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How-to remove muscle tightness from stress, on this page

Tired of being Tight?
And in
Back Problems?

This Recipe Works - detailed for you just below, after some comments I've added.
Call or Email Me as well.

You can do things at home & also get big help
 from hands-on Structural Integration Bodywork

by Lou Gross, School Certified Master Postural Integrator
27 years successful experience
For more information & free consultations,


Also see the Stress Muscle Tension Article
       just below this structural write-up.

Removal of Tightness from Stress
& Creating a More Stress Resistant Body

I am a Tightness & Stress Removal Expert with over 24,000 hrs experience in 25 years.

When your tightness is removed in this whole-body structure way, you simultaneously feel you have a better organized, more relaxed & higher functioning body.

This gets to fixing the 2 foundational causes of back & other pains -

1. short, hard fascia connective tissue, &
2. misaligned structural body areas.



The Problem  

All these wonderful people in the world with such potential.

But their structures are bunched up tight and short, and many have accumulated additional constricting emotional & traumatic energy.  They are operating at limited effectiveness !
.....that could be vastly improved in just minutes & hours !
.....Some right over the phone with Unique Structural,
Fascial-Stretch Coaching.


Before I get into the article, how is this different from the stretching done in Yoga?  Note that yoga does other things besides stretching.  But also, this is a specialized hands-on, & the stretching approach is made to simulate what the hands-on does & increase the hands-on effectiveness. 

Both the hands-on & the "Bodywork" stretching method have made yoga stretching better for students & teachers alike.  They could get into more positions & stretch easier & further in them.

Read on site:
Testimonials - Yoga Teachers & Students
Article - The Many Benefits of Str Integration for Yoga
Article - Stretching Tips

Regarding the Bodywork Stretching System on my Videos
Info Page:       Stretching Videos Info Page

One yoga teacher said, "This is how yoga "should" be
 Two others, including a Yoga Center Director,
have their testimonials on the Video Page. Part of what they said: 
"Not just another Yoga Video.  This is new."  And: "This adds a new dimension to stretching.  I'd never done this kind of stretching method before.  It is really effective."

So just as with Massage, Chiropractic, Acupressure & Acupuncture, Reflexology, Exercise & other methods having their benefits greater, the benefits have been greater when people did their Yoga, too.  All from getting the Structural Fascia System Significantly Improved,   It definitely has for me.

(Also see the
how-to remove muscle tightness from stress, just below this structural write-up.)


Most people contact me because of muscle
tightness & pain, so
here is the program all
, step by step, what you can do.

This article & web  site are
Copyright 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006   
Louis A. Gross    All Rights Reserved

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First, before the recipe, so maybe YOU can relate, here's what happens for many people, creating tightness

Low Back Pain, Sciatica, Hamstring Tightness & Hip Pain
Usually Come From Systemic Fascia Shortness
& Head-to-Toe Structural Misalignment that you feel as Muscle Tightness.  It's Not just local tightness.  The fascia wrappings & filler of your muscles bunches up.

Self Check
Look at yourself sideways in the mirror & you'll probably see that your thighs are leaning forward and your back is arching backward and maybe your head and neck are jutting forward with a rounded upper back.  Notice that the lower back is getting pinched and the angle of your thigh bones into your pelvis at the bottom of your pelvis, is pushed strainingly forward.

Not good.  This is how people pinch nerves and rub the protective lining out of their hip joints.  You're in what we in our business call a basic or standard imbalance.  Common, but "pathological."  Better to get vertically aligned instead.

How to Go About Stretching It
If your legs are tight, and your pelvis dips down in front, with an arch in the back, and maybe you've hurt yourself trying to stretch the back, then you have to FIRST lengthen the legs in front, then in back, then lengthen the front of the torso, loosen the pelvis and legs some more, and THEN you can try stretching the back.  If it still pulls on the lower or mid back, lengthen the legs and front of the torso even more.

Your back hurts, and maybe you get headaches, because the front of your body, from legs up to chest, in shorter in the fascia in front than in back, and you are consciously or unconsciously tightening the back of the torso, the back of the legs, and even the back of the neck and head, trying to lift yourself up.  Headaches are from jamming the very tight muscles with the very tight back of the head.

So my approach is to re-lengthen the fascia in a way that also re-aligns the body & makes it straighter, taller & looser, starting right away in the first stretch & get cumulative results in each of the next stretches.

I'm not unique.  This is what Dr Ida P Rolf taught us, and what Structural Integration Bodyworkers all around the world aim for.  I'm just telling you the mechanics in a way maybe no one ever told you before and I'm suggesting there is also a way to make it better, at least to some degree, with stretching.

