Tension Creep

For the past couple of weeks, I have noticed a massive increase of tension held in my body. For example, I feel a lot of tension in my shoulders and lower back.  I guess the strain of being a computer worker is finally starting to take its toll on me.

More recently, I have been feeling some nerve like tension/pain in my right elbow. My right hand is my “mouse hand”, so I am assuming there is some relation there.  I try to be ergonomically correct in my posture, but something just isn’t right.  I’m getting more and more of these weird nerve-like pains in my body. I’m still pretty young, yet my wife makes fun of me calling me an “old man” due to all my pains and cracking joints.

What’s different in my routine? Since the workshop in March, I have cut back dramatically on doing my evening zhan zhuang sessions.  At first, it was because I was tired and sore from the workshop, but over time, I just became tired and chose to do other things with my time.  Additionally, some of my training emphasis has shifted and I’m not as relaxed (mentally and physically) as I used to be.

Last night, I went back to my old routine of doing sitting meditation and then some standing zhan zhuang while listening to my Liquid Mind channel on Pandora.  After the 30 min session, I felt great!  One of the craziest thing was during the universal post posture, I felt a surge of tingling in my right elbow.  The surge was like a weird alternating current of pain and openness. I am assuming it’s just my energy trying to break through some of the blockage.  The same was true for the tension in my shoulders, I could feel something tingling in those main tension spots.

After the zhan zhuang, I did the first 5 or so movements of the Yang long form as slowly as I could muster. While doing the form, my goal was to be effortless, move without tension.

Over time, I am realizing the benefits of relaxation. I know, this sounds completely strange and should be obvious, but how many of us can truly say we are relaxed?  When I was younger, I did not really value the benefit of relaxation, but as I grow older with more things weighing on my mind and body, I can feel the benefits.  After all, isn’t the goal of martial arts to maximize one’s energy? How can this be done with a weak body?

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About wujimon

taiji, meditation and health
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5 Responses to Tension Creep

  1. Bai Yiming says:

    If I remember correctly, you have said before that Yang TJ is more relaxing for you, also enjoying sitting and standing meditation.
    Could there be something wrong with the way you practice the Chen new practical method?
    Choose what suites you, nothing more important than relaxation.
    PS: A friend of mine, a PC nerd (lol) like you put the mouse on the left after his ellbow was ruined. Shouldn’t be much of a problem for you to set it up. Really strange, but it gave him much needed relief.

  2. wujimon says:

    Hi Bai.

    I think my problem with the new Chen Practical Method is that it’s a new system to me and anything new will be uncomfortable at first. I believe my mind is trying to process too many things at one time and this causes a lot of tension, both physically and mentally.

    Since I’ve been working on the Yang TJQ for a long time, the sequence and movements are not new and I can really focus on relaxation instead of choreography. Like anything new, overtime I feel I will be more comfortable and therefore able to relax easier 🙂

    Thx for the idea of switching mouse to left side. I may definitely give that a try!

  3. Michele says:

    You make an excellent point about the benefits of relaxation. March was a busy, stressful month for me also. I have gotten out of my routine and missed a few sessions at the gym. I am learning the Yang long form. I am still focused on learning the pattern and the individual movements. Perhaps someday I will be able to focus on the relaxation.

  4. Mike Ferruggia says:

    Hello old man! Join the club. Actually, it’s good study to realize there’s something not quite right and then trying to figure it out. Off and on, and currently on, I’ve had issues with my lower back. I’ve always related it to life tensions and situations, and with a mix of stretching, babying, hot water, and, dissolving meditation, I keep it under control. I’ve had to back off any “flower twisting” chi kung in my sets, where you bend and twist around. But, dissolving during seated meditation helps to relax. The mind and body are one, they do work together, so if you can dissolve the blockage, then the blockage will dissolve. Peace.

  5. wujimon says:

    Hi Mike. I have never formally trained any type of “dissolving” meditation, but it sounds a lot like what I do anyways, that is focusing on melting the tension away 😉

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