Did you ever have muscular or joint pain and wonder what to do? Always see your doctor for seriously acute or chronic issues. If you are approved for movement then in most cases doing some gentle movement may help to resolve your discomfort. – But not just any movement! It’s all in how you do it.
All extreme circumstances aside, out bodies are meant for movement. And, unless there is a structural imbalance or an acute injury involved, in most cases one’s chronic pain is due to some pattern of tension that has been learned. Maybe a pattern of compensation is still going on. Or, maybe a pattern of tension has been learned while doing some activity which is done often. Well guess what? What was learned can be unlearned!
If there is pain then there is usually a tendency to not move that part. However, our bodies are really designed for movement. We can develop pain from movement but we can resolve it with movement as well. Think about the quality of movement you feel when there is pain. And think of the quality of movement you have when you use movement to resolve it. It’s all in how you do it…
There is no mistake in how our body structure was designed. At birth we have 270 bones and after some fuse together we then have about 206 bones. We have three types of muscles, which are cardiac, visceral and skeletal. For physical function we have over 650 named muscles which are attached to bones, or the skin (muscles in the face). These muscles are equal and opposite reacting on each side of the body, inclosing front and back. It’s like a giant pulley system! Our bodies are SO amazing and complicated. And it I wonder how most of us get as far into life as we do without suffering pain from significant imbalance!
From early in my life I connected to the sense of balance or imbalance within myself. In countless situations I instinctively worked to improve my own imbalances, physical or otherwise, by creating simple exercises to decrease the disparity between the affected and compensating muscles. In doing this, while always staying below my pain threshold, I experienced how moving in a balanced, pain-free way could significantly improve my function for the long-term. And improving my function then led to a long-term reduction of pain or discomfort. It’s all in how one does it! In other words, structure leads to function.
It is this concept that I incorporate into my work as a massage therapist. Whether a situation of pain is recent or ongoing it is possible to learn to deconstruct it. By taking time to SLOW down and listen to our bodies we may develop a greater understanding of the source of the issue and more easily find a preventative or noninvasive solution. Yoga, Tai Chi, Qui Gong, Alexander Technique, and stretching are some modalities which can effectively support the body in bringing back balanced function which leads to lack of pain. And massage therapy is also beneficial as a type of passive exercise which can prepare you for other physical movements.