My body is *constantly* tense

(42 Posts)
ATownCalledGallus Sun 04-Mar-18 15:56:16

Whenever I stop paying attention to my body, I tense up. Including my face. Every time I stop and think about what's going on in my body, I realise that some part of it is utterly tense - shoulders, chest and/or face usually. And I've been having minor but annoying fluttery heart palpitations for a long time now, which I imagine is probably connected.

I already do quite a lot of yoga, and other exercise, but I think that clearly only has a short-term or temporary effect.

What I feel I need is some kind of biofeedback monitor - no idea if that's the right term or if such a thing exists! - which would 'buzz' me instantly as soon as my mind wanders and I start tensing up, which would train me out of it.

Or does anyone have any other ideas?

OP’s posts: |
TrollTheRespawnJeremy Mon 05-Mar-18 00:07:19

Are you a bit stressed out at the moment? Or having any issues with anxiety?

ATownCalledGallus Mon 05-Mar-18 13:04:28

Thanks Jeremy. It's not just 'at the moment'. I think I've been building up tension for decades to be perfectly frank! I've have an odd, embarrassing physical issue since my teens which has been slightly lessened by tensing up, and I think this has just become the default way of being of my body - being automatically tense (even if I'm happy!). I really do need to fix it.

OP’s posts: |
TrollTheRespawnJeremy Mon 05-Mar-18 18:59:54

Yoga is great for it, but maybe try and get in some deep tissue massage to relax the muscles. It's a really hard thing to unlearn, I get physical pain in my shoulders and my back just through being as tense as a dog being examined at crufts.

ATownCalledGallus Mon 05-Mar-18 21:00:28

That's a good idea, Jeremy - hadn't considered massage. Funds are pretty limited but I'll maybe see if I could get one or two as a start ...

OP’s posts: |
WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo Mon 05-Mar-18 21:17:26

Definitely try a massage. My shoulders are so, so tense. When I try to relax my shoulders they go up because they're so tight in between. I had an amazing back massage a while back and it really helped.

If money is tight then you could try a massage cushion. I got one from Lidl a while back. It's obviously not as good as the real thing, but a lot cheaper. When I remember to use it every day I can really tell the difference.

puffylovett Mon 05-Mar-18 21:34:34

Can you get into the habit of once or twice a day, lying on a bed and just one muscle at a time consciously tense and relax it?work your way through your whole body. If you can tune in regularly to how you feel when you’re utterly relaxed, it becomes easier to ‘switch the relaxed switch’ when you find yourself starting to tense smile


321zerobaby Mon 05-Mar-18 21:37:43

Sounds like you are magnesium deficient, our bodies use it to relax muscles, and when we are tense/ stressed, it can deplete quite quickly.
Try taking a supplement in the evening after dinner.

ATownCalledGallus Tue 06-Mar-18 06:48:30

Thanks all. Tbh I think the tension is just a learned behaviour that I've built up over many many years rather than a deficiency in something, but a multivitamin can't hurt. I keep buying them though, and not being able to swallow them because when I get them out of the box they're fecking massive! Need some good chewy ones ...!

Yes, puffY, I need to do this, you're right. It's just a case of making the time. I'll set reminders on my phone ...

OP’s posts: |
Melamin Tue 06-Mar-18 09:21:36

I have had this since I came off coc pill. I was waking up in a tight ball with my teeth clenched. I am sure it contributes to my joint and muscle aches. Hrt has not stopped it.

I take vit d which made a huge difference to some of the aches, especially the hip joint but they came back and magnesium does help with this. I can’t take it every day as I have not found a form that does not act as a laxative. Vit d has not helped with muscle tension though.

I do Pilates and yoga which helps. Breathing exercises help because I have tension in th diaphragm and breathe shallowly at times. Also, the goldfish exercises for the jaw.

Palpitations happen around peri menopause. Some people get an ecg at the gp to make sure.

