DID YOU KNOW – Body Interactions
Every muscle in the body has an OPPOSING MUSCLE. When muscles contract, opposing muscles must release (simple bio-mechanics!). Muscle pain or soreness often occurs when contracting muscles need to work harder than they should because OPPOSING muscles are too tight. Your pain is often the SYMPTOM, but the tighter OPPOSING muscles where you may not feel sore or tight are often the CAUSE or a contributing factor. The same applies to opposite SIDES of the body – front v back, left v right, in v out and up v down. Eg: pain on the LEFT side of the body is often due to tighter muscles on the RIGHT.
The ORIGIN of many common muscle and joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines can usually be traced back to your feet, hips and/or jaw joint being out of alignment. Any misalignment of one or more of those areas causes a range of compensating factors throughout the body.
The brain controls all functions of the body via the nerves. Virtually any nerve can be impinged by the jaw joint, often pulled out of alignment due to imbalances in muscles and other soft tissue throughout the body. Some ailments you think are “medical,” in fact may just be due to nerve impingement at the jaw.
An important aspect often overlooked or ignored in treatments by many physiscal therapists is the role of PROPRIOCEPTORS. They are neuro-transmitters – like nerve terminals – constantly sending signals to and from the brain about the body’s BALANCE, POSITION and MOVEMENT. The brain needs to know where every part of your body is at any given time. Every muscle (about 660 of them) and joint in the body plus the middle ear has proprioceptors. Because the whole weight of the body is supported on the feet, and particularly the ankle joints, there are many proprioceptors in these areas. Does your massage or other physical therapist check and give you advice about the alignment of your feet? I do.
For you to lift even one arm, a series of things has to happen. These include movement of all FIVE shoulder joints on each side of the body (left/right, front/back) and your spine being able to flex and move slightly to allow the scapula (shoulder blade) to rotate. If spinal muscles are too tight or imbalanced as a result of poor HIP ALIGNMENT and can’t adequately move to allow movement of the scapula, some treatments you receive for injured or post surgery shoulder recovery may be ineffective or prolonged for much longer than necessary. So your HIP ALIGNMENT and any muscles affecting that also need to be considered in any shoulder treatment, especially post-surgical (eg shoulder reconstruction).
You should feel more RELAXED for much longer after a good remedial massage than after a normal Swedish/relaxation massage. Working deep into the tissues releases more endorphins which are like a natural chemical muscle relaxant. The old saying “no pain no gain” is true – to a certain extent. The right amount of pain – within your normal pain tolerance – triggers the release of the endorphins. Too much pain causes other muscles around where the therapist is working to spasm to protect your sore muscles. So too much pain is actually counter-productive.
When your lymphatic and nervous systems are overloaded (e.g. through sickness and disease – colds, flu, bronchitis, sinus, cancer, heart disease, inflammation, etc.), “neuro-lymphatic reflexes” act like circuit breakers that switch off. This can result in a range of muscle and organ pain in the body. Over many years, doctors and other health practitioners have identified and charted dozens of neuro-lymphatic reflex points (known as Chapman’s Reflexes) and developed techniques to help turn these reflex points back on. This revives lymph flow and helps restore strength to muscles and organs. These points can be massaged with specific neuro-lymphatic massage or included as part of a typical remedial massage by an experienced therapist.
If you are experiencing headaches or migraines, does you physical therapist also check to see if you toes are bent, or if you have other foot misalignment issues? If they don’t, or they don’t know about that connection, you are going to the wrong therapist.
Stiffy, Flippy, Floppy
Are you a “stiffy,” a “flippy” or a “floppy?” Get your therapist to explain the differences. If you’re a “floppy” and a therapist works too deep in your tight muscles, they may be aggravating your problems – not fixing them.
David Hall ©
MOUNT LOUISA REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST
Mount Louisa-based Townsville remedial massage therapist for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines, and preparation for and recovery from sporting, exercise and other fitness activities. I guarantee best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.