Why Things Hurt – Lorimer Moseley

Why Things Hurt – Lorimer Moseley

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Yellow Lights

If you consider the sensations in your body as a sliding scale, those sensations can be seen as tools rather than nuisances.  If you learn

Yellow Lights

Yellow Lights

If you consider the sensations in your body as a sliding scale, those sensations can be seen as tools rather than nuisances. 

If you learn how to read this sliding scale, you will better know where you are between feeling really good, and feeling really bad. 

You will have the opportunity to choose whether you take a step back and do some self care to bring your symptoms back down. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to choose whether to continue on your path and know that you’ll likely be sore later on, but that it was worth it. 

Traffic lights can also be a helpful analogy. 

The green light is when things feel great. I’m sure you know what that feels like for you. 

The red light is when things feel awful – however that presents in your life and body. 

The yellow lights, however, are the ones to really pay attention to. There can be many, many yellow lights in between green and red. Each one tells you you’re one step closer to feeling good or feeling bad. 

Being able to recognize the yellow lights in your own system gives you options. They give you warning, and information. 

In the beginning, you may think there’s only a couple of yellow lights, and one of them is so close to the red light that it’s hard to step in and change course… 

But as you get better at listening to your body, and knowing it on a much subtler level, the yellow lights you didn’t know existed start to show up. 

And this, ultimately, is the work I do with people. 

I help them to feel their bodies. I help them to understand their unique body’s messaging system, and I teach them how to respond. I guide people to feel more confident in their abilities to get creative and exploratory, and to bring their own symptoms down.

I help people find their internal locus of control. 

What’s really cool is that this concept of learning and listening to your yellow lights can be applied to many different aspects of a person’s wellbeing and life. 

If this interests you, and you would like to feel like you have a little more say in how you feel day to day, I would love to work with you!

This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen work and not work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence that is constantly being released.

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Yellow Lights

If you consider the sensations in your body as a sliding scale, those sensations can be seen as tools rather than nuisances.  If you learn

How to: Complex movements to component pieces

How to: Complex movements to component pieces

It can be difficult to figure out why a certain action or activity is causing pain and dysfunction, or why something like a golf swing isn’t becoming stronger, more accurate or more powerful, no matter how much practice. 

It can be really helpful to take whatever that movement is and break it down into it’s component pieces. Here’s why:

  • We can identify what is moving well.
  • We can identify what isn’t moving well. 
  • We can identify which part(s) of the movement are hindering you.
  • We can come up with a plan to make movement patterns more efficient and less compensated.
  • We can improve range of motion if that’s something that is necessary and available. 
  • We can decrease pain (or other symptoms) and introduce ease into the activity. 

The result of all these things is better use of muscles, more comfort, better coordination between body parts… and more!

And from THAT comes a stronger golf swing, a more powerful stroke for swimming, better load through the legs and hips while running… Or being able to wash your own hair comfortably, get up out of bed in the morning, or get off the toilet. 

So, to give you an idea of how we do this, let’s break down a stretch that most people know and use for their tight hips.

  • Start off laying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Notice how your back and pelvis meet the ground, and try to let any gripping in your body relax. 
  • Lift one foot off the floor by flexing your hip. Notice if any funky counterbalancing or, straining or bracing happens. See if you can find a smaller range where the movement happens with ease, or bring your feet up a slightly higher starting point like I demonstrate in the video. 
  • Start to play with the rotation you have available in your hip joint, so that our foot can eventually rest on your knee or thigh. Is your pelvis moving against the floor?
  • Rest your foot on the opposite leg and notice how things settle. Does your torso want to skew? Dip? Brace?
  • If you want to bring the legs in toward your chest for more sensation, notice if this requires you to peel your shoulders off the floor or lift your pelvis off the floor. If so, either stay in the grounded position, or use a strap around the thigh to support the leg in its flexed position.
  • If in stead of bringing the legs closer to the chest, you want to add a twist, let the raised foot start to lower to the floor, and notice when you spine stops twisting and your opposite shoulder starts lifting instead. 

This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen work and not work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence that is constantly being released.

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If you consider the sensations in your body as a sliding scale, those sensations can be seen as tools rather than nuisances.  If you learn

What does that great stretch feeling really mean?

What does that great stretch feeling really mean?

We all know the feeling of a really great stretch… But does it mean that we’re achieving what we’re hoping for?

It’s important to remember that the feeling of a stretch is just a sensation.

