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© 2013 Kebba Buckley Button.  World Rights Reserved.

Observe Your Starting Point

Stretching BoundariesPhoto by iStock.com

Stretching Boundaries
Photo by iStock.com

So what have you created with your life experimentation up to this moment? How do you feel right now? The following is a simple way to observe what fatigue and stress you have brought in with you. Get out your pen now and start making notes as you observe yourself.

First, place a hand next to your neck, palm down. Now drop the hand to your shoulder top. You should now be at the bend that joins your neck and shoulder top. This is the first place stress lodges in the body for many people, and tightness here can control your fatigue.

How tight or loose are your shoulder muscles? Do they feel more like pudding or concrete? Privately note your stress level and assign it a score on a scale of zero (“slug” or “sandbag”) to ten (“totally tight, tired and exhausted” or “poster person for espresso extreme”). Check both sides and note your score. Many of you will notice that one shoulder-top is noticeably tighter than the other. What you are measuring, at a general level, is hypermyotonia, the excessive tightness of muscle tissue due to stress. Congratulations! You have just conducted a Stress Self-Assessment! Make a note of the score you gave each shoulder and how many years old you feel. No cheating! This Stress Self-Assessment is only for you.

Gently lean your head down toward your left shoulder, then slowly raise it. Repeat to the right. Normal range-of-motion is more than halfway. Some people can stretch their head all the way to their shoulder-top. If you can’t go at least halfway without straining, you have neck muscle stiffness or were possibly in an accident in the past. Make a note of how far you can lean toward each shoulder.

Now try leaning your head slowly forward, back, “northwest,” “northeast,” “southwest,” and “southeast.” Are you as flexible as you expected to be?

Does any part of your body hurt? Does it hurt regularly? Does any part of your body not work as well as it once did, other than due to injury? Does your intuition suggest that deep stress may be responsible? Or has your doctor told you directly that stress has played a role in your discomforts?

You may wish to write out a list of what you observe and consider setting goals to relax your muscles, to get back flexibility, and to investigate possible health improvements. What do you think the greatest health possibilities are for you? Would you be willing to be pleasantly surprised?

Update your notes whenever you have a new observation.  It’s your life!


● Kebba Buckley Button is a corporate stress management trainer and the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You, and the 2012 book, Peace Within:  Your Peaceful Inner Core.  She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister.

● Your comments are welcome!

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● Reach the writer at kebba@kebba.com .