Moving in Your Pain-Free Range of Motion
One of the most powerful things I have learned on my restorative movement journey is the concept of exercising in pain-free mode. Most of us have been taught the old school idea of no pain, no gain (think of our expectations for Olympic and other professional athletes). We admire those who push through their pain for the win and our entertainment. But is that ethic really something worthy of our applause?
Our body requires as much care and respect as our possessions, more in fact. Some of us treat our cars better than we do our bodies. We buy high test gas but eat junk food or religiously schedule service appointments for our car but have no time for exercise. We tend to take the use of our body for granted. And as we age ignoring the needs of our body begins to catch up with us.
The first signs of chronic pain surfaced in my late 30s/early 40s. Initially, little aches and pains became part of my morning routine. It would take a hot shower and moving around for an hour or so for the pain to dissipate. Over the next few years, the pain intensified and stayed with me longer during the day. I noticed that I was moving more slowly up and down the stairs and in many other daily activities. I felt young mentally but my body felt like it was slowing down.
Restorative Movement is the first form of exercise that, for me, consistently reduces my pain when I use it regularly. I do at least 15 minutes just about every day. If I forget by the 3rd day the aches begin to remind me that I need to get back to my routine. This style of movement has played a major role in helping me mobilize restricted fascia from old injuries and keeping me pain-free.
When I injure myself I discovered that gentle restorative movement exercise provides quick pain relief. From twisting an ankle to pain in my ribs from a cough due to the flu, gentle full-body movement resolves the pain and speeds recovery. Most of us think that injury means rest (and there is some truth to that), however, lack of movement creates its own problems. Gentle, pain-free movement can stimulate blood flow to an injury and prevent the congealing of connective tissue which speeds the healing process.
Personally, I feel as if I am working backward through my old injuries on my journey, healing the scar tissue cell by cell. This typically has a pattern. First, the old pain resurfaces. Then I try to ignore it for a while. Once I decide to adjust and work in the pain-free zone within a short period of time the pain disappears and my range of motion improves.
Restorative movement is really a full-body maintenance program for life when used daily. It keeps the aches and pains at bay while improving strength and flexibility. To top it all off, this program improves my energy levels and I feel so good afterwards I actually look forward to it.
Chronic pain: it’s a persistent shadow, a dull ache that becomes a constant companion.
In this post, we’ll delve into the fundamental pillars of authentic wellness.
For those living with chronic pain, the winter can also bring increased flare-ups, stiffness, and a heightened sense of isolation. The drop in temperature, shorter days, and changes in atmospheric pressure can all conspire to worsen chronic pain symptoms.