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How To Relax Abdominal Muscles Tensed Up By Stress?

BearWithMe

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May 19, 2017
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1,843
Every time I get stressed, my upper abdominal muscles tenses up and it is painful and wreaking havoc on my digestion. I'm working on reducing the stress and also on healthy coping mechanisms (meditation etc.), but I have mixed results so far. Is there anything that might help the muscles to relax / loosen up?
 

Anders86

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Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
355
Lower serotonin so you have less gut inflammation and increase Co2 so your abdominal muscles relax.
 

berk

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Dec 28, 2019
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326
i had some extreme upper abdominal muscles cramps couple years ago.
The pain was very cruel, I tough i was dying.
long story short, i was taking way to little sodium..
 

Aspekt

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Feb 4, 2014
Messages
111
Look into Trauma Release Exercises (TRE), that'll dig through the tension, particularly in the psoas which is a key driver in the stress -> tense gut -> ineffective digestion -> stress loop as it carries a lot of nerve activity from the hips to the spine. It's truly a remarkable feeling using these methods.

I think the holding pattern is tied to the freeze response in polyvagal theory, which TRE can help to release. Otherwise, mysofascial massage on the gut, and general stretching/use of a foam roller or a device like Pso-rite.

A physical intervention is ultimately going to shift things the most, nutrition and avoidance of irritants is helpful but if you've got unhelpful compensating muscular patterns, those patterns have to be reset, not just supported internally. That said, high dose epsom salt baths a few times a week can be really effective for some people.


Short video touching on trauma, tension and polyvagal theory from Stephen Porges


Good brief introduction to TRE by the creator, David Berceli


Video tutorial for TRE I use sometimes
 
Last edited:

BearWithMe

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1) belly breathing for years every moment you can
2) magnesium
Magnesium is one of the few things that gave me some relief so far. My breathing is extremely shallow / only to the upper chest by default. Need to work on that and force myself to belly breath everytime I remember. Just have set a few daily reminders on my phone, thank you!

Lower serotonin so you have less gut inflammation and increase Co2 so your abdominal muscles relax.
I suspect gut inflammation / irritation / serotonin plays huge role in my problem, but I'm not sure what to do about it, since my diet is already pretty clean / peaty / irritant free and I don't do well on serotonin lowering drugs.

Look into Trauma Release Exercises (TRE), that'll dig through the tension, particularly in the psoas which is a key driver in the stress -> tense gut -> ineffective digestion -> stress loop as it carries a lot of nerve activity from the hips to the spine. It's truly a remarkable feeling using these methods.

I think the holding pattern is tied to the freeze response in polyvagal theory, which TRE can help to release. Otherwise, mysofascial massage on the gut, and general stretching/use of a foam roller or a device like Pso-rite.

A physical intervention is ultimately going to shift things the most, nutrition and avoidance of irritants is helpful but if you've got unhelpful compensating muscular patterns, those patterns have to be reset, not just supported internally. That said, high dose epsom salt baths a few times a week can be really effective for some people.


Short video touching on trauma, tension and polyvagal theory from Stephen Porges


Good brief introduction to TRE by the creator, David Berceli


Video tutorial for TRE I use sometimes

Everything you said in your post aligns very much with my experience. Yes, it feels like negative feedback loop that's very hard to break and yes, nutrition and avoidance of irritants helped a bit but didn't relived my symptoms. One thing that always helps me is long walk, and long sitting makes things much, much worse. Your videos might explain why (unhealthy tension in psoas muscles when sitting and relaxation of these muscles with healthy movement). Today I have tried a some exercises from your last video and I'm going to do the exercises regularly, thank you for your post, this is much appreciated!
 
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1,153
Magnesium oil.

Gut problems cause a lot of tension and muscular contractions for me.

Cascara Sagrada tea made of 200-300 mg of Cascara powder.
 

biffbelvin

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Jul 3, 2017
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154
I have the same issue and will be looking at Aspekt's videos in greater detail later tonight.

One thing that's helped me is frequent breaks of 5 minutes every hour. This is literally what is recommend by most H&S organisations but few people (especially in my office) follow through with it.

Doing the founder on a daily basis has done more to improve neck/back/shoulder pain for me than any other exercise. It's easy to pop into the bathroom at work and do for a couple of minutes too.
 

BearWithMe

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I have the same issue and will be looking at Aspekt's videos in greater detail later tonight.

One thing that's helped me is frequent breaks of 5 minutes every hour. This is literally what is recommend by most H&S organisations but few people (especially in my office) follow through with it.

Doing the founder on a daily basis has done more to improve neck/back/shoulder pain for me than any other exercise. It's easy to pop into the bathroom at work and do for a couple of minutes too.
Interesting! Do you also have poor digestion / nausea because of the muscle tension?
 

