Tension and What It Means

TensionWe know we typically carry too much of it.

Vlad is always reminding us to relax and get rid of it.

I am of course, speaking of tension.

Tension is the body’s reaction to a stimulus. In our case, the stimuli are typically a punch, kick, knife or shovel. (Bet you never heard those 4 called “stimuli” before.) In short, it is the body preparing for an attack.

There is another type of tension cause more by emotions, namely fear. These are the “stories” we tell ourselves about what might happen, could happen or probably will happen. . . though rarely does. These also affect the body too.

Where does it affect the body and what does it mean?

There are 4 major areas that typically are affected, along with the deeper meaning of each. They are:

  • The face. We generally don’t think of the face as holding tension yet if you bring your awareness to it, you will find a great deal of tension. Conversely. . . here is the good news. . . when you relax the face, it has a domino effect on the rest of the body; that is, relax the face and the body will relax shortly thereafter. Tension is held in the face due to our constant interactions with the world. We have “multiple masks” to put on, so to speak, depending upon the situation. We have to be “business man,” “family man” or “Systema man” depending upon what is needed and that constant switching is the main source of tension.


  • The neck. Most people will put this as their number one answer. The reason we hold tension in the neck is our need to control the environment. By constantly trying to control the uncontrollable, tension results. Relax and just be. Go with the flow. Let your neck be your teacher. What are you trying to control instead of just going with the energy? That is the question neck tension is asking.


  • The chest. This is our armor. We protect our chest because of the traumas we have experienced over our life, from heart aches to heart breaks. As a rest, tension builds as a protection against future “attacks.” Use your breath to relax the chest, for when you do, all the “magic” contained in the heart is allowed to be released into the world.


  • The groin. This is another obvious one. We unconsciously protect this area as it is the body’s most vulnerable. The problem with this is two-fold. From a physical standpoint, the stoppage of energy affects the prostate (or uterus for women) and the kidney energy – the energy source for all of life. On the energetic level, when the kidneys are weak, fear is the end result. It may not be that you are truly afraid; rather, it may be that the lack of energy flow has damaged the kidney energy resulting in fear. Subtle but strong difference. Consciously relax the groin and lower region. Feel the energy flowing like a circle, up the spine, around the skull and down the front of the body. Move this energy around the loop. Do it enough and your overall health will dramatically improve.

That is the short and sweet of it. Focus on the Big 4 and tension cannot find a home.

Then watch your Systema skills soar like an eagle!


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