Blog of the Week: Don’t Relax! A new solution for tension

Originally posted by Heather Stegmaier on October 9, 2013 at

Heather Stegmaier, Alexander Technique TeacherRelaxing has become a favorite pastime in our culture. We’re so busy and stressed that we have to schedule time to actively relax (an oxymoron, right?). With all these things we need to relax about, relaxation gets added to the to-do list: from massages to spas to yoga retreats there are many opportunities to escape from the rushed world we live in.

When dealing with specific muscle tension the word relax is tossed around frequently. Stiff shoulders? Relax! Tight neck? Relax!

In this sense, relaxing is thought of as the opposite of tension. For example, if your shoulders are tensed up towards your ears, then you must relax them down. This turns relaxing into an activity. If tension is pulling your shoulders up, how can relaxing (i.e. pulling them down) be any better? It’s swapping out one form of tension for another.

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