Many of my clients are golfers and I usually hear how their low back pain affects their golf game. I used to play golf and I remember from my golf lessons that when you are swinging the club, you want to keep your back straight and rotate using your legs to bring the clubhead around your body. Watch a pro golfer when they swing. The club head is usually around their back to the other side of their body. This gives them more range to increase clubhead speed as it approaches the ball. When we see an amateur golfer we see the clubhead go to about the middle of their back which limits the range of building the clubhead speed. We know they are older and not as flexible, but can they improve their flexibility?
As I watch golfers swing a club, I see that their inner and outer thighs along with their inner and outer calves is what allows them to have the maximum amount of clubhead range. When I see golfers workout and stretch, I rarely see any golfer work on these two areas of their body. On the local courses, I see golfers forcing their backs to do the work. The inner thighs and outer thigh control the pelvis and when they are short, the pelvis is tilted forward which cause the low back to tighten. The calves are what allows your weight to shift on your feet. Without this flexibility, the chances of damaging your knees are pretty high. There is a way to help you improve your flexibility for golf. I have started putting videos on my YouTube channel at, The Muscle Repair Shop, to help you. Currently, the calf stretches are there and if you follow the video, you can reduce your risk of knee injuries. We will soon have the thigh and inner thigh stretches uploaded. You can visit my website at www.musclerepairshop.com and contact me for additional videos to help your golf game.
I love when my golfing clients tell me they have reduced their scores by 4-5 strokes. The stretching will help you with distance and control. More importantly, you can play without pain.
Recently I graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Aging Sciences. I went back to school as an older student to improve my knowledge of the Aging process we all face. Aging Sciences has taken the place of Gerontology because Gerontology covered the aging process from 55 years old to death. Aging Sciences covers aging from birth to death. The most important thing I learned was that we are not prepared for what we will face as we age. Being my fifties, I have some time to improve, but for younger people, they can actually prevent themselves from many of the ailments that older people face today.
Our health care system is a symptom-based system which means it focuses mainly on solving the ache or pain with little regard towards the cause. When older people suffer from arthritis, back pain, or joint pain, we can offer drugs, braces, or surgery as a means to stop the pain. What we should be looking at are their diet and lifestyle. Unfortunately, even the doctors will say, ” at your age, what do you expect?” You should expect everything to work, however, you must be taught how to prevent these things from happening and most health care workers are not trained to teach you.
We know that inflammation can lead to heart disease, but did you know it can lead to arthritis, joint stiffness, and even back stiffness. Too many people are consuming processed foods, mainly carbohydrates, that convert into to simple sugars. These simple sugars can create inflammation throughout your body. Secondly, carbohydrates are the main portion of your diet can cause your body to burn sugars instead of fat which can lead to obesity. Just by simply reducing the number of bread, pasta, and eliminating most of the processed foods like pastries and doughnuts, you can reduce the harmful effects. Eating more vegetables like lettuce, kale, greens of different kinds will help to reduce the need to burn glucose(sugar). Remember to take baby steps to build a habit. Bad eating is a habit just like good eating. Never go cold turkey and deprive yourself as this is a recipe to fail. In 1996, I weighed 315 lbs. Over the next 18 months, I lost 105 lbs. without ever going on a diet. All I did was to learn new habits. It is not easy, but you can do it!
Lifestyle changes like taking brisk walks every day, choosing the stairs versus the elevator, and learning to relax are keys to reducing stress which can cause inflammation in the body as well. Meditation is a great way to reduce stress and bring your life back into calm. This can make you more productive and efficient. Little changes daily to your lifestyle will build a lifetime of good habits without too much pain. Part of my losing the 105 lbs., was beginning to walk around my 1 bedroom apartment because I did not have the energy to walk around my building. That is where I started.
These are small changes you can do every day. The younger you start, the more positive results you will have. In fact, many of the ailments older people suffer from today would simply be eliminated with these changes. This blog will continue to break down the choices you have so you can easily transition your life into a more healthy and fulfilling life. Please leave any comment you may have or suggestions as we will delve into aging from birth to death and how to prepare yourself for the aging process no matter where you are starting from.
For many people, the type of massage they receive is irrelevant because they are usually so tired, the client is basically paying to sleep on the massage table for an hour. Due to living a hectic and stressful life, anytime we can lay down and have someone rub our body, especially our back or feet, our body will relax and we will more than likely fall asleep. Remember how your mom used to do that and it felt so good! Many people believe that this is a great massage. In reality, how would know if the therapist was great at massage because you were not there consciously to feel what they were doing. If the therapist has to wake you up when you turnover and you go back to sleep, then the therapist could have just stood there and rubbed your body, regardless of any technique they ay have mastered. This is a flaw in our thought process about determining a great massage from a simple rub down. There are 226 different types of massage and every massage therapist is a little different. Every therapist has a different educational background therefore their style can vary. Massage is about trust which means, you need to talk to them. I am not talking about a lengthy conversation, but talk about the technique and how it can help you. The therapist needs to know what medications you are taking, what treatments you are currently having, and how you feel overall. These questions are important because the therapist will be moving fluids and affecting tissues which can negatively affect your health.
