One area of the body that is especially vulnerable to overuse is our shoulders. Let’s explore ways to support the physical and metaphorical “wings of our heart” with gentle movement, stretching, and strengthening.
From our first venture into the school gymnasium as kids, we’ve been taught to stretch. As adults, stretching is as common a morning routine as brushing our teeth or combing our hair.
Mind-body fitness expert Anat Baniel wants us to know how to move and stretch carefully and start our day out right. Baniel, author of Move Into Life: The Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality (Harmony Books, 2009), believes excessive stretching is an activity that is contrary to the health and longevity of our muscles.
In Part 1 of this article, I began describing Aaron Mattes’s Active Isolated Stretching (AIS), explaining the seven defining characteristics of this uniquely effective modality. Here in Part 2, I’ll talk in greater depth about the specific ways in which AIS can complement other forms of bodywork and increase a therapist’s efficiency and effectiveness. I’ll also give a brief overview of how these techniques can be incorporated into a massage therapy practice.
Three factors keep many Americans from joining a gym: they’re crunched for time, cash strapped, or self-conscious about working out in front of others. One solution is setting up a home gym.
But where do you start? And does that old, rusty dumbbell tucked away in your closet constitute a home gym?
Because one person’s definition of a home gym differs from another’s, let’s consider several approaches to establishing your own personal workout paradise.
Our bodies have no hidden agenda, they’re not like politicians,” says stretching guru Richard Rossiter. “They want to tell you what’s happening so you can correct it.” Rossiter is a bodyworker on a mission. His goal? Fewer people on the operating table and more people on the floor stretching away their pain.
Stretching is such an integrated part of many natural movements that it creeps into our daily activities whether we plan it or not. First thing upon waking, most of us sit up, yawn, and stretch without actually thinking about it. After a long trip in a car or airplane, we stretch our legs to get them moving again. Even a sudden cramp can have us reflexively jumping up and hopping around to stretch for relief.
Stretching a strained muscle speeds recovery and gets athletes back in the game, Greek researchers recently concluded. Eighty subjects suffering from pulled hamstrings were assigned to one of two groups: The first group was assigned to stretch the hamstring four times daily, while the second group stretched once a day. The first group regained full range of motion in an average of 5.6 days while it took the control group 7.3 days to reach the same result. The first group also resumed full activity about two days earlier than those who only stretched once a day.
Q. I’ve heard a lot of talk about massage therapy and fascia, but I don’t know what “fascia” is ...
Weekend warrior or pro, the following can keep you performing at your peak:
1. Drink Plenty of Water
You should be consuming one to two 12 oz. bottles per hour, depending on the day’s temperature and your exertion level. Think in terms of drinking for tomorrow’s ride.
2. Keep Knees Warm
Avoid patella tendinitis. Check your local bike store for knee warmers just for this purpose.