Your life and the radio dial analogy: Tuning into your body’s signals When it comes to exercising, stretching, and generally monitoring the body’s state, many
The Snowball Effect
You are a busy person with plans. You want to spend time with your friends and family, live an active lifestyle, and generally enjoy the things you do…
But your body may have other ideas for you if you live with something you can’t ‘undo’ – like fibromyalgia, arthritic joints, migraines, or permanent changes from an old injury or surgery.
You wake up in pain. It’s a struggle to get out of bed. The house is mess, you need to get groceries and you have plans with a friend later. You have to prioritize – and any tasks you DO tackle require many breaks. You call and cancel plans with your friend. Again.
You are frustrated, and tired – tired of life being run by your body.
…Speaking of your body…
Is the stiffness and soreness getting stronger and... spreading?!
Your body is going to try to make life easier for you by coping and compensating for the things your particular situation makes challenging. Your body will want to protect areas that feel vulnerable, complete tasks without using angry muscles and joints, and generally avoid things that seem likely to cause pain. This causes guarding (tension) and funky movement patterns.
Coping strategies and compensatory movements start out as helpful, but eventually create their own layers of symptoms!
More stiffness, soreness, pain, impingement and repetitive strain injury.
You wind up with a snowball effect that makes everything feel more widespread, more complicated, and more intense over time.
Luckily, there are lots of ways you can alleviate and influence these ‘bonus’ symptoms.
Not all of your symptoms are entirely out of your control!
This is a marathon, not a sprint, because your body will always have this challenging ‘thing’ to work around. Sometimes caring for yourself will look like rest. Other times, it will look like something a little more ‘active’.
Keep in mind that while it may not seem like it, restful self care IS productive! It may be tempting to take more obvious action, but rest is just as vital and is 100% valid.
Luckily, both massage and yoga provide opportunities for rest, gentle movement, and plenty more!
Neither will cure you, but both can help you to:
1) Take a sigh of relief...
- Relax and take a break from some of your pain
- Create softness in your muscles and space in your joints
- Relieve the layers of ‘bonus symptoms’
- Free up movement
- Sleep better
- Lower stress and anxiety
2) Feel supported
- Experience human connection
- Feel seen and heard
- Learn tools for relief at home
- Learn methods for building on success
- Experience constructive rest
- Find gentle, non-aggravating ways to move, stretch and exercise safely
- Collaborate and exchange thoughts and knowledge
3) Discover your innate abilities...
- Navigate and understand your system’s triggers
- Make informed choices
- Have agency
- Show yourself compassion, grace and patience
- Foster mindful awareness and intention
Yes, you can regain a sense of control...
When you are able to reduce and manage the ‘bonus’ symptoms that exist around the perimeter of an issue outside your control, it brings down the overall suffering.
The snowball effect of symptoms building on top of symptoms will start to melt away and you will be left with a more manageable experience.
At BodyWell, we take joy in being creative with our observations, our hands on approach and the movement practices we suggest in order to bring you the relief and solutions you are looking for. We want you to be able to build on your progress at home – bringing you confidence, independence and a better quality of life.
This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen resonate with, and 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.
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