For many, the word exercise is synonymous with pain.
Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, forms of arthritis, Lyme disease, etc. all present with pain in the joints and/or soft tissues of the body. When muscles hurt already, moving makes them hurt more, right?
Nope. Not exactly.
Lack of movement can actually create more pain. Holding the body in stiff poses, sitting (or lying down) for extended periods of time, all prevent the muscles from doing what they’re designed to do – move!
I often say that living with fibromyalgia is like living with rigor mortis. When you sit for too long, or stay still, the whole body seems to tense and tighten up. Movement is absolutely necessary to work out the kinks.
Muscles that don’t move are deprived of oxygen. Think of that as more pain. Movement can help to relieve the stiffness that comes with fibromyalgia. It also increases energy to the body.
So what’s not to get?
Movement decreases pain and increases energy.
Keep in mind that “movement” can mean just about anything. From gently moving the shoulders up and down to doing the boogie woogie at a local dance club. At a recent California State University workshop on fibromyalgia and treatments, we were introduced to a gentle movement called The Rosen Method. I’d highly recommend it. Find a local practitioner and give it a try! The class I attended included soothing music and fluid, subtle movements of each limb. The instructor happened to be fabulous and exuded a kind and happy vibe. You can find him here:
Carlos Messerschmidt, LMT, NCTMB, CMTPT
Costa Mesa, CA
The point is, every body needs conditioning through movement. Whether you want to call it exercise or getting off the couch and going to the mailbox, movement is a vital way to get and stay healthy. Walking, gardening, housecleaning, dancing, yoga, etc. are all great ways to keep the body moving. I happen to love hopping around on my mini-trampoline, working out on my elliptical, taking walks with friends and family, and, of course, doing tai chi.
So, what feeds you? Tell me your favorite ways to move – and soothe – your body!