massage therapist | photographer

14 random things I’ve learned since leaving massage school : #13

In Massage, Uncategorized on April 7, 2016 at 3:53 PM

(March 15th marked 14 years since my first day of massage school out in Port Townsend, WA. I spent a little time reflecting on what I’ve learned from having my hands on countless bodies of all different shapes, sizes, and levels of health over the years.  In random order here are some of my observations and things I wish my clients knew.)

#13  Our bodies are designed to move.

We have the opportunity to live mainly sedentary lifestyles now a days. Sitting in front of computers all day at work, then phones, laptops and TV’s at night means we never have to physically engage or challenge our bodies. We weren’t meant to be inactive.

Here are a few benefits of moving more, taken from the ACE Fitness website: lower blood pressure; better control of body fat; improved immune function; increased muscle strength; increased flexibility; improved mental functioning; higher quality of sleep.  Some of the consequences of inactivity? Loss of bone density; stiff joints; weak muscles; weakening of heart & lungs; degeneration of the cellular energy systems.

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I see lots of “holding patterns” in my practice. Limited range of motion in joints because they are rarely moved or stretched. Shoulders curved forward and curvature in the cervical spine from endless hours of sitting all day. Our fascia, especially if we are dehydrated, will tighten and sort of hold us into place if we are always in familiar movement patterns.

Self-care is vital. While you are making strides to take better care of you and increase your daily movement – take time now for bite sized changes.  Once an hour stand up at your desk and stretch in any way opposite of what you do all day. If your hands are palm down typing, put them palm up, and gently stretch your fingers towards your elbow with your opposite hand. Shoulders always hunched forward? Clasp your hands behind your back to open up the chest and round the shoulders back. Walk to get a drink of water. Just little one minute “snacks of self-care” can really add up.

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