Live More Pain Free!

Do you think you are not flexible?

It is amazing how many people believe they are not very flexible. Some people have been told by health professionals and others have told themselves enough that they now believe it. What if I told you, you are more flexible than you think? What if I said that the way we have been taught to stretch is why you are not more flexible? I know that may be hard to believe, but today people are being taught by trainers, physical therapists, and massage therapists how to stretch that is incorrect in dealing with chronic pain.
Most people are working too hard when stretching their muscles because they believe that the harder they pull the more the muscle will let go. Some common beliefs are the longer I hold the stretch, the more the muscle will release and if I stretch several muscles at one time I can be more efficient. The truth is those beliefs are what is keeping in your chronic pain!
Our muscles are more emotional then we give them credit. You can have a thought and become angry, sad, stressed, and or worried. Any of these emotions and you will tighten all your muscles as if you were lifting a weight. That is why after an emotional day you feel very tired. Your brain has created fatigue and stiffened your muscles as if you had just worked out.
When stretching a muscle, it is not about the pressure applied, but your ability to use your brain to relax the muscle. In doing a stretch only hold the stretch for 2-4 seconds and repeat the stretch 8- 10 times. As you hold the stretch breathe out and allow your brain to let go, relax, the muscle. This will work for every muscle in your body.
Before you can stretch a muscle it must be soft. Few of us can afford a daily massage, but we can use a tennis ball in a sock to do a self massage against a wall. Some therapists will teach you to use the ball on the floor, but unless you can levitate, how can you adjust the pressure. This can be painful! putting the ball in a sock prevents the ball from rolling away from you if you drop it. Using a tennis ball is best as it is not too hard and not too soft. Some people have suggested a cue ball but it is too hard and we do not want that much pressure. Place the tennis ball between your back and the wall. Remember not to roll around on the ball, but apply pressure. You are not trying to put a hole in the wall, that is too much, but just enough to get your brain's attention so you can relax that muscle and release it. When the muscle releases, the pain will stop. Repeat this all over your back. You are searching for sore spots on your back which is caused by lactic acid from using your muscles. You should us the tennis ball on your hips to make them soft as well.
 Many people are rolling on foam rollers. This may feel good for the moment but it is not really doing anything for your muscles. You can use a foam roller if you place it under your hips and lay back on the floor with your legs straight out. Go easy at first because few people ever stretch their backs backward, but it will help you stand taller. When you lay back on the roller take a couple of deep breaths and allow your muscles to release. Then move the roller up 3-4 inches and repeat. Continue up your back to your shoulder blades. IN my next blog I will speak more extensively about how to use the roller for your neck and shoulders to reverse head forward posture.

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Learn to live without chronic pain by using the techniques of the Muscle Repair Shop to free your body up.