Retraining Muscles – Retraining your Mind

I’m awake long before my alarm usually goes off. This never happens. I’m always tired. And I’m beginning to understand why people like Bessie Blount and Michael A. Keropian achieved fame. I think they should be more famous.

“Muscle memory,” my physical therapist explained, is what makes your muscles tense up when you’re tense. Other people may have learned a different reaction to stress. Mine is always the same – a certain few muscles around my neck and right shoulder tense up.

She said she cannot help me manage stress – and though this is probably true of her it is not true of the therapy itself. By training my muscles to not tense up, I’m forcing my psyche and my body to deal with stress a different way. This even gets my spirit involved.

C.H. Spurgeon said something about how our bodies can affect our spirits, but I cannot find that quote now.

When something overwhelmes me, I tense up, and then resent the source of the tension. The last time a situation threatened to destroy my physical well-being, I reacted a different way. I didn’t let it control me. I took charge and controlled it. I’m guessing this is because I had not already started the downward spiral that takes control once the muscles on my neck and right shoulder are so tight it feels like I’m in someone’s grip. The “situation” seemed surprised. So was I.

I feel like I’m floating when I come home from appointments. In combination with other victories I am experiencing in my life, I feel like I am beating the monsters in my life. My mind is actually clearer and I can think through situations.

What are your default reactions to stress? How have you learned to deal with them or experienced healing?

4 thoughts on “Retraining Muscles – Retraining your Mind

  1. My neck muscles are exactly the same, they seize and I start to feel my shoulder beginning to freeze. I used to think I lay on it wrong in bed and then realised it was happening when I was stressed. I clench my jaw and then I think the whole left hand side of my head is begging me to relax.

    I take a lot more baths, I work less harder than I use to, I take a low dose of anti-depressants, I run, I try to laugh as much as possible. I have no idea which one is actually helping my neck, but I have been feeling a lot better recently.

    We definitely have to listen to our bodies, when they play up, we are in trouble. 🙂


    1. If you’ve never tried physical therapy it might be a missing piece. It’s always great to find people who can relate to things you’ve been through. The physical therapy has been really helping me to retrain my mind. The “muscle memory” piece that my therapist mentioned really rang true for me and all things together, I am feeling so much better. I also relate to the hot baths and loosening up!!


  2. I think that I found your Spurgeon quotation. It is from his Treasury of David. In the section of his commentary on Psalm 131 called “Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings,” he wrote, “Yet shall it not be amiss to consider here how the mind of the godly earnestly affected moves the body also.”


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