Unless you have pulled a muscle through exertion, had an accident, or are suffering from a medically diagnosed illness or disease, most back and neck pain originates from tight muscles. These tightened muscles simply pull the vertebrae out of their natural alignment. The ensuing misalignment is what causes the pain and inflammation. About 90% of back pain originates from this simple ‘tightening effect’.
So what causes our muscles to tighten like this? I often use the analogy of a shrunken suit. When we wear a well fitting suit and go out in the rain (aka ‘the stresses of life’) then eventually the suit will shrink. What happens then is interesting. Because the suit is tight all over, it can ‘tear’ in any place depending on the next movement we make.
But was it the particular movement or some weakness in that particular part of the suit that was the cause of this tear?
Of course it was neither: it was the fact that the WHOLE SUIT shrunk as a result of going out in the rain. Rather than focus on the ‘bit that tore’ we need to restretch the suit back to its original shape. That’s what Massage does; it returns the body’s ‘muscle suit’ back to its proper length.
Back and neck pain is like this. We are surrounded by well trained and well qualified experts in assessing the tear and identifying exactly what
muscle went and where. For a simple clinician like myself, this smacks of medieval scholars arguing over how many angels could fit on the head of pin! It is not so much the tear that needs addressing; the body is an amazing healer and will repair itself with or without ‘the experts’. What really needs addressing is…THE SHRUNKEN SUIT!
What shrunk the suit was rain. By this I mean the amount of stress we put ourselves through with a total disregard of our need for RECOVERY, REST and STILL TIME. If most of us treated our cars as badly as we treat our bodies, we would all be standing on the roadside hitching lifts. Massage is beautiful because it will soothe and gently ease the torn bits of the suit, but it will also (uniquely) address THE CAUSE – shrunken suits.
Calming and soothing touch is what stretches suits – and is the most powerful healing tool on the planet. Touch heals the body AND the mind. Massage will help the suit lengthen and stretch all the way back to its normal shape.
By Gerry Pyves, NO HANDS Massage Founder & Creator