Posts Tagged ‘preventative healthcare’

“Memory…is the diary that we all carry about with us.”

-Oscar Wilde

Have you ever wondered how it can be so easy for some people to do certain motions such as holding proper posture, swinging a golf club, or speaking a different language, when it seems so difficult for you? Maybe you are curious about how workouts become easier after a short period of time? The body has a process called Muscle Memory. Does this mean that each muscle has it’s own memory?

Muscle memory refers to brains ability to learn how do a movement, then recall those actions and send the correct nerve impulse down the spinal cord  to the neuromuscular junctions where the nerve meets the muscle telling it how to move. Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., fitness research director at Quincy College in Massachusetts explains that “your brain creates pathways through your central nervous system, and movements become automatic.”
Nerve impulses follow the path of least resistance and this is why it can be difficult and even painful to learn new movements. As muscles weaken, become injured, or are put in compromised positions such as bad posture, they become bound by toxins and scar tissues that limit movement. The fewer resistance in the muscles the easier it becomes to retrain muscle memory and less painful the process will be.

The brain sends signals down the spinal cord to tell the muscles what to do...don't let poor posture and toxins get in the way!!

The brain sends signals down the spinal cord to tell the muscles what to do…don’t let poor posture and toxins get in the way!!

Most people suggest working through the pain and difficulty, but you don’t necessarily have to take that route. Therapeutic massage and proper flexibility training helps to break down scar tissue and assists in removal of metabolic waste build up in the muscles. This allows for easier training of the muscle memory, so if you are starting a new workout, wanting to optimize your performance, or more importantly improve your posture try adding regular massage therapy and a good stretching routine into your regiment to improve your memory!

 

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“We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”
Nelson Mandela

I’d like to take this opportunity to  continue the “Why aren’t you  getting a massage” series, because as of late I have encountered several people who have given similar reasons as to why they feel they cannot get a massage. Time! With our busy lifestyles, no one seems like they have any time to do anything for themselves. According to a study conducted by the Bureau of Labour Statistics in  2011, “Television accounts for the largest share of Americans’ leisure time. ” You can  also see in the chart below from the same study how else Americans seem to spend their time on other activities. 

Notice that in the mix of events,  Personal Care does not occupy a significant amount of time and working out weighs everything but sleep. It’s no surprise that  America is the most overworked nation in the world. Being overworked leads to  stress on many levels, in fact Stress is the #1 cause of health problems – mentally and physically. And there are few things that stress us out on a consistent basis like work does, especially when it takes away from all of the other things that life has to offer. As stated, stress can cause health problems which in turn cause us to spend unwanted time at the doctors office or at home laid up and  recovering. Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a way to stay healthier so that we could be more efficient and less stressed at work so that we could  better enjoy the time we have off from work? How about a form of  preventative medicine?

Preventive medicine or preventive healthcare consists of measures taken to prevent diseases, (or injuries) rather than curing them or treating their symptoms.” With the many benefits that massage has on the mind and body as well as it’s ability to promote better health and well-being, it’s easy to see how  massage therapy can  be classified as preventative medicine.

Let us return to the  time issue and put it into perspective for a  moment.  If you were to receive massage therapy once a month to aide in  preventative healthcare,  the amount of time it would cost you is minimal; an hour worth of treatment and give or take about 45 minutes for travel, consultation, etc. At most you are spending 2 hours total per month investing  in your health and wellness.  Now think about yourself getting sick or even injuring yourself at work. On average, this could put you out a day or 2 from your normal activity. Even if you were to try and soldier through it at work,  your performance and focus would be compromised due to pain and  discomfort. In either case you will be wasting time away and having to catch up on work which would subsequently take away from your free time and continue the circle  of adding more stress to your life!

Now lets look back at the chart and the  statistics. Imagine if you took an hour away from watching TV, woke up 10 minutes earlier, took 5 minutes off of a  lunch break, and another  30 minutes from the “other” category and for one day out of every month, even every other month,   invest in your preventative healthcare courtesy of a good therapeutic massage. Massage can relieve stress, improve your immune system,  increase joint range of motion and so much more.  These and the many other benefits can keep you healthy and well allowing you to have much more enjoyable free time. So think about it, prioritize how you use your time, invest it well  in preventative health care,  and before you know it you will be able to enjoy the free time more being pain and stress free. Wouldn’t that be great?!