This is also a great time to talk about some of the pitfalls of winter and its contribution to both acute and chronic pain syndromes. Whether it be a slip on the ice, shoveling snow or just the cold weather, winter has a definite adverse affect on the human body.
A question I am often asked is why do I feel more aches and pains at this time of the year? What can I do to help prevent this? Although I am sure there is some form of research on this, I will give my take on it.
Since I profess that movement, or the ability to do so, is what drives everything within the body I will take you down that path. The body is made up of four layers of tissue that works in unison to apply the proper amount of tension to generate movement in the skeletal system. The Fascia system which is a continuous fiber that starts in the skull and ends in the toes.It is primarily a non-vascular tissue, which means it has no blood flow directly associated with it. It is fed through the fluid that provides your cells with nourishment. This is thick, syrupy type of fluid that often on what I describe as Jello. The ligaments and tendons are direct extensions of the Fascia system so they are also limited to actual blood flow. Muscles make up the fourth level of tissue and are nourished directly by blood.
What does all of this mean? As we move or lack thereof, the muscles contractions produce heat which keeps the fluid in a more liquefied state and allows for easier movement possibilities. When we are cold our movements are smaller and therefor do not produce the same amount of heat. Also, our body temperature is lowered by the cold temperatures which will contribute to the fluid thickening. So as you make jello the boiling water changes the powder to a liquid form and once placed in the refrigerator the liquid turns into a solid state. If you were to take that solid state and say place it in a microwave oven you could return it to a liquid state.
The same hold true for the Fascia and its extension, the cellular fluid goes from a liquid form to a thicker and slow moving fluid. This restricts the tissue to extend and retract to accommodate movement. This restriction also tightened the tissue in and around the joints of the skeleton and now we have what is commonly referred to as arthritis. The restriction in movement, the tightness in the joints and the slowing down of circulation because of the cold all contributes to that lethargic feeling we experience. This is what contributes to that feeling of pain we experience.
Whats a fella to do? Move as much as possible, move slower and smarter but move. The pain limits me and that makes everything worse, now what? This is a time when you should come in and have a nice, stimulating massage that will relax you and let you sleep better. What a massage will do is passively exercise your tissue enough to stimulate muscle contraction which will increase the amount of blood to that area. It is those contractions that will raise the temperature that will liquidize the cellular fluid in the Fascia and in turn will reduce the abnormal tension on the skeleton and its joints. Ask about the CVWC Club, the best value in town.
This would also be a great time to come and do the Fundamental Movement Pilates that we offer at the Wellness Center. You don't need to sweat and burn to enjoy a good, full body exercise, this also gets the blood moving and energizes the muscle tissue.
Cranio-Sacral Therapy, as passive as it may seem, truly works the Fascia system, moves the Cerebral Spinal Fluid and forces the tension in the body to neutralize itself, therefore creating an internal combustion that allows for freer movement.
Acupuncture, get the chi energy moving and that will also create the balance in the tissue that allows for better movement patterns as it removes many of the restrictions. Reiki also has similar effects. You can feel relaxed but that is often because all of the tissues are more apt to want to move when we have good energy running throughout the body.
Structural Integration works directly to break up the adhesion in the connective tissue that limits functional movement.
Muscle Release Therapy, MRTh® works directly with that tension on the skeleton and frees up the movement aspect that encourages a healthy and happy body.
Yes, these are the services we offer here at the Wellness Center and this is how they can help you get through these cold, long winter days and help you enjoy the winter instead of dreading it. When we reduce pain we also increase the feel good hormones and that change in spirit will keep us much more optimistic. My wife reminded me that in less than two months the Indians open up Spring Training.
On January 14, 2014 we will be having an open house where all of these great therapist will be present to explain to you how you will benefit from their services. Also, we will be offering 20 minute chair massages for $10.00. The one and only Pat Carroll, LMT will be here to provide his golden touch on the chair. For further information please call CVWC at 216-364-0152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to see you all!
So if you do suffer from the winter blahs or other cold weather related aches and pains, please know there is always a REASON TO HOPE!