Saturday, November 12, 2011

How Does Stress Affect My Body and Quality of Life?

"The issues are in the tissues" is an expression I heard long ago. It is only with the current research and partnering with client's for their Corrective Exercise programs and behavioral Wellness Coaching for positive lifestyle change that I now fully understand what this expression means.
Thomas Hanna, PhD, who created Hanna Somatic Education, taught that the neuromuscular system has two basic responses to stress. He called these responses the "red-light reflex" and the "green-light reflex." The red-light reflex, also known as the startle response, is the sustained adaptation of the neuromuscular system to negative stress. For example, if you feel threatened, your body draws inward to protect itself from the stressor. You tighten your abdominals, round your shoulders forward, clench your jaw, narrow your eyes and push your head forward. It's as if you had just been punched in the stomach. The red-light reflex contracts the spinal flexors.
In contrast, the green-light reflex contracts the spinal extensors. It is responsible for readying the body and preparing it for action. An example would be a soldier standing as tall as possible, ready to respond to a challenge.
It is important to be aware of these instinctual responses as they create pain and dysfunction in the body. It also demonstrates the need to incorporate stress reduction practices with One-to-One Wellness Coaching into a Corrective Exercise program for clients.
Please remember, stress is not just an adult experience - children experience it as well. They, too, are candidates for One-to-One programming and will benefit greatly. The One-to-One
studio is convenient for clients living in Fort Wayne, Indiana or New Haven, Indiana and surrounding cities as well.
Begin this day with awareness of your breathing, and observing your thoughts, return your mind to your breathing. You will have taken a step toward happiness and reduced the stress in your mind, body and spirit.
Be well!

Thank you to Justin Price of the BioMechanics in San Diego, California for his description of Thomas Hanna's work which appeared in the January 2008 IDEA Fitness Journal.

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