Thanks to nerve receptors in soft tissues, the brain can tell that lengthening is happening. Depending on how fast, intentional or forceful the stretch is, the brain also knows whether or not it’s feeling threatened. 

If the brain decides the lengthening is non-threatening, a pleasant sensation is felt instead of a painful sensation.

However, while something can feel good, does it necessarily mean something is happening?

The real question is, are the tissues actually adapting and changing the way we want them to? Or are we essentially scratching an itch that will just need to be scratched again later? 

In the video below, I will use the hips as an example in a classic stretch position that most people are familiar with. 

This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen work and not work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence that is constantly being released.

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If you consider the sensations in your body as a sliding scale, those sensations can be seen as tools rather than nuisances.  If you learn

Why are you asking me to keep movements small when I can move so much more?

Why are you asking me to keep movements small when I can move so much more?

When you’re wanting to resolve symptoms that are disrupting your quality of life, I start by looking at how the different joints in your body are moving on their own. 

This gives us an idea of what’s moving well, what isn’t, and where the compensations are happening that are leading to your symptoms. 

What you can do and what you want to do is the difference between your capacity and your capability

Let’s say you’re sitting on the floor, and the instructor guides you into a spinal twist. You know the one; where one arm rests against your knee or thigh and the other hand rests on the floor behind you. 

Now let’s say that you do what a lot of people do – You use the arm on your thigh to push yourself deeper into the twist and the hand on the floor to help your back sit up tall. 

You have the capacity – or the ‘potential’ – to twist that far. 

In other words, you can put your body into the shape that you are aiming for. 

But if the instructor then asked you to remove both hands from the surfaces they were touching, your back would ‘rebound’ out of the twist and probably round a bit too.

This ‘rebound’ would happen because your spine does not have the capability to twist that far and remain long and tall under its own power. 

You get good at what you practice!

Practice moving with force, compensations and rigidity, all while pushing through discomfort or pain, and you’ll get really good at that!

This is why I teach people to meet their bodies where they’re at. I encourage them to respect the boundaries that their tissues set out.

When your body trusts that you’re not going to force it to do something it isn’t ready for yet, it will soften, trust and start to give you more ease and less pain. 

That’s how you can start to close the gap between your capability and your capacity, AND that’s why, even though you can move farther, I’m asking you not to!

This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen work and not work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence that is constantly being released.

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If you consider the sensations in your body as a sliding scale, those sensations can be seen as tools rather than nuisances.  If you learn

What’s the difference between active therapy and passive therapy?

What’s the difference between active therapy and passive therapy?

I personally offer registered massage therapy and movement (yoga) therapy, so I will speak to those.

Massage therapy would be considered a passive therapy. The treatment is happening to you. The main benefit is symptom relief. 

The moment you go back to your regular activities, movement patterns and habits, everything that caused your symptoms in the first place will begin to build up again… And then you’ll be back for more relief. 

Movement therapy would be considered an active therapy. The treatment is happening within you. One of the many benefits is actual symptom resolve and prevention.

You actually learn how to address and change the way your body moves through and responds to the world around you.   

I love to combine these two things in what I call ‘Discovery appointments’. We split time a little more evenly between movement and massage. The movement therapy provides me with the assessment and home care I am required to provide within the context of a massage appointment, but you get both the relief and the building blocks to resolve. 

This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen work and not work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence that is constantly being released.

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If you consider the sensations in your body as a sliding scale, those sensations can be seen as tools rather than nuisances.  If you learn

Massage therapy and evidence

Massage therapy and evidence

There has been growing research in registered massage therapy and how/why it works. 

So far, what we’ve mostly learned is that a lot of old narratives were inaccurate.

From what I’ve read, so far there’s been more debunking what we thought was going on than actual answers about what IS going on. For example;

We now know that ‘trigger points’ aren’t what we thought they were. In fact, we don’t know what they are – only that these tender spots tend to have common referrals patterns in most people and are often found in similar locations on most bodies. 

We also know that fascial cannot be ‘released’ or stretched. We know that the manual techniques we’ve used for years that we thought were releasing fascia still give people relief and results… We just don’t know why. 

In my humble opinion, regardless of the ‘why’, the important thing is that massage therapy does help people. Also, it’s not typically an invasive or aggressive approach to care, so the risks of causing harm are very low. 