Lou Coached me thru some of his stretches for 25 minutes - right there in an herb shop relaxation area, and my chronic hip pain was gone, my leg tightness was much better, and I felt taller, more upright & more flexible all over.  And I have been stretching & getting body treatments that did not fix this.
Mother, Teacher, Part time Ballet Dancer.

So the stretching is unique and very effective, often quickly.  That's because we are lengthening FASCIA.

Problems from the Health Club
A lot of Fit people with back pains or knee, neck or shoulder issues, have a lot of tightness they aren't aware of, and that their own stretching is not taking care of adequately. They need to learn how to lengthen their FASCIA when they stretch, and do the lengthening all over, so the "interconnected" muscles are re-lengthened as well as the local ones where you feel the tightness.

You see - Athletics, Running & Work-Outs
Regularly Create Large Amounts of Fascial Shortness that you feel as Muscle Tightness.

And it often Gets Worse over time, even while you are making your self "stronger."  That's because more of the same effort creates more bunching up of the collagen fibers in the fascia parts of the muscles.

The Fascia Shortness that you feel as Muscle Tightness is a negative "side effect" of your successful athletic endeavor.

Tightness Can Be Loosened, More & More, by re-lengthening the fascia. 
Link to Stretching Video Info Page

I have found the best way to do it is "systemically," by going around the whole body, loosening the interconnected areas as well as the areas you feel tight.  This is how the Structural Integration Bodywork System was designed & what my Stretching Approach does, too.

It even helps top athletes:

Lou's Structural Integration method of Fascia Lengthening allowed me to Train Hard & Not be Tight.  And he totally fixed a tight hamstring that had been hindering my running for 3 weeks, that a massage therapist had found but could not re-lengthen.    After just one long afternoon treatment, I also equaled my best time for that point in the season in an elite race just 2 days later, with no hamstring pull at all.
Christina Cahill, 6 Time British Women's Middle Distance Running Champion, 3-Time Olympian

Remember:  Trauma & Stress also Add to Tightness.  
Even chronic so called psychological issues have a big tightness component - very deep into our structures, and from head to toe.

See the stress tightness article just below this one.

Links Below, in the Recipe text, will take you to more detailed write-ups.

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* On your own with my Videos & My Stretch
* Or with me or a practitioner in your own
      area, combined with this Stretching, and
      with the better way you can then do all
      your other stretching.  Even Chiropractic &
      Massage then give better results.

Step 1:  Most people have healthy enough fascia that they can start my re-lengthening stretching right away.  (Step 2) But we can all easily add to our diets some foods that make our stretching even easier & more productive.

You can further soften your muscles'  bunched up & hard "fascia," their  connective tissue "envelopes," by key diet support,  
(free article on site - called Foods for Structure).  This also feeds the muscles & nerves to help those parts relax "physiologically," so the neuro-muscular parts let go of their own tightness.  And that often reduces or eliminates people's pains, too. (Undernourished muscles & nerves don't relax mentally.)  This makes your tissues more easily "stretchable" as well, because we want to re-lengthen your fascia.  That's the key. 

Even without adding to your diet right away, you can take supplements, and go directly to lengthening the fascia part of your muscles in Step 2.  Even tight people can lengthen their fascia with my stretching, starting immediately.  You can try a few key stretching exercises coached by me over the phone.
This neuro-muscular part is How to #1.

Step 2:  With my "Structural Integration Bodywork" stretching technique we  lengthen the "fascia," (more than just yoga) - the fascia  is the putty & "holding together part" of your whole body's "inter-connected system" of muscles. As I just said above.  Re-lengthening your fascia as well as relaxing your muscles, is the key.

And if you have lower back pain, you most likely have tight - meaning shortened fascia - in the legs, front, back and sides.

You can get the Bodywork (Intro Article) from me or someone else and/or use the very unique Structural Fascia Stretching Videos. They  have great positions and they show you just how to lengthen the fascia itself, in large amounts, "between the joints" as well as loosening the joints. (Many people have loose joints but the tightness is in the short fascia of the muscle bellies.)  People use the videos for both quick stress removal, stress immunity & tightness-pain removal.

This kind of stretching and hands-on Bodywork also lengthens the "interconnected" areas and the "re-alignment areas" of other, related parts of the body, where everyone needs it. 
This way, with steps 1 and 2, you take care of both parts of your muscles that get short: the nerves & muscle fibers and the fascia.  Remember that fascia putty does not relax mentally nor re-lengthen much, if at all, with massage or chiropractic, or even most physical therapy, (these links take you to pages about these treatments along with the Bodywork) & they don't re-lengthen much with strengthening exercise either.  You need a systematic, whole body, taffy pull of the fascia (see this linked Sports Medicine article) giving similar results as I did hands-on (Bodywork write-up below) for my Olympic Athlete, back pain & other pains clients (See these testimonials.) 
This fascia re-lengthening part is How to #2.

