Body Awareness: The key to pain-free living

The body that was given to us at birth is a magnificent instrument, capable of making millions of minor and major adjustments every day to make our lives more comfortable. This is both a blessing – helping us redistribute weight from injured limb, chew differently when we have tooth problems, etc – and a curse – we don’t always revert back to the old more efficient and effective way to move, because we don’t often notice that it has even happened.

We have been doing this (massage therapy) so long that we have lost count of the number of times our clients have said, “I didn’t do anything that would cause my (insert pained body part here) to hurt the way it does, it just started one day, no falls, no blows, nothing.”  But here’s what we can tell you with certainty,  something caused your body to be in dis-ease. Once you rule out things like arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, then we have to start looking for underlying reasons that your body may be hurting without an obvious cause.

Maybe it wasn’t a fall or blow, maybe you just had a blister on your foot that caused you to begin walking differently, shifting weight from one side to the other, using your hips differently than normal, stepping on the side of your foot, thereby shifting the position of your knee and hip joint. In time, your body kept these adaptations and they caused changes that are now manifesting in pain. There’s always a reason. You may have slept crooked, took a long trip and didn’t keep your knees straight in the car, too many hours at the computer without moving, the list goes on and on and on.

The first step in any successful bodywork is body awareness. Being aware of what you are doing to and with your body helps put you back in control of the magnificent machine you were born with. Our recommendation, is always, for our clients to PAY ATTENTION to the little things they do daily. How you stand, how you sit even seemingly minor details like, do you cock your head when you listen to someone? If so, do you favor a particular side?*  Observe how you sit when you read in bed, how your computer is positioned in reference to your neck and shoulders, is your keyboard big enough or are your wrists too close and twisted because it’s too small?

Pay attention to your actions on a daily basis and you will figure out, in time, what is causing your body to react and allowing you the ability to take charge of your pain change it. Becoming more body-focused may take a while and even once you are aware, it may take a bit of time for your behavior adjustments to take hold. Just remember that the changes that brought you to a pained or dis-eased state,  took a while, so the recovery will also take some time, be patient with your body and yourself.

Of course, you can get relief in the interim and assistance in your journey of recovery by working with a trained, intuitive and qualified bodywork professional. With over 45 years combined experience, we can help you transition your body’s quirks to regain your own state of healthy flexibility.

(*This even happened to one of us. It took months to figure it out. Once body awareness was established though, the ability to change the habit, by alternating which side the head was cocked to, became possible. Effectively re-balancing the neck and subsequently the rest of the body, as it returned to its normal state.)

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