Profound Tension Release

Freedom to Move

Profound Tension Release2024-05-29T23:46:03+10:00

Profound Tension Release


Profound Tension Release (PTR) is a technique developed by Chiropractor Dr Ken Stewart, for releasing tension within the connective tissues of our bodies.  Tension in our bodies develops as a response to injury and trauma arising from physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual stresses we inevitably experience throughout our lifetime.

Profound Tension Release is based on an understanding of the body as an interactive, interconnected, energised (energetic) and highly sensitive entity. The connective tissue network forms a three-dimensional matrix of structural support within the body. It contains and shapes the body, holding the organs in place and aligning the spine and the joints, while allowing mobility. Every muscle, bone and organ in the body, including our brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves, indeed every cell in the body is encased in and supported by connective tissue.

Experiencing Profound Tension Release

When a person presents for Profound Tension Release, I will ask questions about their life and symptoms and then use that information while carefully observing patterns of tension in their posture and movements. I will explain how one movement can affect other movements in the body. For example, lifting a leg may cause the body to lean to one side, or turning your head may cause one elbow to tense. These movements are called “compensations” and they are our body’s best attempt to adjust to its restrictions (due to injury or trauma). Often these compensations may have been present for years but have gone unnoticed until they reach the point of causing pain or noticeable restriction in movement.

Profound Tension Release technique involves the practitioner applying gentle hand pressure to the specific area in the body at the source of the compensations already detected. These specific points vary from individual to individual – they can be within muscles, bones or organs and often manifest in different places during the course of the treatment as the tension unwinds and the body readjusts. A light sensation, either locally or somewhere else in the body, might be felt and usually a person will experience a peaceful feeling accompanied by an urge to stretch in order to create a release of tension. People often yawn during their treatment and feel tired afterwards.

The Connective Tissues

By focusing on the connective tissues, Profound Tension Release reinforces the idea that the body is interconnected and operates as an active “whole” or matrix. A wholistic body knows what every other part of the body knows (every cell, every interior of every cell) and is interactive. It is this wholistic approach that our conventional scientific and medical research fails to appreciate.

The connective tissues provide the pathways for blood vessels, nerves and acupuncture meridians to travel through, so that energy, nutrients and hormones can be delivered to each and every cell in the body. It also provides a pathway for lymph vessels, thus enabling toxins to be carried out of the cells to be eliminated. I advise that people drink plenty of water after a treatment in order to flush the connective tissues after their release.

The connective tissues absorb the shocks from various injuries and trauma we have experienced, with each new shock adding another layer of tension to these tissues. This tension is in the form of  localised areas of connective tissue rigidity that cause vital nutrient flows and communication messages to be blocked as well as restricted movement and flexibility.

How many treatments will it take to experience tension release?

 Individuals adapt differently to Profound Tension Release technique, depending on variables to do with the depth and longevity of their embodied tension, their lifestyle, level of fitness, diet etc. Dramatic release of tension can be experienced but more usually a person will progress through a series of visits. Assessments are made during each visit to determine progress towards the person’s goals. 4 – 6 visits may see significant positive change.

When you experience trauma, for example an injury, surgery, inflammation or repetitive strain, adhesions can form within the connective tissue (fascia) network. An adhesion is scar tissue that forms between two surfaces, causing the tissues to stick together. They can form between different layers of fascia, between the fascia and the muscles, the fascia and the nerves, and even between the fascia and the organs.


Scar tissue causes the connective tissue to shorten and tighten in some areas while becoming weak and flaccid in others.  This can pull the spine and joints out of alignment or allow them to fall out of alignment.  If scar tissue forms in multiple locations, this further complicates the dysfunction in the connective tissue network.  Scar tissue can become larger and tighter over time resulting in worsening symptoms.

Because the connective tissue network is one continuous net of tissue; pain and dysfunction can spread throughout the body or occur in distant locations to the original injury. Scar tissue impinges nerves, causing them to misfire. It disrupts the smooth flow of blood, lymph, and energy throughout the body resulting in not only chronic pain and poor posture, but also many other health conditions. Much of the time, this scar tissue cannot be seen using x-rays or imaging tests.

Typical symptoms of people who seek relief from connective tissue tension are: *

  • Poor posture.
  • Back and neck pain.
  • Stiffness and pain in the peripheral joints such at the hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows and wrists.
  • Pain and tightness in the calves.
  • Restricted walking or running style.
  • Jaw pain, stiffness, locking and clicking.
  • Chest and abdomen pain.
  • Restricted breathing and rib pain.

Other symptoms that may develop as the result of this tension; *

  • Lack of energy, lethargy, feeling “down”.
  • Poor sleep.
  • Feeling stressed and generally tense.
  • Feeling anxious or out of control.
  • Feeling that no-one understands what’s going on.
  • Headaches, dizziness and brain fog.
  • Discomfort in the abdomen or pelvis.

*  I am unable to advise you of any specific outcomes from Profound Tension Release as no independent studies have been carried out on the results achieved when using this technique. I can only speak from my own experience and anecdotal evidence. 

Your Connective Tissues

Essential to the dance between stability and movement – crucial in high performance, central in recovery from injury and disability, and ever-present in our daily life from our conception to the last breath we take.

Our bodies communicate information from one area to another via the connective tissues, a continuum of fibres and cells, reacting to each other, passing messages in a process that is twenty times faster than the nervous system. This is an instant reactivity. Take the example of an insect flying onto your eyelash. The blinking of the eye is so fast it is beyond that which is mediated by the nervous system.

In addition, these ongoing reactions are truly electro-magnetic. There is within the body a process known as a piezoelectric response. As soon as any tissue is bent or stretched, there is an outpouring of electricity (energy) that, in turn, creates a magnetic field. Thus a circuitry is created through which energy flows. This constitutes the piezoelectric response and provides the basis for acupuncture meridians. These meridians support the flows of energy from the piezoelectric effect, but they also support many other kinds of regulatory flow, including those involved in emotional expression. This flow of electromagnetic energy is also the basis of transmission of information and even the evocation of the chemical reactions within the body.

Energy flows best when everything is coherent (when our cells are communicating unimpeded by blockages and tension.) This is the ideal "zone" of exceptional human performance, or the "zone" of exceptional human health.

Furthermore, this flow of electro-magnetic energy can be detected beyond the body, creating electro-magnetic waves that some people call the "aura." We all have experienced certain “vibes” and even speak about “being on the same wavelength” as someone. Most of us are sensitive to a good environment or an unhealthy environment, a good person or one who may not be so good. This is an energetic exchange between people or between a person and their immediate environment.

Our body's connective tissue matrix is a tensegrity structure (tension + integrity); that is a dynamic balance between the rigid bones and the elasticity of the soft tissues. If we put strain into a tensegrity structure and the deformation will get distributed all over the structure. Where will a tensegrity structure be over-stressed under strain? At the weakest point for that particular force. This maybe in another part of our body from our symptoms. For example, in our body, the ‘load’ that is causing pain or strain in the low back may be sourced in the foot, the shoulder or elsewhere. Profound Tension Release provides a way to detect the pattern of compensations in order for the practitioner to know where to intervene to release those patterns and access their source.

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