When someone comes in for a massage and is asked by the massage therapist what someone wants during a massage therapy treatment – the answer is often down to the point. “Neck and back, please.” An experienced and skillful massage therapist can assess and then accurately work on varieties of tension, aches, pains, and discomfort and while considering what is best for the entire well-being of the recipient.
Neck and back pain seems inevitable throughout a life well lived. The discomfort is almost worth the trouble of having a living body that feels so much. All chronic pain is difficult to manage – but not impossible. However, it is highly improbable that your chronic back pain would go away unless you adopt and maintain some new and effective healthful healing habits.
Please consider what you have been trying so far to get rid of back pain. How much pain relief medication have you been taking to soothe yourself? Begin an objective look at the facts of your unchanged conditions like back pain and decide with an informed choice for your healing program – your plan to make it finally happen. If you have tried everything you know so far and you don’t have any pain relief, you could have an inaccurate medical diagnosis.
There may be innumerable reasons to why parts of your body and back may be described as tense and uncomfortable. Perhaps you’re slouched over a computer screen even right now with your shoulders and back sloped forward to some degree?
The proper posture police would tell you that unless you keep your chest slightly elevated and your shoulders pointed slightly toward your behind – day after day – decade after decade – you will inevitably put increasing strain and stress on one or more parts of your back, neck, and spine.
It can be difficult to mentally remind yourself to maintain a good posture while sitting because it just seems so much easier to hunch over a desk or computer or whenever. Also, by not using ideal form while picking things up and placing them we increase our chances of tensing up and triggering back pain.
Maybe you are able to remind yourself to sit up straight as you begin to feel that old painful sensation you’ve been having. The saying “practice makes perfect” remind us that we are a product of what we have been practicing.
An ideal posture will allow your lungs and rib cage to inhalate to the a higher lung capacity than otherwise. Posture is ideal for taking deep and conscious breaths – where you fully inhale, and hold the breath in for a certain period of time to get oxygen to your brain and then exhale all of the “stale” oxygen so the old air and carbon dioxide isn’t taking up space in your lungs where fresh air needs to be.
In yoga, conscious breathing exercises is known as the science of Pranayama. Prana is the life force present in the symbolic element of air that we breathe. Yama means restraint and in this case it means the particular way you are exercising your breath.
Good habits take time to develop. Conversely, we are also the result of what we have not been practicing – for better or for worse. Bad habits commonly take time to go away.
Use IT or Lose IT
Physical activity or lack thereof is a large factor in the realm of uncomfortable muscle tension. The function of your heart is to pump blood and oxygen through the body to keep you alive. The more oxygen can cycle through your body, the better shape your heart is in. Your muscles desire to be exercised enough to maintain and even gain lean muscle mass – but hopefully you are using the best form of an exercise your body can perform. Never forget that muscles are essentially storage places for protein in your body.
When muscle atrophies you will lose some of that protein stored as your muscle and may cause muscle imbalances and various sites of tension as you weaken.
Some form of exercise – whether it be yoga, sports, or resistance training will help support other weak muscles in the body and improve muscle imbalances that cause tension in the back and everywhere else. Yoga and stretching will improve your range of motion of joints and in between spinal vertebrae as you work on your flexibility and mental focus.
Yoga and meditation will teach you how to stand and to sit with ideal posture for your body type. A skilled practitioner and teacher of meditation or yoga can guide you toward authentic asana and posture practices. In the well known Patanjali Yoga Sutras, iogi and author Patanjali defines the term “asana” as “to be seated in a position that is firm, but relaxed.” You just might get to know your body in an intimate new way that you might not have previously imagined.
Work, Work, Work.
Your ancestors muscles were adapted to perform labor. Hunting and gathering required us to walk long distances to forage for food and hunt game and it is likely your ancestors carried some heavy items back home and developed some impressive musculature in the process. On average they exerted much more effort in life than we do now to daily maintain safety and food security. Exercise and bodywork professionals will take into consideration someone’s ADL’s – Activities of Daily Living – to get a picture of how much your body has been moving and burning calories through an average day or week.
Nowadays we can call a maid instead of doing household chores ourselves. We hire an Uber driver to take us to the grocery store and hire someone else to landscape and plant food and herbs instead of enjoying the process ourselves (and not merely the end result of a well manicured garden). We get unhealthy processed food delivered right to our doors while we watch television or are on our cell phones as we try to move the least amount possible after working while sitting down at our desks all day. Maybe this is a little exaggerated for some of us. However, we can’t forget to mention tension resulting from life’s general stress. Not to mention the sitting required during our commutes to and from work and everywhere else in the traffic monster the DC Metropolitan area is well known for.
Take a load off of your shoulders. Let’s give you a great massage.
Your neck has many muscles but they really aren’t supposed to support your heavy head all by themselves and that’s why you have back muscles and a spine. Your neck and back muscles were meant to support the movement of the spine and they have the essential job of not putting excess stress on the wrong parts of your posterior.
When you consistently have your head hunched forward, you alter the physics of how your vertebrae and neck back muscles are supposed to work. What then happens is you make your muscles overwork and do more than are supposed to. That is the entryway for knots and strains to manifest in your body.
Contact Zen Body Therapy Today!
Relax. Let’s take a fresh journey and banish what we can of the causes and symptoms of back tension as soon as possible. Let us discuss what is necessary for you to live with the least amount of tension. You can talk to our experienced Arlington massage therapist by calling or contacting Zen Body Therapy online for more information.