neurological stresses and imbalances are focalized. Because they are often hyper-sensitive, they are often the best places from which to “send signals” to the central nervous system ( CNS ) and brain.
Of Course, you might know of our NO Pain, MORE Gain approach, in which you, the Client or Patient, should never be experiencing pain from your therapy. Our interactive approach works best if you keep in communication with your therapist, never letting them go too deep.
It’s Easier to Open the Door before You Walk through it, and You Can’t Peel an Onion from the Inside Out. … In your Muscles, each layer of muscle is like a doorway to the Next Layer. …
And your muscles have HUNDREDS of “layers” stacked on top of each other.
~ David Scott Lynn
Modern Medical & Neurological Science PROVES that if the “right messages” are sent to the CNS & Brain, and no “intrusions” are perceived, your stress & tension levels will spontaneously begin to reduce.
AND your Parasympathetic Nerve system will initiate internal, physiological healing processes that spontaneously heal MANY symptoms and conditions.
Even the immune system is positively responsive to this process.
AND, the Right “Neuro-Messages” will begin reducing the accumulated stress, tension & negative habit patterns interfering with life itself.
In turn, many tissue issues just spontaneously begin clearing up WITHOUT necessarily focusing on them.
Whole Body, Systemic, Myo-Structural
DE-Compression & Balancing
Ideally, rather than focusing on specific, localized, narrowly focused trauma or injury, we START with a systemic, wholistic, Whole Body DE-Compression & Structural Balancing of the major muscle groups of your body.
In many cases, that can take one or two dozen sessions. … If a person has a lot of stress, trauma or injury in their past, it can take much longer.
Yet more often than not, when using this more global approach to therapy, many, if not most, of your more localized problems begin to resolve or dissolve, almost on their own.
Then, with overall systemic, internal “pressure” in the hard knots releasing, the more localized problems are, in the long run, FAR easier to work with and resolve, if they are still there at all.
What About Those FAST RESULTS I’ve Heard About?
To Be Fully Transparent … while we have MANY examples of amazingly quick results, they are maybe ten or fifteen percent of our Clients.
For example, I have, literally, met people in hotel restaurant bars, found out they were contemplating or scheduled for a surgery. Twenty minutes later (variable time, of course), working on them right at the bar of the restaurant, they quickly became convinced they did NOT need the surgery because I was able to release the musculo-fascial tensions producing the symptoms of pain or reduced range-of-motion or whatever was bothering them.
One guy at the Hyatt Hotel in Downtown Boston went from almost NO range-of-motion to almost FULL range-of-motion in maybe 20 minutes. He was waving his arm around very enthusiastically when I was done! … (I have more than a few stories like that!)
In such cases, finding the hard knots gives you access to the most neurologically stressed muscles, providing a lot of relief in a short period of time.
Yet because MOST of our Clients have been in pain or 20 or 30 years, or were in multiple traumas such as car, skiing, horse, or motorcycle accidents, or have severe but less obvious issues, and have “tried everything” to get better … those people often take a LOT longer to get better. Sometimes a LOT longer.
[Here is a video on “how much time” it takes.]
If You Are Interested In Learning about Muscles at a Higher & Deeper Level, I have an upcoming Masterclass on Muscles available for You.
Whether you are an interested layperson, a health practitioner, a massage / bodywork therapist, a yoga teacher / therapist, or physician, you will learn a LOT about how your muscles really work, how they break down, and how to heal & repair them.
AND RIGHT NOW, it is a Pilot Program, so the price is at last half what it will be in the near future.
If Interested, PLEASE CLICK HERE:
Pain Relief School of Hard Knots (Tight Muscles)
On Maturing, Aging and Getting *OLD*
MATURING: Development & Improvement of the Whole Self Over Time
AGING: Changes Occurring from Chronological Passage of Time
GETTING OLD: BREAKING DOWN of Our Systems Over Time
Most people would gladly accept maturing IF . . .
they did not have to “Age” or “Get Old”!
SIX PRIMARY KEYS to Elegant Anti-Aging:
- Proper & Sufficient Nutrient Input (air, water, food, supplements)
- Reduced neuromuscular tension increases circulation of blood, bringing warmth & nutrients to all parts of the body.
