Sunday, December 30, 2007

Muscle tonus in Somatic Body Mind Spirit Integration

Over the years, I have seen how stretching complements the massage and bodywork I offer to clients and receive myself. The effects on the muscles and connective tissues are dramatic. I know my own posture has improved, and I feel more graceful as I move through space. Thanks to the yoga asanas, which mean “steady pose,” I know I’m more flexible.

But flexibility represents much more than just stretching the muscles or connective tissues. Flexibility may sound superficial (“Does it really matter if I can’t touch my toes?”), but being limber actually retards aging. An article in a recent Yoga Journal explained that

Even if you’re active, your body will dehydrate and stiffen with age. By the time you become an adult, your tissues have lost about 15 percent of their moisture content, becoming less supple and more prone to injury. This normal aging of tissue is distressingly similar to the process that turns animal hides into leather. Unless we stretch, we dry up and tan.

Good stretching affects three different parts of our bodies: the nerves, the muscle fibers and the connective tissues. The muscles must be able to fully stretch, to contract and to rest. These seemingly simple tasks allow us to stand upright, to move, to work, and to play. Returning to full rest after a movement reflects muscle tone or tonus. To achieve tone, muscles rely on the feedback system of our nerves and their own natural elasticity. Accidental injuries, bone fractures or surgery interfere with the interplay of the nerves and tone of the muscles.

Alan Davidson is the author of the free report "Body

Breakthroughs for Life Breakthroughs: How to Peak Your

Physical, Emotional, Mental, Moral, and Spiritual IQs for a

Sensational Life" available at

Alan's also the author of Body Brilliance: Mastering Your

Five Vital Intelligences, the #1 Health and Wellness book

and Winner of Two 2007 Book-of-the-Year Awards.

Watch the Body Brilliance Movie

Dedicated to our healthy, happy, and prosperous world through the full enlightenment of every human being.

Through Your Body

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Houston, TX 77019


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