The 5-Most Important Things to do to Eliminate Pain: #2–Move!

I hope you’re enjoying this series. If this is the first time you’re reading my blog, this is the 4th installment in a 5-part series on what I believe to be the five most important things you need to do to alleviate pain. Monday I blogged about nutrition, Tuesday I covered hydration, and Wednesday I wrote about why reenergizing, and “refilling your cup” (doing things you enjoy) is just as important as food and water. Today I’m writing to encourage you to…

4. Move

MovementHow many times have you been sitting at your desk, or riding in your car so long, that when you stand up, everything is frozen. Your legs are stiff. Your back is stiff. Your joints feel like they’ll never be the same. However, once you stand up and take a few steps, things generally tend to loosen up.

You know the old saying, “move it, or lose it”? There’s a LOT of accuracy in that statement. All the systems of the body–musculoskeletal, lymphatic, digestive, etc.–are dependent on movement. Obviously you can tell when your musculoskeletal system stops moving properly–pain starts to set in. But, did you know that your lymphatic system is responsible for keeping your body clean and free of bacteria? When working properly, the lymphatic system takes bacteria to the lymph nodes where it is to be destroyed. If your lymph system isn’t moving properly, you are basically store-housing harmful bacteria! Similarly, if your digestive system isn’t moving properly harmful waste can get trapped in your intestines and colon. I think we all know that that isn’t good! The bottom line is if the systems of the body aren’t moving, they’re slowly shutting down. Just like an old car engine that hasn’t been started in decades, your body will simply freeze up.

One of my favorite quotes of all-time comes from George Bernard Shaw who said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” It’s imperative you remember that once you stop playing (i.e. once you stop moving), your body starts breaking down. Your knee pain isn’t due to age, it’s due to the fact that something either above or below that knee isn’t moving properly. The hip joint, for example, isn’t functioning correctly, and as a result the knee joint is taking a beating!

Clients ask me all the time what kind of activities they should be doing, yet no matter how many times I’m asked, my answer is always the same: I want you to do whatever you feel is good for you. YOU are the expert on your body, not me. You have to trust your instincts. Remember, there is no such things as a bad movement. That’s why it’s important that you simply do it, because once you start moving, your body will respond.

QUESTION: What will you do to move today?