This is the first of the movement principles I use whether I’m leading a workshop, group class or working one on one with a client.
Let’s take a closer look at the next principle –
#2 Move in your pain and tension free range of motion.
Pain and tension are loaded words with many interpretations and variations. When we experience pain that rips, tears, furrows the brow, causes us to wince, bite our lip, clench the jaw and quiet literally takes our breath away most will agree there is some form of dysfunction or compensation occurring in the body.
Tension or feeling strain during movement and our favorite activities is what happens before feeling pain. Tension and strain movement patterns over time lead to pain patterns.
For example stand up, notice your breath, feel your feet, feel your lower leg and feel your upper leg, feel your chest and shoulders, now lift one foot off the floor. Did your you hold your breath, lean to the opposite side, tense up in the upper body, grip in your jaw or face, feel any strain in your standing leg?
If you did there is an opportunity to improve the communication between the brain, nervous system, tissues, muscles, joints and bones of the body.
One of two things happen at this point:
- We continue to push through the pain and tension thinking we should be able to “run 5kms, do “X” yoga pose, etc. The belief being that if we keep working/exercising we’ll get stronger/more flexible and the pain will go away. This usually happens after a short period of rest to settle any acute pain. In effect we set out to “fix it” focussing in on the site of the pain. In some cases our pain will go down but we will not truly heal and may have more problems later on because the neuromuscular pattern that caused the pain has not been addressed. i.e. knee pain that comes and goes progresses to plantar fasciitis or sciatica.
- We recognize that the pain and tension are signs of dysfunction or compensation and if we keep running, doing “X” yoga pose, etc the dysfunction will persist. We choose to change our movement patterns.
We feed, nourish and strengthen neuromuscular patterns with our movement. If we move in pain or tension we feed the body brain patterns that are causing pain or tension. To change these patterns we have to stop moving in ways that create pain and tension.
When someone comes to see me they have usually been cycling through option 1 above. They have tried everything and aren’t getting lasting results. Many remark “they are desperate for something to change.”
Cool thing is change is always possible – at any age, in any physical condition.
For the next week practice moving in a range where there is no click or clunk in the joint you are moving, no tension, strain or pain in your body and notice what happens.