Tightness and Tension – Where they come from?

By Chi Yang

Where do the feelings of tightness and tension come from?

Long hours working with the same posture or repeating the same action over and over again.

Most people at some time in their lives, experience neck and shoulder soreness, stiff muscles, or Lower back pain. Do these sound familiar to you?
Today I am going to show you that there are some physical changes in your muscles that take place when you work long days, or constantly stay in some position for too long.
Eventually your muscles get used to the discomfort, and your muscles continue to endure, but sooner or later the tightness and tension catches up with you, knots get bigger, and you get that feeling of a “ stiff neck” or ”frozen shoulder ”.

 Take a look at the pictures below, showing examples from different types of jobs, and what muscles get tight or tensed. You might ask “are “tight” and “tensed” different?” Yes they are different.


Imagine two muscles opposite each other, both pulling against each other. When you use one muscle too much, it becomes tight (shorter), and pulls on the muscle opposite to it, which causes tension on the opposite muscle. Usually discomfort is felt in the tensed muscle, because it is being stretched and torn, as if it is losing a battle of tug of war. This is when you get knots.
An experienced therapist can feel and see which muscles are tight, and which muscles are tensed.


Tight muscles are usually the main muscles that you use the most. Using these muscles for long hours or heavy physical work causes them to reach endurance limit, causing hundreds of small tears in the muscle. When those tears heal, the muscle becomes stronger, but also tighter.
As an example, take a look at a “body builder with big biceps, look at how their arms always curve inwards toward their body, giving that “tough man” posture. This is a typical example of muscle tightness in the biceps. Typically these people would get sore on their triceps, and back of shoulder (the opposite of the biceps).


Tensed muscles are often where most people suffer discomfort. Sometimes the pain is so bad that you can barely walk, bend over or stand up without pain. They are the muscles that we usually use for holding our self in place, which means when you are bending over and carrying stuff, these muscles balance your body weight against gravity and against the muscles that are carrying an object. Don’t underestimate the energy and strength these muscles use, they are working hard to keep you balanced.


Tight and tensed muscles both need to be treated equally to help our body get back to the stage of harmony and balance. I am here to help remove pain and suffering from your life. Sometimes muscle pain can’t be avoided because of work, but sometimes the worst pain is not from what you do, but from what you can’t do.
Let me look after your health, so that you can do more, and experience less pain.
Call today and make a booking.   ~Chi Yang


Stressed, tense & tired? U could be low in Magnesium

Magnesium is a key element in our metabolism; it’s involved in over 300 vital enzyme systems throughout the body.  It’s essential for brain activity, detoxification, regulating blood sugar levels and fat burning. It is required to produce energy from food, regulate nerve and muscle activity, keep the heart and arteries healthy, prevent unwanted calcium deposits and strengthen bones.

A natural sedative

magnesium a natural sedativeBecause magnesium is a natural sedative, the more serious the magnesium deficit, the edgier a person may become.   When some people are under mental or physical stress, their bodies excrete more magnesium.  This can worsen the problem because at a time when they need the natural sedative effect of magnesium, it is being eliminated.

Unfortunately, doctors know little about magnesium and people are often treated with drugs when they would respond to correction of magnesium deficiency! Health problems associated with magnesium deficiency include heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety, diabetes, kidney stones and osteoporosis.

Causes of magnesium deficiency

As well as stress, many factors in our lifestyle conspire to lowering magnesium levels, eg:

  • Caffeine, sugar, white flour, alcohol
  • Heavy sweating, poor digestion, loose bowel movements
  • Fluid tablets, calcium supplements without magnesium, high dairy intake
  • Frequent use of antibiotics, oral contraceptive, laxatives or synthetic oestrogen

Signs of magnesium deficiency

If you experience some of these you may be deficient:

  • muscle cramps at night in bed or during activity
  • muscle tics or twitches
  • muscle tension that feels better when massaged or rubbed
  • painful muscle spasms
  • throat constriction or difficulty swallowing
  • fatigue, inability to concentrate
  • high blood pressure
  • startle easily, feel anxious or on edge frequently, PMS
  • sensitive to noise
  • low pain tolerance
  • restless sleep, wake in the night, feel tired on waking in morning

Find out if you’re deficient with the questionnaire available at Sunshine Health.

Food sources

We need to eat really well to get enough magnesium from food alone. Good foods include:

  • Dark green leafy vegies, beans, peas
  • Nuts, seeds, legumes
  • Wholemeal sourdough bread
  • Seaweed
  • Rolled oats (soaked), brown rice, wheat germ

Magnesium (Mg) supplementation – buyer beware

It’s been found that around 80% of people are deficient in magnesium. To correct deficiency you need 400 to 1,000 mg of elemental Mg daily (500 mg Mg chelate contains 100 mg of Mg so you’d need at least 4 daily). You may have already recognised that you need Mg and be taking a supplement (well done), but you may not be taking enough! There are many supplements in health shops and chemists stating One-a-Day, which contain impressively high amounts of Mg, but it’s the oxide form, which is  poorly absorbed by many people, and in fact, acts as a laxative in some people.  The best forms of Mg for good absorption are Mg chelate, citrate, phosphate or aspartate.  So always read the label and avoid the oxide.

Guidelines for supplementation

At Sunshine Health, we carry several types of Mg for different needs. Thompsons Organic Magnesium is a reasonably priced tablet with 175 mg of Mg.

For mild stress and muscle twitches you need 2 daily. For tight muscles, cramps, nervous tension, anxiety you’d need 3 daily or Ultra Muscleze as below.

Bioceuticals UltraMuscleze is a practitioner-strength Mg powder with 280 mg per teaspoon. For muscle pain, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, toxicity you need 1 teaspoon twice daily.

For severe deficiency, fibromyalgia, or to build Mg levels quickly, there is a transdermal Magnesium Oil or Gel which is applied to the skin once daily. It can also to be rubbed into areas of muscle spasm, to help relax the muscle, in conjunction with oral supplementation. Mg is a natural anti-inflammatory and the Mg oil can be used on inflamed joints or nerves.

In conclusion

Stop being one of the 80% whose style is being cramped by magnesium deficiency and take some simple action to feel better … call into Sunshine Health, do the questionnaire, get onto a useful supplement, improve your diet a bit and voila! … a new you.