Step 3:  Many people have a lot of emotional tension, too, (link goes to Trauma & Grief release article), such as held in anger or sadness they couldn't get out, abusive experiences that left fear as well as the abuser's blows, even stress & during times of war, or tension from financial loss and extended work efforts.  It's important to understand that emotional tensions pull in the muscles, continuously, even when the Stretching & Bodywork are done, too.  It's a contracting emotional energy that's stuck in the muscles and/or their fascia. 

For people with these kinds of energies, something more than just the body manipulations & stretching can be done to release these other kinds of tensions that have been there for a while.  My Combined System  uses State of the Art, Body-Mind Methods to remove these tightnesses as well, and much faster and less traumatically than most psychotherapeutic approaches.  They can often be done effectively over the phone, too.  And they help Personal Development Significantly.  They put more of your Body-Mind "on-line" for You to use, (a very informative article linked here), instead of a lot of your body & energy field being tightened up and polluted with old negative energies.  

The energy release part is How-to #3.

These are all the How-To's.

Step 4:  You might also want to read my informative, easy-to-understand, low cost books (see a list of links on home page Most Popular Requests and also Right Column Detailed Menu) for the theory and detailed explanations:  Back Fix, Athletes & Performers, Stress Fix, Making Your Body Work Better.  (These links go to the Books' Info pages on site.)  I can recommend which of these, specifically, is for your own best orientation.  If you do have back pain, including lower back pain & nerve or disk problems, or sciatica, you can definitely de-mystify it & learn about how to make it better with the Back Fix Info Book Also, there are  informative, unique books on Stress Removal & Abuse Removal.  Anatomy info including Gray's Anatomy Book on line is linked on my Links Page.  You can view muscles, spine, bones & joints, even where pinched nerves from which vertebrae affect the legs, arms, etc.
These are the Why's, the Details, and the Where to do the How-To's.  They De-Mystify What Happens to People.

  Why this form of Bodywork treatment works so well!
There's a big article on site Called Creating Higher Level Body and Mind, that tells you about muscle tightness & fascia shortness.  And how we can make muscles freer.

Step 5: Some people see me for hands-on, or have me come by you, if needed.  Call or e-mail & I'll tell you how to get everything.  I can even give you free tips on rebuilding disks & removing the muscle tightness that caused the nerve pinching, sciatica & disk degeneration in the first place.  And I can describe your Body-Mind Psychological Condition & How You Can Improve It Significantly.

I can travel to you, and fit the treatments into your daily schedule while you stay in your own home & own area & go to work, etc, or you can come visit to me.  There are also, links to finding a Bodyworker near you are on my Links Page.  I have found that if people read some of the books and do the Bodywork Stretching, then the hands-on and emotional tension releasing can do more. 

In my own practice, I combine stretching & hands-on for my clients.  So you could do that on your own before and after your Bodywork Sessions with your local practitioner.  And I combine the Body-Mind Therapies at the same time, too, for people who also want that.  Body-Mind tightness & emotional trauma release can be done over the phone, too.  We use the Structural Stretching along with the Netherton-Reichian methods, and you can get the Bodywork by you as well.  Free Consultations.

See:  My Services for You on Getting Sessions, even from others - a special short article


Are You a Practitioner, Caregiver
or Family Member &
Want to Help Others by

Lengthening Muscle Tightness
   & Improving Back Pain?

I can teach you how to treat others, and do things to increase your own abilities and decrease your stress.

I even have tutorial videos you can follow to do hands-on, & I can coach you over the phone.  See:  Stretching Videos Page

I can teach you some Trauma & Emotional Release Processing Methods, for yourself & to help others, too.

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Removal of Tightness from Stress & Creating a More Stress Resistant Body

See also, on site article:
          Psychological & Stress Removal Benefits
          of the Bodywork Itself

See Stress Removal
See Trauma Release Testimonials
See Personal Growth Testimonials

Stress and back pain are related. 
Having back pain, in itself, can make us feel stressed.

