What is a chronic holding pattern?

263207_456976957724411_2048067932_nWhat is a chronic holding pattern?

I ‘ve identified 3 types of holding/constriction that occur in the body.


These holding patterns cause limitation and chronic conditions that, over time will become very difficult to unwind. The more holding occurs, the more that the body learns to hold, which results in more holding, and so on and so on.
It’s helpful to identify the type of holding that’s present in any given area of your body if you’re going to be able to release that holding pattern and create greater freedom in your body, and therefore in your life.

I’ll describe each of these types of holding.

Physical/physiological holding is caused by the body’s own mechanical and anatomical condition. For instance, if you have one leg longer than the other, you’ll chronically compensate by limping, which will result in a holding in the hip and pelvic girdle. Or if you lack calcium in your system, your muscles will relax less readily remaining in a constant state of contraction. Physically and physiologically caused holding patterns can often be addressed or remedied if they are identified properly.

Emotional holding patterns are the result of chronically unresolved emotional issues that take up residence in the tissues of the body. Anger, guilt, resentment, blame, avoidance, when not addressed do not disappear. They just become covertly embedded in your body. Some schools of thought believe that it’s necessary to identify the life experience that caused the emotional holding in order to free up that energy.

Mental holding patterns are caused by a belief that we persistently attach to. That belief may pertain to the body, or may seem completely unrelated. Either way, the unconscious attachment to that belief will result in a restriction in the body. If you think about it, how could it be otherwise. After all, all nervous system activity, controlling every tissue; organ, muscle and bone in the body, originates in the brain, the same place thoughts originate. Clearly these will influence each other. So bringing beliefs and thoughts into conscious awareness can have enormous affect on the body’s freedom or lack of.

Watching the body’s holding patterns in every day life, during exercise, dance or yoga practice, and exploring the 3 possible causes of holding patterns above, can reveal valuable truths about your body’s wisdom. Learning to refer to the wisdom of your body will give you profound access to your embodied power, helping to reduce injuries and live more vividly. Be curious and see what you discover!


Posted on May 16, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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