- Continual Detoxification of Internally & Externally Generated Waste Products and Foreign Matter (such as lymphatic detoxification)
- BIG Reduction of Chronic, Excess Muscle & Nerve Tension & Stress (C.E.M.&.N.T.): Physical/Mental Stress, Tension, Trauma, Injury & Counter-Productive Habit Patterns
- Increase neuro-muscular / myo-fascial Response-Ability to prevent, as much as possible, accidents and trauma that might otherwise be avoided or minimized impact. (This is about Resiliency.)
- Full Hydration of Muscle Tissues contributes to functional strength and metabolic efficiency.
Why Tension (+ Toxicity) = Old Age
Maturing versus Aging
Aging, as we commonly think about or experience it, is not inherent, we allow it to happen, even if NOT consciously or intentionally.
It is the accumulation of various conditionings throughout life that we fail to take account of, and don’t perform the correct actions for reversing it’s otherwise inevitable affects and effects. …
It’s like the DEFAULT result of never changing the oil in your car.
Conditioning … the process of the body-mind storing various inputs and stimuli — usually repetitive, or of high impact — such that those inputs become integrated into the body / mind as memory. These become more-or-less habitual behavior triggered automatically to move, act, process, or otherwise interact with current events or stimuli occurring internally or externally in a particular moment.
Much of conditioning is stored as Neuro-Musculo-Fascial Tension. (It’s not “muscle memory.” It is neuro-musculo-fascial memory.
Conditioning… can be positive or negative. Conditioning is how you “know” your name, how you learn various skills (even as simple as walking). Yet it is also how you remember your stress, tension & pain.
It is TRUE, unexpected stress, injury and trauma can happen to anyone. Car accidents, falling down stairs, and so on.
As the Biblical saying goes …
“Time & Chance happens to us ALL.”
While much can often be done in such cases, such “events” can accelerate aging considerably. And not every trauma or injury can be fully reversed.
Yet most of us, when we speak of aging, are focused more on the slow, gradual breakdowns of body and mind than we are on accidents air injuries. I am here making a distinction between maturing with the passage of time and the breakdowns that appear on the surface to be inevitable with the passage of time.
Yet my former partner, Linda, liked to tell the story of a Client who went to a doctor complaining of a pain in one of her arms. The doctor said she was “just getting old.” But the Client replied, “my other arm is the same age, and it’s doing fine.” Obviously, there was some other factor than just the passage of time.
Maturing, with an intent of “elegant anti-aging,” implies getting wiser and more competent as time passes. Maturing implies that we become better able to handle the problems and challenges of life, and usually in a more graceful and intelligent way.
We might lose some muscular strength along the way, but there are many examples of people who even maintain much or all of their strength till very late in their years.
I believe much, if not most, of lost strength is the result of dehydration of the muscle cells. (That assumes no real injury to the muscle cells and fascia.)
Yet much of muscle cell dehydration comes from excess muscle tension. And most of this website is geared toward Radical Relaxation of Muscles & Fascia, in part so water can move back into the muscle cells, where it is supposed to be.
(There’s that Relaxed Kitty again!)
Medical Research has also shown that when water moves from inside cellular (inter-stitial) spaces to outside cellular (extra-stitial) spaces, pain develops.
SO, keeping chronic tensions in muscles DOWN should PREVENT migration (osmosis) of water OUT of muscle cells. The water should stay IN the muscle cells, where they belong.
Anyway, most people, I suspect, would be perfectly okay with Maturing if they did not have to “Age” or “Get Old”!!!
Aging, as I am using the term here, is the accumulation of various negative conditionings throughout life leading to breakdown of various types of soft tissues (such as nerve and muscle) and hard tissues (such as bone) and metabolic processes (organs & glands).
Much of aging happens only because we fail to take proper and/or full account of it, and don’t take proper action against it. We allow it to happen… by default.
This is especially true of people who “exercise” all the time for “strength,” endurance and cardiovascular health. Yet they do not do the necessary “stretching” or yoga to keep their tension levels down and their flexibility / resilience levels UP.
Even with NO injuries or traumas, THEY can have JUST as much trouble, or more, as those who NEVER exercise!
Ironically, many of my MOST FIT Client’s have FAR more trouble with their muscles than those who’ve never exercised a day in their lives. That’s because “exercise” tends to chronically contract muscles, causing them to over-shorten.
