Motion is Lotion!
Anna from The Clinic in Exmouth starts a series of blogs with this great introduction into the importance of listening to your body ...
"I do particularly love this caption and I am always heard repeating it to my clients as a mantra….”lotion is motion”
Movement is an essential ingredient of health and wellbeing, the ultimate prescription providing a panacea of positive benefits for your body, brain and mind. Exercise is Medicine
At The Clinic we all focus our treatments to improve movement, by managing pain, by improving restriction or just by treating an injury... every single client walking through our doors indirectly wants to move better or move without pain to live a good quality of life
Sometimes movement is restricted by many different causes: injury, pain, fear, stiffness, stress or overload and with these blogs we will be sharing some insights on how things happen and how we can help our body to move well again
The most essential characteristic of our body is Adaptation, we do adapt to our environment in order to overcome challenges. However sometimes in terms of movement we may adapt so much to one particular movement and forget to use and explore others, this is particularly true in sedentary lifestyle where you are sat in the same position for around 8 hours a day. Then one day you have to quickly access those movements you have not been exploring for a while and the body is not strong enough to cope with them and an injury or pain may occur
Let me give you a practical example: you have increased your training recently and feeling that brushing the back of your hair or lifting the weights bar over the head is becoming somewhat uncomfortable, so both consciously and unconsciously you will be trying to avoid that movement. We call this fear avoidance - getting away from what is painful
You keep going on your daily life and gradually there is no pain in the shoulder - probably because you have not been moving it to the point of pain … then one day you are in a situation when you need to put your arm over your head to stop something in the cupboard to falling on you using a sudden, reflex motion. And voila’ you feel pain in your shoulder again. You may think this happened because the shoulder was not “quite right” yet…. but actually what really happened is that your shoulder has not been experiencing that movement for a while and therefore the muscles responsible for it were weak, the ligaments around them were “asleep” and not responsive enough to cope with sudden action. We need to get our body to access as much movement as it is available in our joints - move that body move those joints
I love my profession of Soft Tissue Therapy. It incorporates massage, assisted stretching and joint mobilisations within a framework of pain science application, because it allows me to introduce movement in the body or those joints which may be restricted. By using combinations of techniques we can re-educate the body do access its full range of motion which ultimately goes a long way to prevent injury.
However there is much you can do yourself - consistency is the key - here's how to make a start
Next time you are in the pool, at the gym or in a class - start noticing where you have restrictions. Just notice, do not force the movement. Then try the following steps - for this example I have used the knee
Be aware if there is any joint movement which is restricted
Notice where in the movement the restriction starts that's your starting point
Move slightly away from that point, in the knee example will mean straightening the knee slightly
Hold there for 6 to 8 seconds
Then move again towards the restriction and you should find that the point of tightness is much lower now
Hold there for 10 to 15 seconds
Repeat the cycle 3 times
Then go and re-test where the restriction is and you should find that you can go so much further
So? What's happened?
Well, you have readapted the nervous system to that movement. No stretching or tissue work and no changes to the muscles…. it all happened at the brain and nervous system level. This is where most changes take place