How does life change when pain, injury or trauma is thrown upon us? How does your body respond?
We are built to survive so our natural instinct is to keep on going, make do, move forward.
The road to recovery is based on 2 things: what was your starting point pre trauma, and what amount of work you do to get your body functioning correctly again.
Of course I understand in reality there are a few more influencing factors, but as a movement therapist I believe your rehab is very much dependant on the ground work you have laid prior and the effort you put in to rectify the imbalances in your own body after an accident or injury.
Lifestyle is a BIG factor to our wellbeing in 2017, if we look at what our bodies are designed to do and how they are supposed to move, it certainly doesn’t include sitting at a desk, in a car on or a couch for 12 hours per day. We have big leg and bum muscles that are supposed to move our joints, bend our knees, bring us up from a squat. Amazing muscles in our trunk that are able to move our spine in numerous different directions. And arms that are able to reach up, overhead instead of just out in front on our electronic devices.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sloucher like the rest of you.
We all love to sit on the couch, watching tele, phone in hand, right? – GUILTY? Me too!
But it is what we do to balance these acts. What is your ratio of moving hours per day compared to sedentary hours? In your hours of awake time are your moving your body through a wide range of motion, in all directions, using all your muscles evenly so as to maintain a strong, fit, balanced body?
Maybe don’t answer that….right away.
Maybe firstly think about: do you have pain in your body? Does it ache at the end of the day? Have you a niggle that you get “treated” that seems to just keep coming back?
These little niggles/aches/pains are a sign that something is not functioning efficiently within our body. There is imbalance – Strong muscles. Weak muscles. Tight muscles. Biomechanically our bones and muscles have ways (movement patterns) to which they function best, any slight change in these bones and muscles alignment or recruitment and we cannot function efficiently. We start to practice bad movement patterns (compensatory patterns) that over time can lead to ongoing pain, imbalance, repetitive strain injuries and a generally unhappy body.
Having said that, I don’t think I have EVER seen a body without imbalance in my time of teaching Pilates or people watching. Our habitual patterns (everything we do) leaves an imprint. If we sit too long, we are imbalanced. If we play sport on a dominant side, we are imbalanced. If we carry children on one hip all day, we are imbalanced. You get the idea.
So how do we fix it?
And perhaps prevention instead of cure is something to think about too. Not waiting until a problem occurs, but doing something positive to prevent it.
What can we do today to look after our body and avoid aches and pains tomorrow?
Does going to the gym 3 times a week undo the effects of sitting long hours every day? NO.
When your long hours of work are over and you can’t be bothered cooking do you make bad meal choices?
Do you spend time on the weekend sitting with friends, eating, drinking? How would it be if you WALKED to the restaurant/beach/park to meet them instead of driving?
We are all individually responsible for our own body and wellbeing. You get out what you put in. I invite you to change your habits, do something good and make better choices – they don’t even need to be the best choices, just make BETTER ones than you’re making now.
Obviously we can’t all quit our jobs to avoid sitting at a desk all day (although I often think if we DID stop working it would solve a lot of body issues. I would also probably be out of a job, but that’s another story) What can you do to find balance in your body, the way it moves and how it functions?
Challenge yourself. Break your habitual patterns and see how it can positively affect your lifestyle, the way you feel and how your body functions. You won’t regret it.