Being “stressed out” can manifest itself in a variety of ways – headaches, shoulder and neck tension, irritability, a general feeling of tiredness, an inability to sleep. The symptoms can be mild to severe, depending on the individual. If it signals from the body are not heard, if changes to the lifestyle don’t follow, this stress can even lead on to serious disease.
Of course the ultimate solution is to integrate meditation into our lives in such a way that we can deal with and dissolve tensions as they arise. But in the meantime, perhaps one the following tried and tested remedies from a variety of holistic health care practices could be the solution to your stress.
The Craniosacral Approach
First, find your inion…
The Still Point is a naturally occurring cessation of the movement of the craniosacral fluid, during which time the body relaxes, restores and enhances muscle, tissue, fluid and nerve. This Still Point can be induced by lying down with your resting on two tennis balls held together.
Push two tennis balls down into a sock and knot in tightly. If there is any tendency of the balls to separate, use the other sock as well. Then lie comfortable on a firm flat surface allowing the whole weight of your head to rest on the balls.
And this is how to place your head: first find your inion, which is the small protuberance of the occiput bone in the middle of the base of your skull where neck muscle gives way to bone; the balls are placed centrally and a little higher than your inion, where there is a slight transverse depression – you are a little above the top of your ears.
Rest your head on the balls for five to fifteen minutes, remove the balls for a further five minutes, watching throughout the changes in your body.
Feel the rhythm…
Lie or sit comfortably with your hands lightly resting on your upper legs. The rhythmic motion of the craniosacral fluid in your spinal column causes your limbs to rotate outwardly, and then inwardly, at between six to twelve such cycles per minute.
It is a very clear but subtle motion so that, on the first occasion, you may have to practice by watching your hands from some distance or by asking your “imagination” to pick up the movement. Then follow it for five minutes (alternatively, ask a craniosacral expert to guide you). Thereafter you will never forget it.
For The Eyes
With closed eyes imagine a string pulling from the back of the eye to the centre of the head. From there, another string pulls downwards. Do this for two minutes. It completely relaxes the eyes.
For PC/Laptop Users
- Every half hour or so, take your eyes off the screen and gaze out of the window at an object in the distance. This balances the long and short sight.
- Do dynamic with a blindfold.
A Five-Minute Dynamic
One minute chaotic breathing. One minute explosion. One minute HOO HOO. One minute freeze. One minute celebration.
Concentrate On A Pain In Your Body
“Some pain is there in your body. Do one thing; forget the whole body, just concentrate on the part of the body which is painful. And then a strange thing will be noted. When you concentrate on the part of the body which is painful, you see that part is shrinking. First you feel that the pain, the ache, is in your whole leg. When you concentrate, then you fell it is not in the whole leg. It was exaggerated – it is just at the knee. Concentrate more, and you will feel it is not on thw whole knee but just on a pinpoint. Concentrate more on the pinpoint; forget the whole body. Just close your eyes and go on concentrating in order to find where the pain is. It will go on shrinking; the area will become smaller and smaller. Then a moment will come when it will be just a pinpoint. Go on staring at the pinpoint, and suddenly the pinpoint will disappear and you will be filled with bliss. Instead of pain you will be filled with bliss.” – OSHO [Excerpted from: Vigyan Bhairav Tantra]
Dance, Dance, Dance!
“First you have to dance, so in dance your armor drops. First you have to shout in joy and sing, so your life becomes more vital. First you have to cathart, so all you have repressed is thrown out and your body is purified of toxins and poisons, and your psyche also is purified from repressed traumas and wounds. When this has happened and you have become able to laugh and you have become able to love, then Vipassana.” – OSHO
The Zennis Approach
- Hit a tennis ball three times as fast and as hard and as totally as possible. Put your entire being into it. This releases the energetic contraction.
- You are in a tournament. The body is heavy and the mind is distracted. Focus totally on the ball until you can see it as if it was in slow motion. Relaxation follows…
The Kinesthetic Touch
- Ask for and receive a hug.
- Breathe. Acknowledge the Buddha within.
- Think of or tell a joke. Cackle.
- Drink a glass of water.
- Get off your chair and walk around.
- Raise shoulders to ears. Count to five. Drop shoulders. Do this three times. Rotate shoulders forwards three times. Rotate shoulders backwards three times.
- Roar like a lion.
- Go out of doors.
A Mini Gibberish
Close your eyes and begin to say nonsense sounds – gibberish. For five minutes move totally in the gibberish. Allow yourself to express whatever needs to be expressed within you. Throw everything out.
Breathe – The Deepest Mantra
“The breath goes in, let it be mirrored in your being that the breath is going in. The breath goes out, let it be mirrored in your being that the breath is going out, and you will feel such tremendous silence descending on you. Of you can see the breath going in and going out, going in and going out, this is the deepest mantra that has ever been invented.
You breathe here and now. You cannot breathe tomorrow and you cannot breathe yesterday. You have to breathe this moment but you can think about tomorrow and you can think about yesterday. So the body remains in the present and the mind goes on hopping between past and future and there is a split between body and mind. The body goes in the present and the mind is never in the present and they never meet. They never come across each other. And because of that split, anxiety, tension and anguish arise. One is tense, this tension is worry. The mind has to be brought to the present because there is no other time.” – OSHO [Excerpted from: The Orange Book]
Colorpuncture developer Peter Mandel introduced this exercise. It’s especially good for dealing with tensions between two people.
With your right hand take hold of the other’s right hand. Allow the middle three fingers of your hand to rest on the wrist of your partner, who holds your hand in the same way. Close your eyes, and breathe consciously. Be aware of the sensations in your body – they are a clue to your blocks and tensions. As you do this, negative energy is simultaneously being released to create positive energy.