Joint Health and Yoga
Every year, a kaleidoscope of injured clients parades through massage rooms. Probably 80 percent or more complain about joint pain of one sort or another. Some visit with the same issue year after year, while others are back to normal after just one session. So what makes one client more successful than another in correcting what’s bothering them? Many factors contribute, but let’s focus on long-term habits.
Joint health requires the area to be both strong and flexible. A habit of daily exercise or movement as early in life as possible can help achieve this. It can be as simple as daily walking, swimming or following a fitness tracker’s step goals. Flexibility is one of the most important factors in joint comfort as we age. The common adage “motion is lotion” speaks to the fact that movement helps release the synovial fluid that keeps joints lubricated. This is one reason why too much sitting, whether at work or in front of the TV, is so detrimental. The less fluid that is moving, the stiffer one becomes.
Patients are given handouts and instructions for doing regular stretches, but often don’t “do their homework”. People are more likely to comply with the advice given by doctors, physical therapists or massage therapists if they have a regular time and place set aside. Yoga is a complete system of balanced movements designed to strengthen and lengthen at the same time. Encouraging clients to attend regular yoga classes at their gym or local studio has worked best. Many kinds of problems can be helped with combinations of yoga, massage, physical therapy and/or chiropractic.
For the health of our joints, we would do well to consider establishing a new habit—
be it regular massage, ongoing yoga classes or a new fitness routine. Put your wellness first.
Norma Poplin-Redhouse, LMBT, is a massage therapist with a background in neuromuscular therapy. Dance training and yoga have influenced her take on how the body moves. She strives to tailor each bodywork session to the specific needs of each client. Redhouse Therapeutics is located at WellnessFIRST, 3861 N. 1st Ave, in Tucson. Connect at CrawlWalkDance@gmail.com.