Walking RIGHT into health

When you are in your early 20’s. The challenge is to see what you can do in an arena of discovery. You have an abundance of energy and healthy healing system to heal any error in while learning. When you are 50+ the challenge is to take what you have learned, and maintain your health to slow an inevitable decline.

The challenges are completely different yet tied together. The challenge of youth is to learn that you can. To learn that you can focus and have determination. The quantity and quality of it. To push into discovery of yourself and their abilities in this world. Fortunately life has given them the tools to discover this. Seemingly inexhaustible amounts of energy and the ability to heal relatively quickly from their processes of learning. That is a blessing, but also a curse. Having that level of energy makes you think you are invincible and immortal. So often rather than learning the most efficient, and effective way to use their bodies they just pour more energy into it bad patterns and assume they can continue this pattern eternally. When we age we should have learned the most economical and effective method for life, if we haven’t then Age is where we suffer the foolishness of our youth.

TakImage result for gait patternse for instance,walking. The gait pattern is something we take completely for granted. We simply step from foot to foot. But as with many things we think that just because we do it, we are doing it right. Most people walk in a way that constantly damages their body. Easy to get away with when you are young, but a requiem for a host of illness and injuries as we age.

Simply put, there are two ways to walk. You are either pushing or pulling. If you are doing a  pulling walk then you are straining your body towards injury and if you are doing a pushing walk you are you are encouraging your body towards health.

Your muscles can only contractImage result. to lengthen, they relax.

  • concentric. An isotonic contraction where the muscle shortens.
  • eccentric. An isotonic contraction where the muscle lengthens.
  • Isometric. A muscular contraction in which the length of the muscle does not change.
  • isotonic. A muscular contraction in which the length of the muscle changes.

A PUSHING step using the normal dynamics of muscular contraction and the bodies trampolines to propel the body forward. It will generally help to create more energy and use less. A PULLING step uses a Isometric contraction of tissue to pull the body forward. It will uses energy and creates none.

There are many muscular, ligament, tendon “trampolines” in the body which the body counts on to make efficient use of movement. The most important in walking, is the arch of the foot! The longitudinal arch of the foot works like a trampauline. When you step into the arch its expansion automatically setImage result for anatomy of the arch of the foots up a recoil effect in the leg that contributes to fluid propulsion. This fluid is not only blood in the arterial flow, but in the venous return AND,..AND the return of the lymph to the torso. if the lymph doesn’t return effectively, you get fluid build up at the ankles.

The foot arch trampoline also “propels”. It aids in propulsion of the body. All this happens efficiently and economically in a “push” step. A push step uses the muscles the way they are supposed to. In a normal push step the body contracts and relaxes in line with the body.  In a “pull” step (Isometric) you strain the musculature along the back of the body from the heel all the way along the back of the body to the base of the skull. Instead of acting like a rubber band it tightens like a rope. This tightening does not contribute to economical propulsion of the body nor propulsion of the fluid.

One of the elements not prior discussed here is the fascia complex. It exists in a viscous fluid between the structures of the body. It holds it together, in place, apart and allows it to slide. In fact, it needs that slide movement with the contraction of muscles to keep the fluid it exists in,… in a fluid state. Otherwise it gets gummy, doesn’t allow free movement of the muscle. An example of this is what is known as plantar fasciitis. The name Plantar Fasciitis describes an inflammatory process in the fascia on the bottom of the foot. But the real injury is the Fascia in the posterior leg compartment, the calf. When it “dries out” and  gets gummy, it gets stuck and restricts how far the fascia/muscle can move. Kind of like expecting a 6″ rubber band, that is now a 2″ rubber band to stretch as far as a the original 6″ rubber band. It ain’t gonna happen and eventually something is going to give, and it does. At the attachment on the heel, and the “plantar fascia”

Another element of not walking in a push step is back pain. Back pain is most often felt when the legs are tired. There can be cases of damaged vertebrae, but even with actual damage or painful circumstances they will be worse if the legs are tired! Why are the legs tired? Bad gait mechanics (ie walking with a pull step), restricted fluid flow return adds weight to the legs, stagnates and congests muscles. another sign of bad gait mechanics (ie the pull step) is the lock knee posture. Locking the knees is a sign of tired legs. Locking the knees restricts fluid flow through the narrow area of the knee. you will notice that ll the bad postures below all have one thing in common, locked knees. you also lock the knees in a pull step. The isometric contraction has to lock the knee to maintain stability of the knee. The action of repeatedly locking the knee whether in gait mechanics or in static posture is harmful to the healthy function of the bodyImage result for posture

YES, this (and more) can all happen from not walking right. (Yes there are unique occurrences (exceptions to the rule) that create these problems, but they are not the norm, they are the exception.

Is it permanently stuck?

NO! while you can breathe the human body can change.

Is it quick and easy?

Nope! But the effort is worth the increased energy and health you will feel.

Is it complicated to learn?

NOPE! It is as simple as pushing from the back foot in the next step you take….and the next step,..and the next step (lather ,rinse, repeat)

Walking is often said as the best exercise for the human body. But no matter how good something can be, if you do it wrong its not going to work. You walk everyday. You can start making improvements with every step, RIGHT NOW!

Can I (body balancing massage therapy) help you heal the damage and show you how to proceed?  YES!!!

Medical Massage is not just, rub here friction there. Its understanding the dynamics of what is working, what is not and how you are adapting. I can help you heal and help you learn to maintain your own health through normal activity!

Categories: Massage Therapy and Bodywork and Tai Chi.

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