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What Is Residual Tension?

Residual tension is tension caused by stress that continues for a longer period than normal. It can severely impact your health and well-being.

The Dangers of Prolonged Stress

When you go through the fight, flight, fawn, or freeze response, your system produces stress hormones like cortisol. Your heart rate increases. Your muscles tense up. This response allows for quick actions in the face of dangerous situations. After you are safe again, the response should turn off. Your tension and stress levels should decrease.

When you experience high levels of stress for a prolonged period, you can feel anxious, tired, irritable, and panicked. Stress disrupts digestion, weakens the immune system, and can cause chronic health issues. It is essential to find ways to decrease stress and residual tension.

How to Release Tension With Holistic Therapies

Holistic therapies treat you as a human being with many facets. They acknowledge the many different types of wellness. The goal is to build your self-awareness and self-connection.

Art and Music Therapies

Art and music therapies offer stress relief through self-expression. By making art, you put your feelings into a visual medium. The physical act of creating something can let you feel in control. You may also feel more in touch with your emotions and thoughts. Music can heal you as you mentally connect with lyrics and audio. You can look at playing an instrument as a meditation practice. There is also something cathartic to dancing, since the movement loosens your muscle tension.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy uses pressure to stretch the muscles and tissues in the body. Kneading, circular movements, and strokes help loosen physical tension. Massage offers both pain and stress relief. You may experience less depression and anxiety and decreased trauma symptoms after a massage.


Yoga bridges the gap between the mind and body. With every movement, you stretch your muscles. This releases pent-up muscle tension caused by stress. You can lower your cortisol levels through yoga. If you ground yourself through your body, you will better regulate your thoughts. Trauma memories will not flood your mind as easily. Overall, yoga will physically and mentally balance you.

Are you experiencing residual tension? Trauma can send your body into the fight, flight, fawn, or freeze mode. This causes an influx of stress hormones. These chemicals and the resulting tension can cause health issues when prolonged. If you’re ready to free yourself from this state, The Guest House can help. We offer mental health and substance abuse treatment from a trauma-specific perspective. We accept most patients over 18 regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. To start healing, call us at (855) 483-7800.