Anders86

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Feb 7, 2017
Messages
355
@Anders86 what is your best best technic to do this? If I may ask

Fun, Easy Way To Quickly And Drastically Increase CO2
I`m testing this out and really enjoy it atm. Combining it with breath holding is nice, thinking of buying some bags and do the bagbreathing thing.

Progesterone, T3, Niacinamide, Aspirin, MCT keeps CO2 and temperature up, and you know that a warm body is a relaxed body.

I would not be surprised if a tense belly is compromised by lactic acid making gut issues dominate and poisoning mitochondria.
Best way to replace lactic acid is CO2.

Cyproheptadine and/or other anti-serotoninergics to control serotonin.
 

Ben.

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Oct 6, 2020
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Just reposting this here. Maybe it helps. I've the very same issues, realy painful at times. Doing the gut smashing realy realy helps but it requires some induring pain, afterwards the breathing is way better and the stomache feels like its releasing/moving stuff. Depends on how f'ed up the muscles/fascia in the area are.

I wonder why they are like that in the first place. Because it's not just everyday for me. So there is something actively causing it. Stress alone seems like a scapegoat for me as an explanation (especially if one is already doing alot of meditation/breathwork,lymph massages etc.)


  • Calm breath and having thoughts of gratitude before eating
  • gut smashing or
  • massaging the lower back side of the head and/or the area behind the ear
  • heat bottle and stomache massages
  • Breathwork (the kind that is calming [like a baby would when it sleeps], not stressing)
Below i explain where i got this from:

Laura Poe explains in an awsome video on youtube by the title Beyond Probiotics at the 28:30 minute mark to take a calm breath and be grateful or use thoughts of gratitude to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and get into the "Rest and Digest" mode. I get an amazing reactions from this, the same i would when doing calming breathwork. She's apparantly a big fan of herbs, bitters and such for stimulation and asghwanda for "calming" the stomache down.

Breathing is imo one of the best ways to get your vagus nerve and w/e else is accompanying it to activate. I think that's also the reason why Wim Hof is so succesful in the first place. Laird Hamilton explains this fairly well in a Joe Rogan Interview. Steve Maxwell explains it on an London Real interview on youtube fairly well too. There are many breathing excersices, but i guess with all things one should find what works best for him/herself. For me its a slow breath in and a slow, but slightly faster breath out that works wonders (imagine how a baby breaths while sleeping).


Shawn Stevenson recommends in his book "Sleep Smarter" to do "gut smashing" right before bed (doesn't have to be right before bed ... but perhaps you shouldn't do it right after eating a big meal).
"What we have you do is literally lay on a softball or lay on a princess ball you get at CVS or Walgreens, you know the balls that are there? They are about $3. If you spend ten minutes, five to ten minutes, ungluing your abdominal musculature just rolling back and forth, stopping when it hurts, contract relaxing, just breathing into that ball, ungluing your diaphragm, ungluing the mess that is the inability of your abdominal tissues to slide over one another and this will work. It is very safe. You will not pop a kidney. That’s not how it works. But it does trick your parasympathetic nervous system into turning on and it is one of the ways we are able to get people to down regulate."


In the Book "Neuronale Heilung" (its german - not sure if there is a english version) they give an insane amount of vagus nerve stimulation excercises for various issues. Basicly stimulating our parasympathetic nervous system to help with various health issues.
For digestive issues they say that any "comfortable pressure" and "warmth" to the stomache should be used as a solid basis while adding vagus nerve stimulating excerscise like breathing excersices or tongue excersices/rotation or ear/lower backside of the head massages. I'd like to take pictures but i think that would be problematic with copyright.
 

hierundjetzt

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Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
114
Just reposting this here. Maybe it helps. I've the very same issues, realy painful at times. Doing the gut smashing realy realy helps but it requires some induring pain, afterwards the breathing is way better and the stomache feels like its releasing/moving stuff. Depends on how f'ed up the muscles/fascia in the area are.

I wonder why they are like that in the first place. Because it's not just everyday for me. So there is something actively causing it. Stress alone seems like a scapegoat for me as an explanation (especially if one is already doing alot of meditation/breathwork,lymph massages etc.)
O danke! Was ist dieses princess balla? Eine Art Schaumball?
Ich werd mal dieses Buch Neuronale Heilung unter die Lupe nehmen. Danke :):
 

hierundjetzt

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
114
Just reposting this here. Maybe it helps. I've the very same issues, realy painful at times. Doing the gut smashing realy realy helps but it requires some induring pain, afterwards the breathing is way better and the stomache feels like its releasing/moving stuff. Depends on how f'ed up the muscles/fascia in the area are.