Over-shortened muscles cause MANY problems.
Stress, Injury, & Trauma
There are, of course, exceptions. People are exposed to external influences that speed the aging process, sometimes quite rapidly, and sometimes there is little or nothing we can do about it. Trauma from car accidents, gun shot wounds, severe falls, radiation or chemical poisoning, ripping a muscle in exercise or athletics, and so on, can damage tissue that accelerates the aging process.
Sometimes, there is little we can do to fully reverse or normalize the damage. And of course, there are those who have an unfortunate genetic predisposition or congenital disease that shortens their life dramatically, or makes it painful or very uncomfortable.
So I am not saying that ALL factors that cause the body and/or mind to breakdown are due to neglect of things we could have handled had we done the right things.
However … MUCH of what we call “aging” could be avoided if we were to take basic measures such as TRS (Tension Reduction Strategies) like proper stretching, relaxation and various kinds of meditative processes. Or proper diet and detoxification, having better, more intimate relationships, being in touch with a higher purpose, having more fun in general, and so on.
Factors Contributing to the Aging Process
Aside from these external accidents and unfortunate events of life, many factors contribute to Aging — nutritional deficiencies, toxic overloads, excess muscle tension, etc. Some we can do something about, some not. The point is that many of the modern chronic degenerative diseases, in many people, can be reversed, eliminated or prevented if we just do the “right things.” So much of it does not “just happen” to us, we ALLOW it to happen.
I do not mean that this is intentional. Most of us have never been educated in these things, and have no idea what to do, or not do, or that anything can be done. But it is very clear that so much of this Aging Thing is not inevitable.
How Tension + Deficiency / Toxicity = Old Age
We’ll be looking at a case of how muscle tension interacts with metabolic toxicity, how toxicity relates to muscle tension, and how to think about covering all your bases. And we’ll look at how dehydration is affected by excess muscle tension. …
[Don the Polo Player Story]
It’s way too easy to discover one modality that positively affects one aspect of a problem, have the pain go away, and think everything is all better. Maybe yes, maybe no. But there is often more to it.
I’m not going to talk a lot about toxicity here, because the primary focus of the DSL Method of Yoga & Bodywork is Excess Muscle Tension. There are many sources out there about nutrition, metabolism and detoxification.
(You can see my comments on such metabolic topics HERE)
Because Muscle Tension is my Primary Specialty, and so little is out there on this topic, I felt it best to focus on that.
But we’ll need to address it a bit and here’s why:
You need to get a handle on the Big Picture, to have a better idea of all the possibilities and how to think about them as you go through life.
I do not want you to think that I think muscle tension is THE primary cause of everything. Yet muscle tension causes a LOT of problems, far more than most people realize, including physicians. Therefore I want to give you a wider scope so you can explore other avenues along with the possibility that muscle tension is, or is a part of, your problems.
A Wholistic View of Elegant Anti-Aging:
Tension, Deficiency & Toxicity
The Bottom Line is that I personally believe that the vast majority of human degenerative diseases, symptoms, syndromes, etc., are caused by either excess muscle tension, or by nutritional deficiencies (including the air [oxygen] you breath), or by toxicity, or some combination of the three.
If you want to maximize your time on earth, and maximize the Quality of Your Life, you must, over the course of your life, be vigilant to make sure that these factors do not become your Primary Problem.
Elegant Anti-Aging means you must learn to look at the whole picture, taking as many factors as possible into account, and acting on what you see and/or feel.
MUCH More Information on this topic is included in the BodyMind BreakDowns e-Book & e-Course.
For More Insights into — and Clearing up Many Myth-Conceptions about — the Psycho-Neuro-Musculo-Fascial & Joint System …
Please Visit the Web Page On …
Elegant Anti-Aging — Injury Prevention —
How Muscles & Fascia Work — as well as …
How they Break Down — and How YOU Can HEAL & Revitalize Muscles & Fascia that are not working too well.
PLEASE CLICK HERE for the Pain Relief School of Hard Knots – 5 Lessons
Thanks for Reading & Take Care,
David Scott Lynn
DSL: Your Hi-Touch Up-Link to the Inner-Net*
(*The Inner-Net is the Psycho-Neuro-Musculo-Fascial system of the human body)