Massage therapy requires communication between the therapist and the client. As the therapist is finding areas of your body that are tight or sore, they can coach you to breathe and release using your brain to let go. Muscles are just as emotional as they are physical. Physically, your muscles can feel tight and sore, however emotionally they can feel atttacked if the pressure is too much. If the therapist can communicate with the client when to breathe, then as a team you can release your muscles, blood will flow better, and your body will feel more at ease. When a client goes to sleep, the brain has been turned off, so even if the therapist pushes really hard, all your body will remember is soreness after you wake up. The next time someone touches you, your body may flinch, feel pain, or you may feel a tickle. This is because your body doesn’t remember why, but it knows something is not correct and it reacts.
What of level of undress should you do? That should be up to you based on how comfortable you feel at that level of undress. I have done massages with clients that are totally nude to totally dressed. It doesn’t matter, as long as the client feels comfortable. Sometimes, the client may be allergic to the oils or just doens’t want to be oily when going back to work, then doing a massage fully dressed,or lightly dressed, can be done.
I have found that with certain clients suffering with fibromyalgia or polymyalgia, combining massage with light stretching works best. In this situation,it is best to have the client fully clothed with clothes they can move around in. This reduces the soreness brought by the disease and allows better freedom of movement.
Bottomline is get to know your therapist and feel comfortable in their surroundings. Few people are allowed to get that close to you and you should make sure of your trust of the therapist and the surroundings. Ask for their credentials and understand what they will be doing to you. Research the technique to better understand if that particular technique will actually help you. A good therapist will recommend another therapist that does a different modality that could help you.
What I am about to tell you may sound like I have lost my mind, but I have used it since I was 17 years old and it works. I grew up in WIlmington, NC and the summer temperatures can stay in the high 90’s to 100’s with humidity above 95% every day, whether it is raining or not. As a kid I work on farms to earn money between sports seasons and an old farmer taught me how to stay cooler on those hot summer days. He told me to wear a long sleeve shirts and long pants with a wide bream hat when I was outside. I know, like I said, it sounded nuts to me too. However, I decided to try it as I was dying every day in the heat. He was absolutely correct. He explained that by wearing the long shirts and pants your body would sweat which would keep you cool. The clothes would absorb the sweat and keep your body about 10 degrees cooler. You are sweating no matter what you wear, however, when the skin is exposed with shorts and tank tops, the sun dries the sweat as soon as you sweat, which will makes the skin sizzle. This will increase the temperature on your skin causing you to sweat even more without the cooling effect. Sweating is the body’s way of cooling you down naturally and it removes the toxins from your body. I know you may hate to sweat and some of you may even say you never sweat, but most of us do sweat unless your body’s sweat glands do not work properly. To help you wrap your brain around this idea, imagine how cool you feel if you jumped into the pool with your clothes on. In fact, when you would intially get out you may be a little chilled. Your sweat does the same thing.
The wide bream hat will keep the sun from baking onto your head whch will also increase your heat level. If you are concerned about skin cancer, the hat will prevent skin cancers from forming where you part your hair and this can happen to men and women. Getting sun exposure for short periods of time, like an hour or so, is good for you, but if you will be out in the sun for long periods of time be sure to wrap up and stay cool. This will protect your skin from the dangerous sun rays that can damage your skin. Happy sunning!
The Muscle Repair Shop is unique in how we view the human body. We look for the causes of your pain and what you arer doing that could causing the pain to re-occur or get worse. When I started this business in 2005, I was suffering from severe back pain. It was so bad that I would crawl out of my car by placing my hands on the ground to get out. I drove an old Lincoln Town Car and you knwo how big they were! I have a 2 year degree from Florida College of Natural Health and my focus was on Neuromuscular massage and Sports massage. After graduation, I studied with Aaron Mattes, founder of Active Isolated Stretching, for 6 months. The anatomy of the muscles came very easy to me as if by some divine intervention. Recently, I completed a Bachelors degree from Univeersity of South Florida in AGing Sciences. This has helped me better understand how we age from our 30’s until we die. I look at the body from a mechanical viewpoint. Our body balances from side to side and front to back. The muscles, unlike our bones, tend to cause pain on the opposite side of the cause. In other words, if your inner thighs are tight, you may experience low back stiffness, not inner thigh pain. I then attended a lecture at Sarasota Memorial Hospital about dementia and the brain’s role in our lives. I relaized from that lecture that our brains contorl our muscles physically, but more importantly, emotional as well. That was a big piece of the puzzle. I began combining the Neuromuscular massage, Active Isolated Stretching,and releasing the emotion with our brain. It was amazing the results I got from people that had been suffering for decades, in some cases, with chronic pain. Common ailments liek low back pain, palntar fasciitis, and tendonitis were being resolved with this technique. The best part is, I can teach my clients how to help themselves. This has baffled many practitioners. If you would like to come and talk about how I can help you, I am offering a 30 minute free consult. Just schedule here: Schedule a Free Consultation