Is inactivity the cause of your PAIN?

How many hours do you spend sitting each day? At work or school, in the car, on the couch? Now, how many hours are you asleep, perhaps 6-9 hours? How many hours are you at the gym? Do you sit between sets or intervals?

Let’s say you’re the typical office worker who sits from 9am to 5pm, who gets up to the printer or to grab a coffee perhaps every couple of hours. And let’s say you go for a 30 minute walk on your lunch break. So that’s 8 hours of work and 6.5 hours of sitting time (on a good day).

Now you leave work, get in your car, or on the bus/train – sit down and travel for an hour (don’t forget you’ve spent the morning getting to work and this has also cost you another hour in sitting time). Perhaps you get home, and you head to the gym – 15-20 minutes travel time spent sitting in the car. You spend a couple of hours there lifting weights or maybe you’re doing some cardio. You may sit around and chat to some friends or perhaps you rest between sets.

Now you’re at almost 9 hours sitting time.

You get home, eat something, perhaps you play with the kids for a bit, or do you head to the computer to do more work? Or does the couch look more appealing? You’re exhausted from your day, you’ve done your work out – you sit on the couch and watch some TV to unwind. If you’re like most Australian’s you cook dinner and eat in front of the TV. This may take up 2 hours of your day – so let’s be generous and give you another 1 hour sitting time.

You get home, you’ve done your workout, you’re feeling exhausted and its about 10-11pm, you head to bed.

10 hours total sitting time now turns into 7.5 hours sleeping time. Your body most definitely needs sleep but now it’s combating hours of inactive sitting time. You toss and turn a few times, but mostly your body is motionless.

You wake up, hit snooze a few thousand times and finally you get out of bed and feel stiff, sore & you just want more SLEEP! Your legs feel heavy or maybe your shoulders and neck hurts from sleeping in an awkward position all night.

Sitting and sleep now account for 72% of your total day. That’s ¾ of your total life where your body isn’t moving. Your body is designed for MOVEMENT. If you feel like you’re doing everything right, yet you’re still stiff and sore, perhaps you’re not moving ENOUGH.

My point is, western culture is an inactive one. The idea of modern exercise isn’t enough – run, walk, play, crawl, climb, have FUN with movement and your body will thank you a thousand times. If your body isn’t used to much variety of movement you’d be surprised in what small 5-10 minute changes will have on your overall body health. Compliment this movement with regular massage or body work and notice the change in energy levels, stress reduction and increased flexibility!

Alcohol & Massage

Thinking about planning your next relaxing massage on a Saturday morning? You might want to watch your Friday night alcohol intake!

Here’s why:

Massage stimulates the production of a number of hormones in the body (oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin to name a few). To produce these hormones the body requires an increase in fluid circulating the body. Relaxation and deep tissue massage moves fluids around the body and thus dehydrates you. This is why your massage therapist will always tell you to increase your fluid intake after your massage.

Now, a few Friday night drinks will cause you to become dehydrated and come Saturday morning when you’re a little hairy eyed, hungover, and very dehydrated your body is further dehydrated by the massage. With the left over booze still circulating your blood stream, muscle soreness is amplified and your body doesn’t get the best chance to heal.

The same thing applies to one innocent glass of wine or beer after your massage. Your body works as a whole and your liver, kidneys and lymphatic system are all stimulated by the massage. To add in alcohol on top of that, it’s just one extra thing your body has to process. A glass or two of alcohol can cause an increase in muscle soreness and this makes it difficult to tell if the massage was beneficial or not.

You’re paying good money for a massage and they can be incredibly effective for many reasons. Be mindful of your drinking before and after a massage so you can get the most out of your treatment!