How To Relax Abdominal Muscles Tensed Up By Stress?

Discussion in 'Ask For Help or Advice' started by JanP, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. JanP

    JanP Member

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    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?
     
  2. Waynish

    Waynish Member

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    1) belly breathing for years every moment you can
    2) magnesium
     
  3. Anders86

    Anders86 Member

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    Lower serotonin so you have less gut inflammation and increase Co2 so your abdominal muscles relax.
     
  4. berk

    berk Member

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    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..
     
  5. Aspekt

    Aspekt Member

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    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
     
  6. OP
    JanP

    JanP Member

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    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!

    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.

    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!
     
  7. methylenewhite

    methylenewhite Member

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    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.
     
  8. biffbelvin

    biffbelvin Member

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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.
     
  9. Adrienlcrx

    Adrienlcrx Member

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    @Anders86 what is your best best technic to do this? If I may ask
     
  10. OP
    JanP

    JanP Member

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    Interesting! Do you also have poor digestion / nausea because of the muscle tension?
     
  11. Anders86

    Anders86 Member

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    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.
     
  12. Adrienlcrx

    Adrienlcrx Member

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    Great! @Anders86
    Thanks for these tips man!
     
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