The majority of my massage business is out calls. I go to people’s homes with my own massage table to work on them. The advantages of doing house calls is that it provides me with information about their lifestyles.
When I start working with a new client I make it a point to observe their postural behavior. What I see is people who are in chronic pain tend to move as little as possible. They often times become what is labeled a couch potato. When I witness a couch potato’s posture as they sit down in their favorite spot, I realized that people don’t always sit on their sit bones. They recline, prop feet up and sorta lay down on their neck and upper back. When this posture is repeated for years, the hip muscles and hamstrings shorten.
There is a slippery slope of side effects from this. The hip joint will stop functioning as it should. If this person does attempt to exercise they will quickly go into spasms. This is caused by the shortening of muscles that are now also weak. Even when sitting in an office chair, they’ll still have the effect of shortening in their pelvic muscles. Early on in my career, I realized that as helpful as massage therapy can be, the client’s lifestyle choices were having more effect that I could.
So many people who are in chronic pain inadvertently make everything worse when they literally stop moving. I know it can be painful at first. But with gentle movements, done over time, muscles will come back and when the strength in the structure begins to rebuild, some of the pain can subside. I started learning more about movement and exercise to help whomever I worked with learn how to use their body in the way it was designed to move.
This is something I have done for my clients for years, but now it has a label, one that could help people who didn’t know about my work before. It’s called Inclusion. What I do works for people with pain and little or no fitness to speak of. But if they consistently have me work on them and train them, things can get better.
I realized that the people who started working out in the fitness revolution with running and other high impact activities are now taking yoga and Pilates lessons. They have exercised most of their lives and they’ve realized the benefits of exercise. Now, for whatever reason, be it arthritis, chronic pain, or a recent serious illness, they still understand that intelligent, specific movement can restore joint function, they simply had not found a trainer who really understood how to work with them.
The inclusion movement is a response to assist people who may have had efforts of working out thwarted by pain that has become chronic. It is possible to start making small changes consistently, and free one’s self from years of poor postural habits.
Call me to schedule a private lesson. This is the beginning of your new perspective on your structural health.