Twelve Point Tension Release

Checking in with our stress levels and using tension release techniques engages our parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the “rest and digest system.” Self-soothing skills can foster lifelong healthy habits in young people and adults, helping to enhance the quality of life as well as learning and relationship building.
Stand up, feet planted on the ground shoulder length apart. Bend knees slightly. Take three deep breaths, exhaling each breath fully. Now, begin the following movement sequence.


Pick up your left foot and roll your ankle around in a circle to the left. Now roll your left ankle around in a circle to the right. Now put your left foot down and pick up your right foot and roll your ankle around in a circle to the left. Then roll your right ankle around in a circle to the right.


Stand on your left leg and lift right knee; then stand on your right leg and lift your left knee. Hold in your stomach and breathe while you do the knee lifts.

CORE (Back)

Put your hands on your hips. Gently and slowly arch your spine backward, then forward, holding in your stomach muscles (think of pulling in your belly button to your spine). Breathe in as you arch backward, and breathe out as you arch forward, pulling in your stomach.

CORE (Waist & Back)

Put your hands on your hips, and swivel your hips around in a circle to the left. Now swivel your hips around in a circle to the right.


Hold your hands out. Roll wrists in circles, in one direction 10 turns and then 10 times in the opposite direction. Make fists and then unclench them doing this 10 times.


Lift your arms so they are at right angles with your body. Keeping your arms straight, circle them around in small circles until they begin to become heavy. When this occurs drop your hands to your side. Repeat, only this time rotate your hands in the opposite direction.


Bring your shoulders up to your ears, squeeze and hold for a count of 15 and then down again. Do this 4 times.


Slowly bend your neck to your right side so that your ear is moving toward your shoulder. Hold for a count of 5 and then do the same on the opposite side. Now move your neck forward so your chin touches your chest hold and then slowly move your neck back, lifting your chin. This exercise should be done slowly and very gently.


Scrunch your whole face up: including your eyes, nose cheeks, and mouth. Then release. Make these faces 5 times. Then, stretch your face muscles by opening your eyes wide and lifting your eyebrows up.


Make “O” signs with your mouth and then jut out your chin. Do this 5 times.


Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Do this 3 times.


Shake out your body. March in place and shake out your body again.