During his research, Wilhelm Reich came to the conclusion that people with emotional and psychological problems also had chronic tension in their muscles (actually in the connective tissue).
Reich thus became one of the pioneers of neuropsychology and mind-body medicine.
His further research led him to discover that the chronic tension was related to a long-term disruption of the autonomic nervous system.
Our stress response (fight and flight) is intended for an acute response, not a prolonged state.
The stress response mobilizes the entire system and is therefore also very energy consuming. Long-term stress evenly exhausts our body.
Chronic tension and the inability to “turn off” the sympathetic nervous system
Chronic tension and pain can essentially be traced back to the inability to “turn off” the sympathetic nervous system (which encourages fight and flight when threatened).
Where the sympathetic nervous system leads to tension (“tightening to action”), the para sympathetic nervous system has to do with relaxation and expansion.
You need the para sympathetic nervous system to relax but it is paradoxically also in the para sympathetic system that the freeze response is triggered when you cannot fight and flee (the influence of the dorsal vagus).
At that moment the fight and flight energy is suppressed. This is the energy that causes chronic pain and tension.
Anger, for example, is part of the fighting reflex
Anger is an emotion that provokes action. When it is suppressed, it keeps pushing against the system because it wants expression.
Thus Dr. John Sarno discovered, for example, that most back pain is related to repressed anger, even from childhood (see his book ‘Healing Back Pain’).
Not only anger, but all repressed emotions disrupt the spontaneous flow of life energy throughout the body.
For example, someone who is depressed also has a lot of suppressed emotion (often anger but also sadness or helplessness).
Such a person cannot change his (her) emotional state just by thinking positive thoughts.
The body will first have to let go of old stress
Chronic stress in the body is the cause of most physical but also many emotional and psychological problems.
More and more “external” interventions are (apparently) necessary, but they never solve the fundamental problem: the disruption of the naturally self-organizing organism due to accumulated stress (resistance).
3 free lessons in learning to relax chronic tension
If you are interested in learning to relax chronic tension in your body, there is now an online course ‘The Art of letting go’. You can start with 3 free lessons. To start the free lessons, go to https://lettinggocourse.com/#3freelessons