Offering Registered Massage Therapy & Yoga Therapy in Courtenay BC

Are You Making Things Worse?

Just like Shrek; humans are like onions. We both have layers.

Sometimes when you’re on a path towards better mobility and strength, you will find yourself wondering if you’re creating new problems. 

While the ability to tell the difference between pain that is injurious vs the discomforts that come from good challenge and growth are key – there’s something else to consider

What if these ‘new issues’ you’re feeling are actually… old news?

What if they’ve actually been there all along, but were well compensated for, and so you had no idea this was going on?

If you’ve previously read my post about how ‘The Pain Isn’t Always Where The Problem Is’ you’ll have a basic understanding of how different muscle groups and joints might ‘pick up the slack’ when another muscle group or joint can’t quite do what it’s designed for. 

In that same post, I touched on the idea that when the compensating area starts to run out of steam, another area may compensate for it…. And eventually something else might compensate for that!

Essentially, we start to get an onion effect. Layers.

You may only be aware of the 'top layer' of your symptoms - Consider this:

let’s say you get a lot of headaches from neck tension. 

You may start to tackle tension in your neck and realize your neck gets overworked by helping your shoulder move your arms around…

And so you start working on your shoulder mobility so that your neck no longer has to help and wind up triggered and tight.

But then you might realize that your shoulder wasn’t moving great because your shoulder blade isn’t very stable on your rib cage…

And so you start working on your shoulder blade stability…. And you learn that you don’t have a lot of awareness or conscious control of your spines mobility and stability – maybe your twists are more limited than you realized… and so you start working on that. 


In the end, it MIGHT just turn out that what was truly behind your headaches was your spinal mobility and the ensuing chain reaction!

What's most important is...

Don't get overwhelmed by all the layers - take them one step at a time.

Begin to see all of these layers as interconnected chain reactions rather than individual, new problems.

In the hypothetical scenario above, you didn’t suddenly develop limited shoulder movement, or unstable shoulder blades, or a stiff back… none of those things were new – they had been there all along. 

It’s only the depth of your awareness and the level of control you have that’s new. 

  • You got to the root of your headaches. 
  • You have a deeper understanding and a stronger relationship with your body. 
  • You can sense when these individual moving parts are doing what they’re meant to and when they’re not. 
  • You have a newfound ability to step in and prevent your headaches from getting out of hand next time 
  • AND you have a newfound understanding about symptoms that build over time, and a new lens of curiosity to approach future concerns with. 
If you would like to explore the layers of your own situation and get down to the root of your symptoms, I would love to work with you. You are welcome to book online, or get started doing some of your own detective work, starting with my FREE Guide to Hearing Your Body’s Message.

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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