Personally, I think that the reason massage therapy works is very simple:

People get quality one-to-one time to feel heard and cared for. They receive human contact, and that contact (the techniques and pressure used) is tailored to what that person responds to best. They feel safe, cared for, heard, validated and most importantly, their nervous system is given the opportunity to chill out.

I think that pretty much all of the actual physiological effects that a massage provides – decreased muscle tension, decreased blood pressure, improved ease of movement, pain relief – all happen as a direct result of the person’s nervous system going into ‘rest and digest mode’. 

I think that people’s systems essentially ‘fix’ or ‘reset’ themselves – we massage therapists simply provide an environment and a stimulus to facilitate it. 

This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen work and not work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence that is constantly being released.

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If you consider the sensations in your body as a sliding scale, those sensations can be seen as tools rather than nuisances.  If you learn

Which exercise is the best one?

Which exercise is the best one?

Isn’t the world of exercise, stretching and ‘self care’ sometimes overwhelming?

How do you know what to try, who to listen to and what to use?

Well, the answer is, it depends, and here’s why. 

There are so many exercises, stretches, props and tools out there. And not only that, there are so many different ways one single exercise can be done. 

What it boils down to is finding what works best for you. 

What does your body respond well to?

What have you tried already, and how did you feel during, immediately after and in the following days? Did you feel better? Great! Did you feel like crap? Maybe you need to tone down the intensity, speed, frequency, duration or resistance for a bit, or try something else altogether. 

If you’re getting conflicting advice from health care practitioners or gym leaders… great! You have options and guidance from different people with different skill sets! 

Now you get to decide what actually serves you. 

I know this is a frustratingly roundabout answer.. But the thing is, everyone’s body is different, AND your body is different day to day, month to month and year to year. 

An exercise that felt great last month may not work for you this month. That’s ok!

It comes own to your ability to feel your body, know what it’s telling you, and respecting it’s limits in that given moment. 

This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen work and not work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence that is constantly being released.

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If you consider the sensations in your body as a sliding scale, those sensations can be seen as tools rather than nuisances.  If you learn

The pain isn’t where the problem is

The pain isn’t where the problem is

I have worked with people for over a decade now as a registered massage therapist, and I can tell you that more often than not, the pain that brings people in for treatment is not felt at its actual source

Now, if someone has fallen and landed on their butt, or taken a kick to the leg in a soccer game, then yes… The pain is coming from the point of impact. 

However, anything that has developed over time – even ‘secondary’ symptoms that occur after a couple weeks of limping from that fall or soccer incident – are usually a response to the original trouble spot. 

Think of it this way. There is an office in which 2 office workers are employed. Worker #1, for whatever reason, never gets all of their work done. Worker #2 finishes their own work, and then finishes worker #1’s responsibilities.

Which worker is going to show signs of frustration and burnout???

If you take this analogy and apply it to your body, it’s easier to understand that when one part of the body is ‘carrying the weight’ of another, it will eventually feel similarly to Worker #2.

As my yoga therapy teacher puts it, “the pain is merely an expression of a problem that exists somewhere else”. 

This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen work and not work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence that is constantly being released.

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If you consider the sensations in your body as a sliding scale, those sensations can be seen as tools rather than nuisances.  If you learn

What does a yoga therapy session ACTUALLY look like?

What does a yoga therapy session ACTUALLY look like?

A one-on-one movement (yoga) therapy session is not a private Hatha flow class. 

It’s all about digging into your symptoms, concerns and goals, and checking out how your body is actually moving. 

Do the muscles and joints involved in your goal actually have the capacity to do what you want them to do?

No matter what your goal is – pain relief, symptom management, strength, flexibility – the body needs to be moving well. 

A lot of it boils down to making sure the communication channels between the brain and your body parts are working efficiently. 

Imagine someone desperately trying to wiggle their ears, yet the ears remain perfectly still while the rest of their face wiggles around. 

This same concept happens all over the body. 

You can’t change what you don’t know about, and that’s where these sessions come in. 

We will spend a lot of time breaking down larger activities and movements into their component pieces. 

I will help you learn how to feel your body and it’s signals on a much deeper level. 

You will begin to take a new level of awareness into your day, and you will quickly discover that you have the ability to know what your current limits are and to avoid injury. 

 

This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen work and not work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence that is constantly being released.

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Yellow Lights

If you consider the sensations in your body as a sliding scale, those sensations can be seen as tools rather than nuisances.  If you learn