Taking Care of Your Core
In recent weeks I've noticed a pattern in clients' bodies in that they've contracted in the center of their bodies, I'm guessing, due to the cold weather we've been having. It's a completely natural response for the system to protect its valuable internal organs and contract to hold the heat in, but then all of that needs to be released at the end of the day. Not only do the back, thighs, hips and shoulders pull in towards the midline, but the organs themselves also wind up bunching up and restricting normal rhythm and motion. There is a membrane in the center of the thorax called the linea alba that the abdominal muscles attach to, including the obliques. Tension along this membrane pulling those muscles inward has effects on ligaments that attach to the thighs, the psoas and therefore the kidneys, the ascending colon, stomach, and more.
The result of clenching in the cold can have such a broad-sweeping influence on so many systems that other forms of discomfort can develop into symptoms. Or, weak areas that you already needed to care for can become exacerbated from the additional load and energetic restrictions that come with this level of contraction. Just remember when you get inside and get warm, to consider having some hot tea, meditate a little while, or do some gentle stretching to open things back up. Even if you're not sure how to work your viscera, it can help to rest your hands there so the sphincters and motility can return to normal. Open up your pelvis by stretching your adductors and thigh muscles along with the gluts, and be sure to open up the thorax again by lengthening the pecs, abdominal muscles and iliopsoas.