Relationships are Complicated, Part 2: Muscles are Not Like Taffy


Everybody has a tight spot: hamstrings, IT bands, shoulders, groin. Sometimes tightness comes and goes; sometimes it’s the only way you can remember ever feeling.

You tell yourself you should stretch more.

Maybe you’ve even got a trainer or physiotherapist telling you to stretch more. They provide you with clever and inventive stretches, some of which bring about a momentary relief while others are such a grotesque form of torture you can’t believe they weren’t designed by 15th century inquisitors.

Unfortunately, we’ve been trained to think of tight muscles as wads of taffy,  stiff and tacky, and that all it takes is some vigorous pulling and kneading to loosen them up and lengthen them out.

This is not true.

Muscles aren’t tight because they haven’t been stretched enough; muscles are tight because they are in use—often without your awareness or consent.

The somatic nervous system (SNS) is a network of nerve…

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