Why am I so Stiff and Sore Today?
“Why am I so stiff and sore today?!
Hint: *MUSCLE FASCIA: (The slick tissue between the skin and the muscle). “Stuck” fascia is a key reason we (and our horses) become muscle-bound/sore and eventually lose our normal range of motion.*
Yesterday we received an email from Frances, a Therapeutic Body Therapist in SoCal. Her comments about NATURAL RELEASE Muscle Wash are terrific, and they also give us a chance to discuss how and why we become sore and tight.
Following Frances’s note, we have added some brief explanations about fascia, and its role in muscle soreness. Yes, we learned this in 9th grade biology, but I, for one, clearly need a reminder!
Here is Frances’s note: (She ordered six bottles of Natural Release and we asked her why.)
“Hi! The [Natural Release] product is great! It seems to melt layers of fascia that are stuck; breaks up the adhesions so wonderfully. So to answer your question, I bought it for myself and to give away a few bottles. I have some clients that need it very much. Also you should be seeing other orders from the south bay area. I’m telling a lot of people and I think the chiropractor I work for will be getting some soon too. Okay off to work. Have a great night. Frances”
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So below, lets learn about Fascia – and remember why we need to stretch! (borrowed from StretchCoach)
WHAT DOES MUSCLE FASCIA DO?
There are three main functions that the muscle fascia performs:
1. The fascia holds the muscle together and keeps it in the correct place.
2. The fascia separates the muscles so they can work independently of each other.
3. The fascia provides a lubricated surface so that the muscles can move smoothly against each other.
STRETCHING MUSCLE FASCIA
As stated above; when improving flexibility is the goal, the muscles and their fascia should be the major focus of your flexibility training.
When you are inactive for long periods of time, due to inactivity or injury, the muscle fascia starts to bind together. This prevents the muscles from moving freely against each other, and leads to a stiffness or tightness that limits normal range of motion and prevents freedom of movement. Regular stretching will help to keep your muscles and their fascia in good working order, and prevent your muscles and their fascia from seizing up.
If you have read this far, here are a few suggestions that we at Four Oaks have learned, and try our best to employ each day. They help!
1. Each morning stand in place with your hands at your sides. Slowly begin to twist your shoulders back and forth. Keep your arms loose, and they will sort of flap along with your shoulders. After a moment start to VERY slowly raise your arms as your shoulders continue back and forth. You will now look like a scarecrow in the wind. Keep doing this as your arms raise up. Eventually, they reach the top and then start back down until they reach your sides. You have now loosened every muscle in your upper body : Back, shoulders, neck, arms and waist. Even your knees and legs loosen up. (Learned from Kim Kizzier, Applied Integrative Therapy. Thanks, Kim! It is an amazing morning ritual… even though it makes me look a bit daffy:-)
2. If you spend your day at a desk, stand up and move at least every 30 minutes. (It’s easy to get lost behind a computer for hours at a time!) Do ten knee bends or 10 toe touches, or ten jumping jacks. Even walking to the mailbox will help. The added benefit is that your mind needs the same rest as your body. Science tells us that the maximum length of mental efficiency without a break is 90 minutes. For most of us in is less than an hour. After that our brainwaves falter, and we simply can not work at peak level.
Okay, you should all be ready for a little stretch. Just Do It!
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** NATURAL RELEASE™ Muscle and Joint **
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