Synecdoche Tue 06-Mar-18 11:06:51

Tesco do a decent own brand 'multivitamin jelly' in a grey and white little bottle. Half the price of the big brands and all the same stuff.

ATownCalledGallus Tue 06-Mar-18 11:18:09

Thanks again, I'll def try some of these suggestions. I did have a referral for the ecg about a year ago but cancelled it as the palps seemed to settle down. Going to get rereferred now though ... sad

OP’s posts: |
Footle Tue 06-Mar-18 11:21:23

If it's possible to sort out the physical issue, do that first. Don't let embarrassment stop you.
A decent massage every 4-6 weeks may help enormously, especially after the first one when you're getting to relax with the therapist.

WorkingItOutAsIGo Tue 06-Mar-18 11:24:31

I can’t recommend taking Alexander Technique lessons highly enough for you: it is all about learning to change those unconscious habits which make us tense up and use our bodies badly.

ATownCalledGallus Tue 06-Mar-18 19:22:38

Thank you, Working. I'm thinking Alexander Technique is pretty expensive though? Well check it out!

OP’s posts: |
Anatidae Tue 06-Mar-18 19:26:37

I’d get yourself down the GP for a really thorough checkup. Palpitations are generally harmless but can indicate a range of issues. Some need investigation and some are really easily solved (I’m anaemic at the mo and that seems to be the cause of mine.) ditto muscle tensing - as you say it’s likely a more learned mechanism but always worth that initial checkup.

Really good massage is brilliant - it can be as fancy or not as you like, just find someone and a type that works for you. Swimming I always find really relaxes me as well.
I’d also have a dental checkup - jaw tension is a bugger and a bite guard sometimes helps.

restingbemusedface Tue 06-Mar-18 19:27:07

I have a tense body - whenever I have a massage they always comment on it, and when I think about it I realise that I am really tense! Massage is great, and also rolling on a tennis ball is quite good for getting knots out

Cocolepew Tue 06-Mar-18 19:28:45

Check out local colleges beauty salons for cheap massages.
I'm similar, theres always, some part of me tensed up. Having a bath in epsom salts before bed can help.
Getting into the habit of putting your tongue to the roof of your mouth helps keeps your jaw relaxed.

ATownCalledGallus Tue 06-Mar-18 19:51:51

*Will ...

OP’s posts: |
Abitlost2015 Tue 06-Mar-18 19:55:51

Progressive muscle relaxation exercises are good to de slop kinestetic awareness of what the muscles are doing and you will then gradually be able to regulate the tension down again. But you may need someone to talk you through them first, i’d Try a physiotherapist.

ATownCalledGallus Tue 06-Mar-18 19:56:59

Oops, didn't spot the messages in between! 😂😂
Really good idea about college course massages - thanks!

My dentist I had extremely strong something or other muscles (the ones that pop out like little hamster pouches when you bite down hard).
And I am often anaemic too, it's true! Just a catalogue of tense, palpitating disaster really! 😂😂

No, being serious - I am really glad I started this thread - grateful to all of you who've offered suggestions! thanks

OP’s posts: |
sweetkitty Tue 06-Mar-18 20:00:43

Same here although I have fibromyalgia so am in constant pain too. I tried physio therapy for a while where she said she would relax all my fascia which were terribly tight didn't really help.

AuntyElle Tue 06-Mar-18 20:05:46

The amount of magnesium in a multivitamin is unlikely to help with muscle tension, but you can get a spray:

And do get your anaemia checked - really not good to let that carry on.

KochabRising Tue 06-Mar-18 20:07:12

TMJ dysfunction? Ask dentist if you need a bite guard. Not glam but helpful.

Get the anaemia sorted.

That’s two things that could help 👍

Cocolepew Tue 06-Mar-18 20:16:38

Ive have an auto immune disesae and have found cbd oil to be a benefit for muscle pain. Its a bit pricey though.
Definitely try magnesium, either tablets, epsom salt baths or the spray.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in