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lorajc 01-27-18 03:16 PM

Is there Anyone Here w/ OCD/Anxiety that Has These Problems Working Out?
or am I alone??

I have been a type A, anxious person with OCD my entire life....and recently I've been working on my form and trying to help issues in my life, including pain from bad posture and I've realized that I am chest breathing instead of belly/breath breathing due to anxiety....and I read in my Trigger Point Therapy book that this causes a great deal of spasms in your neck, upper body, etc. (sorry if I'm rambling). Oh and if you do chest did you correct it? I am having a very hard time trying to.

The other issue I've noticed I'm having is when instructors say squeeze constantly in workouts (in reference to squeeze the muscle), I tend to over-squeeze and exaggerate the movement and therefore make my spasms worse....I'm discovering!! I'm ready to mute my DVDs and listen to music because of this...LOL!!

Lastly, I've discovered that I was "jamming" myself into yoga poses instead of relaxing into them because of my type A/OCD personality. I seem to go overboard and overdo things. This was, I think, exaggerating my pain also.

I've been working on I was just I alone here or does anyone else have a history of this?

Please don't judge me for least I'm trying to better myself....:confused::heart:

Fidget Queen 01-27-18 08:05 PM

Yes, yes and YES. Not just me, but my partner and my mom have had exactly the same issues.

I would highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend you look at Katy Bowman's work. Start with reading her blogs at and go from there. If you want her blog in book format (the first 5 years) you can buy the Alignment Matters book. Me and my partner do her Alignment Snacks almost daily and it's changed everything for us - my partner has been a yoga instructor for 20 years and he has now completely replaced his yoga with her work.

I think reading the information voraciously was invaluable for me before doing her videos. It's all in the philosophy, and while the info in the Snacks is extremely valuable, you can only fit in so much while teaching a 20-30 min class. She will absolutely address everything you're talking about.

HOWEVER, the trap me, my partner AND my mom fell into, was applying the type-A, hyper-tense, force-yourself-into-a-pose mentality into her alignment work, which is so totally against the entire point. So, don't do that :) We hurt ourselves doing it. Getting into alignment is going to mean releasing, relaxing and slowly getting your body into that place. You can't force it.

If you want to learn how to move and USE your muscles without tensing them into oblivion (which is, as far as I'm concern, the most dangerous and ignorant cue ever to worm its way into fitness), I'd also HIGHLY recommend looking into Hanna Somatics.

I personally found Somatics work through Sandra Hanna's (not related to Hanna Somatics ;) ) Callanetics Studio. Her videos are available on the official Callanetics website, as either streaming or downloads (no DVDs). She has 3 somatic-based sessions, one of them called Daily Stretch (I think). They have helped me IMMENSELY in tandem with working on my alignment.

If you want a quick look into what Somatics is like, you can check out her:

Her YouTube channel is here:

And here is a quick blurb on what it means:

I also used Sandra's Callanetics workouts themselves to help learn how to work my muscles while also being relaxed. It helped me a lot (but isn't for everyone).

As far as having anxiety, that's a whole world unto itself. I'm addressing it my way, but it also isn't for everyone. Also beware - when you try to relax when you're anxious, you might feel worse for awhile. Somatic movements sometimes made me feel terrible (not always, but sometimes) because my body wasn't used to relaxing. I was sucking in and tensing everything all the time.

Good luck! It isn't a quick fix. It requires a lot of time and interest - but the good news is that you can apply every single thing you learn into other workouts and the way you move in daily life. I personally have loved the journey, because it gave me so much hope that general fitness stuff never did.

Fidget Queen 01-27-18 08:07 PM

Oh, and NO JUDGEMENT. That will only fuel the anxiety. Trust me. :o:sun:

You don't deserve to be judged or to judge yourself. It's wonderful of you to have noticed this in yourself. We ALL have it to some degree or another - whether it's enough to cause noticeable problems or not is entirely unique to our bodies and circumstances.

Scorpio6 01-27-18 09:17 PM

Lora, my heart goes out to you, I have watched you on this board for several years, I know you have been working really hard on yourself, maybe too hard on yourself, and had your share of problems and obstacles. Treat yourself with as much love as you would a little child.

BunnyHop 01-27-18 10:02 PM

Do your favorite workouts make it easy for you to incorporate mindful/relaxed breathing into the movements?

For me, a slower, more contemplative pace and attention to the breath is really helpful.

lorajc 01-28-18 02:38 PM

Thanks everyone. Mindful breathing is really hard for me. I have been chest breathing my entire life due to anxiety.....and I have to REALLY concentrate to breathe properly.

I did read an article on it online and it says the only way to correct it is to practice every day!!

Do you know how much I am working on right now? Correcting form, breathing, posture, etc......LOL...(plus there is foam rolling, massaging, trigger point work, working out, yoga.......ha...ha.....)

thanks for the support....I will look into the above. I have noticed all of these things since I went off of my narcotics for pain and my body is no longer numb.

Just being judgment please. :sun:

I would like to buy a book a doctor told me to buy a long time ago called Beyond the Relaxation Response...however, due to my husband and I not having jobs....can't afford it...oh well....there's the Internet.

Terry 01-28-18 03:54 PM

I am one in the OCD/Anxiety family.

I ran 6 miles a day 7 days a week for almost 30 years and it helped a lot. Every day was "running off my demons". I didn't skip a run very often but a few times when I did, somebody later in the day would say something like, "You are very jumpy or hyper or something today." <-- Anxiety.

There was no endorphin-thing about my running as I know the endorphin thing from natural labor/delivery and this was not it. I think what would happen somewhere in mile 4 was an "enforced" mindfulness; i.e. I just always landed in a meditative state due to the steady plodding of the first miles in the outdoors. The few times I've done 60 to 90 minutes of a yoga video have gotten me to this same place.

Damaged feet took me off the running trail a few years ago. I assume walking for an hour or more outside would have the same mental benefit but so far I haven't forced myself to give daily outdoor walking or daily long yoga videos a chance. My focus is on my outdoor boot camp (has some running) plus extra strength work at home with my videos.

eam531 01-28-18 05:17 PM


Originally Posted by lorajc (Post 2757119)
I would like to buy a book a doctor told me to buy a long time ago called Beyond the Relaxation Response...however, due to my husband and I not having jobs....can't afford it...oh well....there's the Internet.

I believe you mentioned you are in the Youngstown area. I just checked the catalog of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County via the library's website. Beyond the Relaxation Response is in the library's collection so you could check it out and read it for free.

(From a retired librarian ;) )

lorajc 01-29-18 07:20 PM

Thus the reason I've become a major Yogi...... secondary to my anxiety!

Guess I should look into getting a library card.

Cowgirl32 02-01-18 09:50 AM

Acupuncture has really helped me :)

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