Offering Registered Massage Therapy & Yoga Therapy in Courtenay BC

Your Life and the Radio Dial Analogy

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 people start off with what I call the “on/off switch” approach. 

They go from zero to 100. From feeling pretty good to having pain. 

Just. Like. *That* (Did you hear the finger snap? There was a finger snap there…)

This is TOTALLY normal…. Everyone starts here. Everyone. AND, some people don’t realize they’re still there. 

They don’t think they’re missing anything… The pain simply comes out of the blue!

Short-term gains, burnout, yo-yo symptoms, injuries and re-injuries, and an unsustainable exercise routine are all common results of the on/off switch approach.

What gets missed in this all-or-nothing approach is the gradual progression that lies in between ‘all’ and ‘nothing’. 

When it comes to rehab and reintroducing activities, the technical name for this gradual progression I speak of is ‘graded exposure’. 

Graded exposure:

A gradual and structured approach to overcoming fear or limitations associated movement and ability.

A progressive and systematic reintroduction of activities at manageable levels of difficulty to build confidence and capacity over time, while minimizing the risk of re-injury.

Overall, graded exposure gives you a much clearer picture of where you are at in your process of recovery, capacity or management. It gives you more information to work with so that you can make better decisions. After all, you can’t change things that you’re not aware of!

I personally like to imagine graded exposure like a radio dial.

With practice; how you move, rest and exercise your body becomes a very similar process to turning the dial just the right amount and finding that clear sound on the radio. 

  • You begin feeling the ‘levels of static’ between no pain, and pain, ease and effort, your edge and strain… 
  • Your ability to ‘turn the dial’ becomes more finessed, allowing you to move with coordination and control.
  • You start feeling the quality of your movements and rest differently, like that last bit of ‘static’ is no longer buzzing in the background.

And before you say, ‘Yes, but Heather, there’s more to people’s pain and conditions than movement and structural stuff…’. 

You are absolutely right. 

AND, while adding mindful movement, graded exposure and breath work to your life isn’t going to solve everything, it can be one of many necessary and effective steps towards your goals. 

AND, it’s the stuff I can help you with, as a massage therapist and a yoga therapist.

Witnessing people adopt the ‘radio dial’ approach is inspiring. A much more subtle, empowering and quality-of-life-changing way to do self-care.

It’s a real treat to work with people who are already able to approach things this way because we can really sink our teeth into the work quickly. But that’s not the majority of people I see.

Most people first need help developing this skill; it takes guidance from me, a bit of time, patience, and a lot of practice on their end. 

It is so satisfying, both for myself and for the people I work with, when this radio dial approach starts to work for them. They start coming to their appointments telling ME how they moved a certain way while doing something and noticed ‘this’, and how if they changed ‘that’, it felt better… The progress they were already making  just takes off – it’s wild. 

I LOVE helping people get to this place. 

If you would like to:

  • Reduce your risk of overuse injuries and strains.
  • Sustain your efforts over longer periods, leading to better overall performance.
  • Enhance your awareness and connection with your physical self.
  • Foster a healthier relationship with exercise.
  • Track progress and identify patterns.
  • Adjust your intensity or modify your exercise accordingly.

… I would absolutely love to help you do that! 

We can combine the relieving effects of a massage with the work that creates change – movement!

Gentle movement using a Yogic approach is so powerful. 

It doesn’t look like the pictures on Yoga magazines. Yoga simply means ‘Union’. Union of the body and mind. 

Doing what you do – anything you do –  mindfully. Gently. In a way that promotes awareness, health and growth, rather than strain, pain and harm. THAT is Yoga.

By embracing the idea of exercise and self care as a dial, and by learning to tune in to your body’s signals, you can create a sustainable and fulfilling lifestyle. Just like finding the perfect radio station, it might take time, but the journey itself is incredibly rewarding. 

So, slow down, listen to your body, and enjoy the process of discovering your potential.

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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