The worst thing you can do when injured or sick is NOT move!
This is because your muscles and the surrounding fascia have tightened, which makes movement painful. But if you don’t move, you’ll become trapped in a negative cycle that makes you less inclined to exercise, which begets more tightness and weakness, and so on. The remedy is to counter this trend with gentle movement, even when you feel like curling into a little ball.
I developed this sequence for myself when I was too drained and achy from Lyme to even stand.
I did this in bed or on the floor and effectively cared for my entire body. The sequence gently stretches from toe tip to fingertip, melts away any cobwebs that formed between the fascia, and lubricates the joints. It can even be done with the aid of a caretaker if you are feeling too depleted to do it on your own. I’m such a fan of this sequence that I teach it as a warm-up to my students, and I still return to it some mornings, especially before I do stronger exercise.
Have you noticed your muscles are achy when you're inactive, especially when you're sick or recovering from an injury?
If you’re cool with looking at cadavers, watch Gil Hedley show this phenomenon. It becomes clear how we literally imprison ourselves in our own fascia through inactivity. What is fascia, you ask? Fascia is a network of protective sheaths surrounding our nerve endings, bones, organs, muscle bundles, and muscle groups. Tendons and ligaments are simply dense bundles of fascia that connect the muscles to the bones and other muscles. Think of it as a webbing that holds us together.
Watch the brilliant Tom Myer explain fascia. Bizarrely, the fascial system was largely ignored until recently. We all know about the muscular and skeletal systems, but in my experience helping people get out of pain patterns, the most important factor may be the fascial system. I find that by first addressing the hardening in the fascia we can more effectively stretch the muscles, which allows us to get the bones in place. Once the bones are in their proper places we strengthen the muscles, and recovery is achieved.
Here is a great visual of why this approach works. At the 6 minute mark, Dana Sterling makes it easy to see why fascial hardening in the right hip may be behind plantar fasciitis in the left foot, or why the bundle of fascia in the right front armpit impacts range of motion in both shoulders and may create pain in the neck. In other words, the source of the pain is often far from the sensation of pain. By following the fascial lines we can ferret out the source and begin the process of healing.
Of course, keeping the fascia from forming hard masses in the first place should be part of our daily hygiene. Think of this sequence as the fascial equivalent of brushing your teeth.
I hope you get as much benefit from this sequence as my students and I do! Let me know in the comments below how this works for you. Please share this with anyone who can benefit – as in any human with fascia, especially those who are inactive from injury or illness.
Start Your Healing Journey
I want to help you heal from illness, injury, and pain. You're probably tired of living with pain, you may have even tried a few things and had some temporary relief - but it always comes back!
Perhaps, you haven't yet found the root source of your pain and discomfort. That's where my self-assessment quiz comes in.
This quiz will ask you a series of questions that will enable you to focus your energy and attention to the most likely source so you can begin to heal, grow, and thrive!
If you decide to go deep into fascial care, here are some props to help you. I will be posting many fascial release exercises and these will definitely be used:
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