Muscle Holding Patterns
Hopping on the self-awareness path and looking for signs of patterns you either want to strengthen or interrupt involves increasing your ability to listen to your body. Many physical and mental health experts confirm that the body retains all memories, referred to as holding patterns. The muscles organize for specific performance, from sports-related to trauma cover-up and protection. For example, the athlete depends on muscle memory to find the “zone,” but the memory of trauma and protection calls to be released, especially as we get older.
An easy place to further your active muscle listening skills is with the thighs. The quads, a family of four, connect the top of the knees to the leg sockets. Many people experience these muscles bunching up, creating tension, or disengaging, cultivating flabbiness. Sit with your hands on top of your thighs. Gently squeeze the muscles, moving your hands from the tops of your knees all the way to the leg sockets at the lower portion of the pelvic bowl on either side of the body. Research visuals if you need assistance in finding the leg sockets.
As you gently squeeze and shape the thigh muscles, listen for bunching, or tension, sometimes as vivid as knots. Use thumb pressure to push deeper into the tension knots, visualizing them loosening and lengthening all the way to the leg sockets. Use your hands to encourage the muscles to remember their true nature.
Listen and feel for flabbiness or disengagement. Gently rub circles into these areas with your fingertips, visualizing signals waking up the blank muscle tone. Visualize these signals illuminating the path of connection, tops of knees to leg sockets.
Finally, integrate your self hands-on practice into your everyday life. Visualize your quads lengthening while walking, sitting, and having conversations. Tension or disengagement muscle holding patterns may have once been effective in handling trauma-informed situations, but now, your quads ask you for help in getting them back to their proper job, flowing strong and long from knees to leg sockets.