Movement As Medicine: What does that mean?
We often get injured moving. We throw that ball, we pick up that heavy thing, we leap into that fun dance move, and then wham, we've got pain, limitations, discomfort, and probably some emotional frustration.
For a lot of people, movement can become something we're afraid of. Will I hurt my back picking up that box? Will I hurt myself when my kids run to play with me? Can I even go dancing, to Krav Maga, to class?
Something I've realized is that movement truly can be medicine for the body and the soul, but it's all about finding the ~right~ movement. A deadlift for one individual might be heavily aggravating, but exactly what someone else needs to engage their glutes and work on their hip hinge. It's why I got into the profession in the first place, to help people find the movements that are supportive to them.
I tend to avoid "never" and "always," because we change, and so do our bodies. That's why I design workout programs and home programs that are adaptive and progressive, meeting you where you're at and working at your level.
I have a chemistry degree, so bear with me for a nerdy moment; on a physiological level, it takes strain (A strain is the response of a system to an applied stress. When a material is loaded with a force, it produces a stress, which then causes a material to deform). And recent research indicates that for tendons, muscles, and bones to get stronger, they need to experience strain. They need to be loaded to remodel. That level of strain is going to vary person to person, which is why I always treat the person in front of me.
Movement can be something small. For my clients with chronic pain, I often start with imaginary movement, to help retrain the brain from associating movement with pain. But that's still movement, neurons firing and wiring together. For my heavy athletes, it might mean kettlebell bottom's up get ups to really train shoulder stability. In the right doses, like anything, movement can be healing medicine.
On an emotional level, movement can also be medicine because The Body Keeps the Score, as coined by the famous Bessel Van Der Kolk. That means that our tissues can store and hold onto old movement patterns and our trauma. That means sitting in a car, even months after a car crash, can trigger old and familiar shoulder pain, even if the tissue has physically healed, because the body still remembers the emotional content. It's why when working with clients, I help teach empowerment on a body level, so you can feel strong and empowered physically and emotionally.
If you're curious to learn more, or want to schedule a session with me, reach out at email@example.com