What is your range of motion?
Moving every joint, every day, is important. What are your movement habits? Is movement on your mind first thing when you wake up? Do you follow through? Every day I envision what I want to do in the day, and movement is always part of that thought. A walk to the coffee shop, a swim across Hidden Lake, a bike ride later with my sister. If I haven’t moved much during the day, I take a walk instead of sit down to eat a long lunch at work, opting to walk for 20 and eat for 10 minutes. Or after dinner I may finally get that walk in. If I have a partner to move with I am more committed. Paying for a weekly class, or joining a club has been motivating in the past. Planning a backpack trip, or hike with friends also helps me stay mobile.
Most days I do not always accomplish this, but it is a strong desire of mine. I negotiate with myself and make excuses, and usually I do find ways to move throughout the day, and have longer, more pleasurable activities on the weekend. This takes planning! There is always something to do, a project to finish, but I want to age gracefully. Range of motion has many facets.
Putting every joint through full range of motion (ROM) is a great way to add movement to your day. It is not a replacement for the other mentioned activities, but it is a start. ROM is a term used by healthcare professionals, and it means just what it says. Each joint has a certain range of motion when it is in optimum health. Active ROM is when you move your body yourself, and Passive ROM is when someone else moves your body. I would add that we can increase our movement range by engaging in any activity we find pleasurable. Let’s call this: FUN ROM!!!
In a Trager session, both are used. In Mentastics, the movement explorations done at the beginning and/or end of a session, you initiate the movements with guidance internally from your own impulse to move (like a good yawn or stretch happens unplanned in the am); or you would be guided by me, the practitioner, to explore movement with music or images. This is ACTIVE ROM. You can easily demonstrate this: Make a circle with your wrist, initiate side to side movements, and up and down. Stay within your comfort zone. You just did ACTIVE ROM. Assess….are there painful places? Are joints popping? If you were in a Trager session with me I would guide you to explore with an image…this is Mentastics. Begin to move your wrist again, adding an image as you do this. Perhaps you have olive oil in every joint in your hand, and you imagine a slippery, soft feeling. Continue to soften, what could be lighter, easier? Notice the feeling. A Mentastic can be developed or created for any part of the body, from the smallest to the largest muscle group, to full out running, walking or swimming. It is still active because YOU are initiating the movement.
On the other hand, (yes, a pun), passive ROM is when someone moves your limbs. This is quite an unusual feeling for the first time on the table. If you have ever had PT/OT you may have experienced this with your therapist. The Trager Practitioner is continually offering your body passive ROM to reach the unconscious holding patterns that were caused by injury or assault, mentally or physically. We guide the limbs gently into the rage that is available. Never pushing, only questioning “how could it be?” Joints that rarely move are coaxed into moving beyond painful patterns. Muscles are softened and lengthened, increasing yoru range of motion. In both cases, an additional benefit is the lubrication of the joints and increased circulation that occurs. Your lymph system drains and your immune system can function better. Overall, there is a pleasurable, tingling sensation, and deep relaxation.
Simply put: YOU ARE MOVED. This is passive. Both active and passive ROM are necessary, for the deep healing of compensation patterns in our lives. As we age, we maintain healthy joints and organs as we keep moving, and especially if we spend time listening and responding to our bodies during the activity. Did you know the body is rocked over 5000 times in a Trager session? This is an estimate from one of my instructors. I never counted it personally. But think of rocking a baby, that lulling slosh and repetitious rock brings sleep quickly. During sleep, we reach a state of repair at the cellular level. you may not fall asleep during a session, (some do), but you will be lulled into a place of deep relaxation and true rest.
I have seven movement classes set up for the rest of the year…join me and I will tell you more! Please click on my events tab if you are interested! Or, come for a session, and get an individual movement lesson. You will leave with a doable plan to move more throughout your day, and your life.
Keep moving! If you feel stuck…call me! I can help you learn this movement approach, the Trager Approach to healing yourself.