Learning to Ease Tension
By Lydia Lane
Los Angeles Times
November 17, 1972
Robin Strasser was in the daytime TV series ANOTHER WORLD for five years but took that demanding schedule in her stride. "I had been told that there were great pressures in performing five times a week, but I had no idea that there would be a no-letup schedule."
Robin had no intention of turning to tranquilizers or pills. "I did what any sensible person would do - searched for ways of conserving and increasing my vitality.
"Worry is one of the worst habits for depleting your energy. When there was friction on the set, I was determined to let others solve a problem if it did not concern me directly. But a tense atmosphere is not easy to block out, and sometimes I got a headache. So I tried to be more alert about the first signs of tension which hit me across the shoulders."
To relieve this, Robin practiced head rolls. "It is necessary to let your head fall limp, with your chin on your chest, and then slowly put the full weight of your skull in rotation - first one direction and then the other. When you are able to relax the vertebrae in your neck, you get a cracking sound that is a very effective release. Always inhale and exhale slowly in coordination with this."
Robin is sold on the latent power of breath. "I had the Lamaze training for natural childbirth, and it certainly minimizes discomfort of labor pains."
As we were walking to our cars, Robin added, "One important point is never to go to bed tense - no matter how tired you are. To be sure of a relaxed sleep, I do relaxing exercises or, when the weather is right, take a brisk walk with my husband. I have learned from experience that that quality of your sleep is more menaingful than the quantity.