“When we stop moving, we start dying one cell at a time!”
- Forever Painless by Miranda Esmonde-White, page 26
If you’re alive, chances are you’re either in pain or you’ve been in pain. If you’re normal, chances are you don’t welcome pain. But pain is good in that it’s a protective mechanism for the body – a signal that something is wrong.
How do you react to pain? I can think of four ways people generally react:
Baby it - Avoid doing certain activities
Ignore it - Push through the pain
Numb it - Take pain-killers
Deal with the root cause of the pain
The first option can lead to atrophy; the second to further damage; the third is temporary and can come with undesirable side effects. You probably guessed right away that the best option is the fourth. Granted, there are different types of pain, but the type I’m addressing here is caused by mechanical flaws in the body - pains such as back pain, hip pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, osteoporosis, and plantar fasciitis.
The primary cause of most mechanical pains is lack of mobility. When we stop moving, our body takes it as a signal that it’s not needed anymore, so it begins to prepare for death. Our connective tissue stiffens. Our muscles become weak. They begin to shrink and atrophy sets in. When muscles that are meant to support our body become weak, the body weight settles into our joints. Over time, this causes the protective cushion for our joints to wear away, and we end up with bone on bone grinding. Lack of movement also causes our circulatory system to slow down. It stops providing the necessary blood and oxygen to our cells. Starved of nutrients and unable to release toxins, the cells suffocate and die.
The good news is that, in most cases, unless total atrophy has set in, we can correct these problems. Not with pain pills, but with movement. Not just any movement, but the right type of movement. Overworking one or two muscle groups or engaging in activities with repetitive action leads to muscle imbalances. Muscle imbalances cause poor alignment, which in turn leads to compressed and imbalanced joints. Compressed joints limit our range of motion and our mobility. And again, lack of mobility is a sign to our body that it’s time to prepare for death. Evidently, the wrong type of movement can be almost as harmful as no movement!
Essentrics® offers the right type of movement, and it's a perfect complement to other forms of exercise. Essentrics® is an exercise program that draws on the flowing movements of tai chi for health and balance, the strengthening theories of ballet for long, lean, flexible muscles, and the healing principles of physiotherapy for a pain-free body. The workouts are a combination of strength and flexibility exercises that gently decompress our joints by elongating the surrounding muscles and challenging them in the lengthened position. Deliberate focused movements done in a specific sequence work to unlock tight muscles, loosen stiff joints, and relieve pain.
A natural pain-killer! As do pain pills, this one also comes with side effects - lower stress, increased energy, greater strength and endurance, improved mood, better sleep, greater flexibility - to name a few. I'll take those side effects any day!
The creator of Essentrics® in her book Forever Painless says, “When we stop moving, we start dying one cell at a time!”
Let's start moving and stop dying! Click here to try an Essentrics® class!