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Secrets of youth #11: relax

December 17th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Are these secrets? They are to some. Will they make you younger? Nope. That’s impossible. Is “secrets of youth” a catchy title? I hope so.┬áBut … I dare you to argue with me on these. Try ’em first, seriously, then argue with me.

I’ve been lucky that most of the aches and pains I’ve accumulated over the years have been reduced or eliminated through the removal of excess tension, and the adopting of more efficient movements and postures to prevent the return of that tension. It’s not perfect, but it’s kept the chiropractor away.

So. Here’s the secret:

Learn to relax your body parts.

Learn to relax your shoulders. Your arms hang from above. They won’t fall off if you relax your neck and shoulders. Relax your lower back — let your tailbone find a neutral point between forward and back, which is probably slightly more forward and lower than it is now. Do you make fists a lot? Clench your jaw? Keep your butt tight? Furrow your brow? Keep your eyebrows raised all the time? (I saw somebody doing this in a conversation — it almost gave me a headache.)

I’m not asking you to collapse into a heap on the floor. Start small, pick a part (or pair of parts) … ones that won’t make you fall down … and let them relax a bit. If relaxing one thing causes you to tense the opposite thing, try to relax them both. Go lightly — this is about investigating your body right now. Relax, check in. Relax, check in. There’s a lot more to it, but I think the first step is removing tension from your body parts.

And keep breathing. Nice ‘n’ easy. See what happens.

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