I wonder why they are like that in the first place. Because it's not just everyday for me. So there is something actively causing it. Stress alone seems like a scapegoat for me as an explanation (especially if one is already doing alot of meditation/breathwork,lymph massages etc.)
Es gibt 2 Bücher mit dem Titel Neuronale Heilung...wer ist der Autor? Danke nochmals
 

Ben.

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Joined
Oct 6, 2020
Messages
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Location
Austria
O danke! Was ist dieses princess balla? Eine Art Schaumball?
Ich werd mal dieses Buch Neuronale Heilung unter die Lupe nehmen. Danke :):


Der Softball wäre ein Ball wie er beim Baseball verwendet wird. Princess ball konnt ich auch nicht rausfinden was das sein soll. Würde das aber nicht zu genau nehmen. Man kann auch einen tennisball, lacrosse ball oder massageball nehmen. Der große Unterschied ist nur die Härte/wiederstand. Das würde ich nach eigene Bedürfnisse wählen. Tennisball ist meist eine guter Einstieg für Triggerpoint oder ähnlichen massagen. Nach gewöhnung würd ich aber auf einen härteren Ball umsteigen. Hab gut smashing mit einem Blackroll masageball gemacht ... das waren schmerzen. Keine Ahnung wie der Bauch so im arsch sein kann, an anderen tagen tut es überhaupt gar nichts. Ganz komisch. Oder es ist die Atemmuskulatur ... die hängen/gehören ja zusammen... probier eine schmerzliche Stelle zu finden (nicht zu tief in der nähe er Hüftgelenke, eher oben unterm Sternum/obere bauchmuskulatur) Lehn dich soweit "angenehm/aushaltbar" rein/rauf und atme so gut es geht bnd versuch dich mental zu entspannen.

Es gibt 2 Bücher mit dem Titel Neuronale Heilung...wer ist der Autor? Danke nochmals


Das Buch Neuronale Heilung würd ich dir gern ausleihen, ich verwende es wenig bis kaum. Es ist auch recht schwierig weil es sehr ... umfangreich ist.

Edit: Neuronale Heilung von Lars Lienhard - das andere kenn ich nicht. Vielleicht ist das auch gut?

-----------------

Just german talk about which ball to use for gut smashing. Use a tennisball for a start, progress to a harder ball over time. Great for triggerpoint work and gut smashing.
 

hierundjetzt

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Feb 27, 2020
Messages
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Der Softball wäre ein Ball wie er beim Baseball verwendet wird. Princess ball konnt ich auch nicht rausfinden was das sein soll. Würde das aber nicht zu genau nehmen. Man kann auch einen tennisball, lacrosse ball oder massageball nehmen. Der große Unterschied ist nur die Härte/wiederstand. Das würde ich nach eigene Bedürfnisse wählen. Tennisball ist meist eine guter Einstieg für Triggerpoint oder ähnlichen massagen. Nach gewöhnung würd ich aber auf einen härteren Ball umsteigen. Hab gut smashing mit einem Blackroll masageball gemacht ... das waren schmerzen. Keine Ahnung wie der Bauch so im arsch sein kann, an anderen tagen tut es überhaupt gar nichts. Ganz komisch. Oder es ist die Atemmuskulatur ... die hängen/gehören ja zusammen... probier eine schmerzliche Stelle zu finden (nicht zu tief in der nähe er Hüftgelenke, eher oben unterm Sternum/obere bauchmuskulatur) Lehn dich soweit "angenehm/aushaltbar" rein/rauf und atme so gut es geht bnd versuch dich mental zu entspannen.




Das Buch Neuronale Heilung würd ich dir gern ausleihen, ich verwende es wenig bis kaum. Es ist auch recht schwierig weil es sehr ... umfangreich ist.

Edit: Neuronale Heilung von Lars Lienhard - das andere kenn ich nicht. Vielleicht ist das auch gut?

-----------------

Just german talk about which ball to use for gut smashing. Use a tennisball for a start, progress to a harder ball over time. Great for triggerpoint work and gut smashing.
Thanks Ben, danke!
 

Motif

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Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
2,757
Every time I get stressed, my upper abdominal muscles tenses up and it is painful and wreaking havoc on my digestion. I'm working on reducing the stress and also on healthy coping mechanisms (meditation etc.), but I have mixed results so far. Is there anything that might help the muscles to relax / loosen up?
What helped you the most for this issue ?
 

BearWithMe

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What helped you the most for this issue ?
1) Getting rid of as many life stressors as possible
2) Wrorking on my mental resilience and confidence

You do the first by changing lifestyle, leaving bad job, leaving annoying spouse, avoiding toxic people (especially toxic family members), bulding huge financial reserve, remving financial burdens, avoiding news and TV, moving to better place...

It is very hard to verbally describe the mental process behind the second, but embracing a lot of pain and gaining a lot of experience in some field really helps
 

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