Solution for how to cure pain & dysfunction in the body
Online school of movement 22 term 1 week 1
What causes pain in the body?
What causes pain and dysfunction in the body? I’ve studied this for 50 years. I’ve taught it for 20 years. I wish it were taught in schools. That would future proof our youngsters for when they get old or injured. And we could all live into our nineties more or less pain-free.
I hope that you will come back to this article many times and that you will ask me questions because there is a lot we can do to help ourselves. Enjoy!
This article derives from the massage work of Ida Rolf...
Youtube on Ida Rolf therapy
...and Drs Travell and Simons, wonderfully interpreted by Clair Davies:-
The nutrition comments are supported by Michael Mosely in his groundbreaking book which makes fasting and restricted time feeding an easy and health-enhancing lifestyle.Michael Mosely: The Fast 800 diet
Major causes of pain
- Tight bands in sheets of connective tissues
- Trigger points (knots) in muscles
- Imbalances in muscles that cause joints to lose full contact between surfaces
- Some people are genetically prone
- Nutrition plays a role
Nutrition and fasting plan
Here are some nutrition ideas that help your body stay young and heal quickly. We have copies of Michael Mosely’s book The Fast 800 on sale at the studio, to help you to fast, and eat healthy in easy and practical ways.
- Planned regular short fasts to help correct metabolic illness*
- Restricted time feeding, also to help protect against metabolic illness
- Sulforaphane in raw broccoli sprout smoothies
- Green smoothies in general (I like to put milk and whey powder in my smoothies)
- Methylated B vitamins (ask at the chemist’s or health food shop)
- Lots of coloured vegetables
- Nut oils and fruit oils (such as coconut olive and avocado oil) and wild fish oils***
- Avoid packaged and processed foods because they contain: –
- Gluten from Roundup harvested wheat
- refined sugars,
- Omega-6 rich and (often) rancid seed oils and hydrogenated oils – especially margarine**
*By metabolic illness is the group of diseases that you get by eating sugary diets and bad fats: diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, cardio-vascular disease, fatty liver and gout.
**Especially margarine, which is profitable for food corporations because it boosts sales of cheaply sourced ingredients, and the pharmaceutical industry because it boosts illness and therefore sales of prescription drugs. We want to reduce our dependency on those industries, if at all possible.
*** Nut oils and fruit oils (such as coconut olive and avocado oil) and wild fish oils, will go a long way to encouraging low inflammation and healing of your connective tissues.
The rest of this article covers tight bands and trigger points
How tight bands form, what they feel like, and what they do.
When a tight band in a sheet of connective tissue inserts on a bone, it creates a constant and excessive pull at the point of its insertion. The excessive pull while on the move, and the constant pull while at rest, causes damage and prevents healing. Tight bands also insert into tendons, forming tight lines in the tendons. This is why a calf muscle massage – by loosening tight bands in the muscle – takes the pressure off the corresponding lines of tightness in the Achilles tendon that are under constant load, and immediately reduces the pain in the sore Achilles.
Connective tissue “skin”
Tight bands develop in a form of connective tissue called fascia. For simplicity, think of fascia as the sheet of connective tissue that wraps itself around the muscles like a skin. Fascia also wraps around nerves and blood vessels. If the fascia is bruised, damaged or scarred, it may tighten squeeze and glue them together.
Why do tight bands form?
Tight bands form in the sheets of connective tissues as a result of aging, accidents and unhealthy movement habits. Poor diet, smoking, anxiety and neglecting to rest can hasten their onset.
What do tight bands look and feel like?
Tight bands in fascia may be thin like string and feel like your fingers are rolling over a guitar string – for example in the superficial muscles of the neck).
Tight bands might feel like a thick and very dense rubber band (side of thigh or plantar fascia band).
In both cases, the tight bands insert on bones and – due to relentless pull with no chance to let the insertion point tissues rest – these insertion points become chronically painful, inflamed, and slow to heal. Tight bands in connective tissue also create locations of squeeze and gluing in and around nerves, blood vessels joints and muscle bellies. This restricts movement and can be painful and debilitating. One example of this is carpal tunnel syndrome.
Other examples include chronic whiplash injury pain,
or compartment syndrome in the calf muscles.sss
Trigger point knots
According to Travel and Simons, muscles, and especially the bellies of the muscles where the motor nerves insert, have small areas of muscle spasm or knots, which they call trigger-points. A trigger point spasm pulls a line of tightness that stretches the length of the muscle. This may be a cause for fascial tight bands. The muscular tight bands (with knots in the middle of them) have to work harder than the rest of the muscle which means that parts of the muscle tire quickly and the whole muscle feels discomfort and loses stamina. Also, at rest, the whole muscle cannot fully relax and “breathe a sigh of relief”, so it cannot fully heal.
The five self-help strategies
This is where I get to share my 50 years of study. I’ve learnt to live pain-free (more or less), and you can learn too!
There are five therapeutic tricks. I call these the 5 self-help strategies, which help to iron out the knots and tight bands and put back your strength flexibility and coordination. You can apply these strategies to any part of the body, and this will restore and improve your structural health.
The five self-help strategies are:-
- Strengthen with no or limited mid-range movement
- Mobilise with flowing full range of movement
- Massage with help of foam rollers supported fingers and massage balls
- Body awareness, which intuitively knows which muscles are lazy which muscles are overworked, and which changes your exercise and postural habits for the better
The right type of massage combined with stretching will treat your trigger points and tight bands. Strength and mobilization work is necessary as well. A mix of the five strategies in one session works well because powerful muscle contractions combined with any sort of movement reduce the pain and discomfort of the session, and make an otherwise painful experience bearable. We show you these in our pilates solution sessions. You will see how we combine the five strategies in one session, to improve your health in the shortest easiest and most comfortable way possible.
These ideas may be new for you but are quite easy to get the hang of, and are certainly worth learning, because you will discover, or perhaps rediscover, the joy of pain-free movement!
We will refer back to the five strategies regularly throughout the hip and thigh course