           But we're also more susceptible to the effects of stress when we're already tightened up from the misaligned shape of the body. 
This shape, with a big arch in the lower back, often causes back pain, especially lower back pain and/or sciatica.            
            We're not very "stress immune" because of this.  The entire back of the body, including the head, neck and legs, is being held tight.
 So the body is already in a stressed and tense condition.  And added tightness due to the next stress just tightens it up more.
             Just a little bit more tightness from the emotional reaction can bring on the back pain or make it worse.  Also, emotional tension in the gut tightens the muscles connected to the vertebrae in the lower back.  Some people may get immediate lower back pain or sciatica whenever this happens.
             This structural misalignment also creates a stressful behavior, one in which we "have to keep going."  We're pulled down in front and we're constantly arching the lower back to pull ourselves up.  The body posture says, "I have to keep straining, even just in everyday life."
After this shape has been corrected and the body was more balanced and centered, a number of people have been able to "let down" from intense work and do more things for themselves.

Here is an explanation of how this method can make you more stress immune as well as removing weeks, months & years of accumulated tension in minutes & hours.

If you have had stress release from massage, you will find how much more body tension release occurs with big fascia relengthening.

Then after the improvements in your tissue consistency from "this" kind of body treatment, the massages will be more effective at removing even more tension, including going deeper, yet it'll feel better and be easier to get more release.

When you get tense, your muscles shorten and pull in
the collagen fibers of the fascia, making the muscle shorter even after you leave the stress.  It bunches them up into a shorter space, just like when you exercise with weights or run.

Then the tension from the next stress pulls the collagen fibers even closer together, and that makes the muscles shorter still. We accumulate shortness in the fascia which is a fluid with these tiny collagen fibers in it, and when the fibers are pushed closer together by the muscle fibers next to it, the whole muscle shortens more and more, and stays that way even while you are sleeping or exercising.

This shortness includes muscles in the abdomen, pelvis and lower back, and even those in the legs, chest, and head as well as the neck, upper back and shoulders.  The abdominal-pelvic shortness from tension also can pull the front of the body tight and that pulls on the back, plus, the back then tightens back against this pull to try to bring us upright again. 

This is what I call interconnected & misalignment shortness; one part of the body being tight makes other parts also tight. Then each part of the body holds all the other parts tight, and the fascia gets "solid" in that mutually tightened up shape.

So we're in an increasingly tighter state that is then fixed in the gelatinous putty shape of the fascia and that keeps the tenseness of being stressed with us all the time, and we respond to the world from a tense and tight condition.

Head tightness is also fascia that's bunched up, and that creates an inability to receive and process energies coming to us, so we get overwhelmed more easily from that, too.

Head tightness makes neck, back & chest fascia short and creates muscle tightness you feel in these other parts.

Structural Integration & Structural Stretching removes the bunch up of the fascia in the body, and helps to align the different parts and remove the interconnected shortness that is keeping the parts you feel, tight.  And my instruction on head self-help Bodywork can loosen that by your own hands-on some, and the video even shows you how to do self-help fascia spreading on the head

This adds to the effectiveness of the stretching in the rest of the body, as well as making people looser and more relaxed all by itself.

Both techniques also loosen up the back and in my case and with others I know, allows vertebrae to pop back in on their own, and more vertebrae go in a lot easier with chiropractic adjustments.  They stay in longer when your whole body's fascia is lengthened, too.

When your body structure is re-lengthened and looser, in this method, the muscle groups will also be better organized and integrated with each other. 

That will allow the body to remain more in a relaxed state even when stress occurs around us, and it will also transmit the stress tightness throughout the whole system
where it will more easily be dissipated out of the body, and not stay stuck in it. So we create a kind of Body Structure &-Energy Stress Immunity which, in turn, has a direct stress-immunity affect on the mind and our thoughts as well as our organs.

Stressful reactions in the mind will also create stored emotional charge in the collagen protein fibers of the fascia in the body's muscles. 

The Stretching and both Self-Help and Professionally applied hands-on squeeze the emotional charge out of the fascia at the same time they loosen and lengthen the shape of the whole muscle and bone structure as they spread the collagen fibers farther apart and restore the open-ness and length of our bodies.

Even abdominal and chest emotional tension in the organs is relieved and circulation in both blood and lymphatics gets better.

Further, my Netherton-Reichian method of removing emotional charge from the body and its energy fields - emotional trauma release - while you are conscious and aware, can remove both recent and old embedded charge - even from childhood and birth - in a very thorough and non-traumatic way.  It even removes negative belief statements from the body tissues that have been causing us to keep reacting in the stressful ways. 

See:    Trauma Release Article     Outline of the Method & its Benefits

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Structural "Fascial Spreading" Stretching VIDEOS
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Fixing Accumulated Shortness       Improving Athletic Performance

This article is Copyright 2005, 2006
& web  site is Copyright 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006   
Louis A. Gross    All Rights Reserved