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Stretching can have different forms. From a little stretching before doing sports, to a lesser form of soft intuitive stretching movements after waking, up until almost unnatural movements as used by top athletes, dancers or yogis.
You can do stretching for many reasons and apart from very simple methods there are by now highly developed systems which e.g. unite stretching positions with muscle strengthening. An example would be the so called PNF stretches (proprioceptive neuromuscular faciliation) which are especially used in rehabilitation. Like so often the question appears which result you wish to get. Only then you can choose an expedient system or a suitable method. In the area of health optimization you rightfully opt for stretches which are carried out slowly and gently. Special attention lies with the position of the rest of the body to treat the respective muscle or joint as isolated from it as possible, in order to avoid out-of-position induced injuries in the body.
But what does stretching do to begin with?
Basically the muscles are put into an elongated position in which they normally would not be in everyday use. The movability of a muscle is, aside from injuries, primarily limited by two factors: consciousness and the connective tissue. If you haven’t done anything for your movability over a longer timespan both fall into a kind of compensatory sleeping mode”. Your consciousness will be so busy with focussing on the daily routine that it hardly has any resources left to bring body coordination and tension into a healthy dose again. Since every thought and emotion equals a bodily reaction it contributes to forming the body. If your thoughts only centre on everyday situations and problems the aspect of “being one self” is missing out too much. This way of giving yourself space in yourself, being yourself and nothing else, is important for the awareness to also write programs of the correct use of the body. Since the body permanently changes through interaction and aging, an adaption of body use is necessary too. If this doesn’t happen it leads to a compensation where your awareness establishes functional approaches but also leads to your body losing flexibility and agility.
If the body is moved less or kept in the same position, such as sitting, for a long time, it leads to an additional structural storage of positions. The consequence is that the connective tissue, which not only keeps structures in their shape but is also a layer to prevent high friction between muscles, loses softness and elasticity as they start sticking together and loosing liquid in the process.
If you consciously stretch in a soft way, “knots” of the connecting tissue can be dissolved and your awareness is forced to deal with the respective body part in a positive way. The consequence is a re-established and increased physical and mental movability. It is even possible to use stretching as a tool to consciously work on emotional and psychological blockages and to dissolve gridlocked patterns from a very deep approach.
All in all stretching exercises offer quite a number of possibilities to wake up the spirits again and to generate more freedom and fun in your life.
Stetching can be a wonderful permanent companion when it comes to relaxing, emotionally balancing out and re-establish personal clarity. It is a feeling based on freedom of the inside which can easily be taken over into everyday life as deep calm.
With the right adaptions it is possible for almost every person to unfold by stretching and to return to a deep feeling of themselves in a positive way. Neither age nor sex, nor missing previous experiences are arguable obstacles. Your own intention to change in a positive, mental, physical, emotional and/or social way are solely decisive for your own success to come more to life with stretching. In this sense, enjoy yourself with it J
Positive consequences of stretching in short (medical simple stretches!)