Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Health

Happy Holidays Everyone!

While most people have vacation time during the holiday season, the massage business is busy(and that's great, thanks!)  People treat themselves or a friend, try a new therapist, or maybe spend the last of their HSA funds.  The New Year finds many people resolving to take better care of their health as well, and I'm here to help.

This morning I had the inspiration for today's topic: Getting out of bed.  Since lots of you don't have to rush to work for the next week or so, this is a great time to add a new morning habit(after sleeping in, of course.)  Don't worry- it's easy, quick, and feels good.

While you sleep, the joints and muscles get a little stiffer, with less lubricating(synovial) fluid between the bones, various bits of new collagen healing points of micro-trauma in muscles and fascia, and extra fluid swelling the inter-vertebral disks in the spine making it more prone to strain.  All this means the body needs to ease into action gradually to help avoid causing, or delaying the healing, of an injury.  In fact, I have both heard from clients and read that early morning is the most frequent time for back injury.

To get started with less risk, do some gentle back mobilization before jumping out of bed.  Note that mobilizing doesn't mean stretching, it means moving within a comfortable range without force.  While still lying down, tilt the hips side to side and forward and back a few times in each direction.  Raise one knee at a time and do a few small circles with the leg bent.  Roll onto your side and push yourself to sitting- don't do a sit-up.  Do a few circles with the spine in each direction, shifting your weight from side to side.

At this point, if you have pain on the bottom of the foot caused by plantar fasciitis, firmly roll a small ball under the foot(I'll give more details later, or on request.)

Stand, do a few hip circles, and start walking.  Many people like to stretch immediately when they get up, but it is much better to move around for 30 minutes or more first. (For those with plantar fasciitis, do stretch the calves before walking.)  I like to make coffee and go onto my balcony and water the plants, or give it a good sweeping, then do my deeper morning stretches.

Going out to the garden may not be possible for many people, but the point is to walk around before stretching.  And before starting to doing that walking, do some mobilizing while still in bed.  The whole routine takes only a minute or two.

Enjoy your time off, and sleeping in, and mellow that harsh wake-up with a healthful mobilizing routine.

1 comment:

  1. Wow - I've never read a 'massage blog' before but I must say this post is very intriguing! My husband and I both have sore backs in the morning, and I try and always take is really, really easy for the first 20 minutes in the morning. Easy - as in sitting propped up with pillows, drinking coffee and looking at my garden (one of my favorite parts of the day)! If I DO have to jump right out of bed to get to my morning, I'm almost certain to pull a muscle doing some simple task...thanks for explaining why that is (and for making me feel less guilty about being lazy in the morning!)....