Recovery and Bodywork

IN road to recoveryRECOVERY?: if you are trying to recover your health or strength whether from a debilitating problem or a sedentary lifestyle. Going to the gym may be the worst thing for you!

In recovery the building of muscle or losing fat is not your biggest concern. You biggest concern is getting all the “engines” of your body functioning again.

Take muscles for instance. In a body that is some 70% water the muscles are miraculous water pumps. IF, for whatever reason, their function slows and/or becomes stagnant and then you start pumping them hard, you are very likely to cause more damage to an already compromised system. Restrictions such as fascial adhesions, myofascial trigger points, and muscle imbalance contributes to poor muscle function (demanding more energy to do less) and poor fluid flow.

The body in recovery is not moving fluid optimally. In recovery, inflammation is almost always a problem. Additional fluid from exertion can overwhelm systems. The key issue here is that exertion to a body in recovery is not the same as a regular or healthy body. In recovery your body’s fluid systems are moving 100% of its capability, but that capability is at about 30% of its potential. You throw in even a 5% increase and it can feel like you added 200%. The systems are simply not up to an increase in workload. “SO what ” you say? Well, a body in recovery has nothing to spare. You get tired quicker and are more likely to stop moving.  That stoppage of movement means that now your slow moving system is moving substantially less AND it is tired! That’s when the problems pop up. The body may then rob other areas of energy that are maintaining against disease processes and/or normal maintenance. This sets you back further than you were.

The key to exercising in recovery is really very simple. Small and often are much better than big and infrequent. For instance if you are dealing with fluid in the legs, moving the toes when you are sitting with your legs up contributes exponentially to processing fluid. I use a rule of 70%. When in recovery never do more than 70% of your capability. Even if you feel you can, DON’T! light repetitive movement is your friend.

This is one of the many reasons exercises like tai chi are ideal for those in recovery. Tai chi’s movements are easy, fluid, and flowing. Most important they are done without strain. That “fluid” movement opens pathways, as well as muscle fibers slowly. Thus allowing the body to process the “yuck” (medical term, use carefully) and get the fibers moving and pumping again.

Body work must work with that same idea, Repetitive and light. Light muscle manipulation “contributes” to the opening of sluggish pathways, not over taxing them. This allows those pathways to work in unison for the benefit of the body, and not overwhelming it. Doing work to deeply or too aggressively will do far more damage to a body in recovery than you can imagine. I have seen many instances of inexperience, but well-meaning body workers overworking compromised bodies and sending them into failure from colds, pneumonia, lymphedema and many other problems.

So  get up and move. Move easily. Sit down and rest and then do it again. When you need Body work I have the training, the knowledge and the hands to help you heal


Categories: Massage Therapy and Bodywork and Tai Chi.

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