Muscular pain is not an equal-opportunity attacker that effects everyone in the general population. Why do some people seem to rarely suffer from aches or pains in spite of being exposed to the same life challenges? Clinical massage experience suggests that factors such as posture, stress, diet and lifestyle habits can all affect our vulnerability to developing muscular pain in our bodies.
Stress load – how high stress levels affect our musculature
People who suffer serious work related and personal stress that lasts for a period of months can be predisposed to developing painful muscle symptoms. The longer people live with stress the more their body produces hormonal reactions such as cortisol and adrenalin. Chronic stress can negatively result in sleep conditions, anxiety and muscle fatigue – caused by poor rest and insufficient energy to move your body. Massage can be used as a proactive de-stressor to manage your stress levels. Failing that, massage can also be utilised as a reaction to muscle pain to help flush painful acids away, repair tissue and release tension.
Poor posture – it takes a small trigger to activate muscle pain
You may have heard the fable about an “unbending tree breaks in the wind”. We all know what bad posture looks like. Strong dominant muscles tighten and pull the curvature of the body out of alignment. Because there is a constant pulling force on effected joints it can cause muscles to become over worked, tired and achy – unable to find a position of stretch, release or rest. The real danger for people with poor posture is that if they experience physical trauma or injury it can be extremely difficult to treat or get pain free again. Posture can be improved using massage by targeting the right areas. For people with chronic alignment issues massage can be used to slow down regression or manage symptoms and pain.
Pain causing foods – acidity inflames muscle tissues
Very few people associate muscle pain with dietary consumption. Our chemical balance is heavily influenced by stress hormones, medication, food and drink. Muscle ache can sometimes be triggered by having an over acidic diet combined with muscle tension or slow lymphatic waste removal. Massage can increase blood flow to the soft tissues and joints which can flush away stagnant lactic and carbonic acids. Lymphatic drainage is also stimulated by massage and improves waste removal from tissues allowing them to recover and repair.
Sedentary lifestyles – use it or lose it
It might sound ironic but people who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from muscular pain compared with people who follow sedentary lives. Our bodies are designed to move, stretch and self-lubricate our joints. Inactivity causes congestion, tightness and muscle weakness which is fine when left alone. The problem occurs when a sedentary person runs for a bus, starts exercising or tries to reactivate dormant movement patterns after periods of inactivity. Movement can become forced causing muscles to dysfunction or pressure to be levered on joints. Massage can not only relieve pain, but can reawaken movement patterns lost to inactivity allowing an easier return to movement.
We all know that a balanced life and an effective stress management strategy can result in a higher level of happiness. Research has shown that happy, relaxed people are more resistant to illness than those who tend to be unhappy or tense. If a lack of time, irregular routine or insufficient stress management strategy prevents you from feeling balanced, consider using massage to relieve or indeed prevent the onset of pain in your muscular system. We would be only too happy to discuss your goals and recommend a massage plan or frequency that suits your needs.