Physical health

Stretch it up!

There are many poses with different variations for you to choose from. Sometimes we might get confused by the overwhelming selection. Therefore, before stretching we need to develop our stretching system. Because everybody has their own needs and conditions, I’m using body parts as the foundation layout so you can develop upon according to your lifestyle.

Using the body parts as the segment, we will always pay attention to our body as it’s how we access to the system, and in return, it will tell us where we need to train and areas to release the persistent pains, and being able to quickly adapt the changes from our work, body, and time conditions.

the stretching system - body part thinking.jpg

Before we dive into the case study, there are three types of connective tissues inside of our body that worth to mention. They are muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These soft tissues are basically responsible for body movements.

Muscles, as we’re all familiar, are specialised tissue for contraction and relaxation in a simple sense.

Tendons are the tough, white, connective tissue that attaches muscles to bone. Although they cannot contract themselves, they’re strong and stiff, with the remarkable ability to store and release energy for your force production.

So when you move your bone, you contract your muscles, but it’s not your muscles pull on the bone, is your tendon. All the force goes through the tendon, which is why they have to be incredibly strong.

Ligaments are connective bone-to-bone tissue, some are white, sturdy and inelastic, others are yellow and elastic. They serve to support the internal organs and hold the bone together. Their primary goal is to stabilise.

5170-ligament-v-tendon-1296x728-body.jpgligament - tendon differences illustration.jpg

Now, exercise and activity can strengthen muscles, tendons, bones, and ligaments through a process known as remodeling – the breakdown and growth of new tissue. But when tissue breaks down faster than it can build, injuries occur.

So where the pains are?

For people who work in retail or hospitality, standing is a must-do bodywork. Some workers might need to stand for hours before they could get some rest. The resting is a temporarily pause but lacking enough time for the body to recover. So, in the long run, the frequently used muscles will tense to almost rigid. Specifically, we’re looking at the lower back, thigh, calf and the rest of the leg. Too dense that the tendons would overwork, with no proper relaxation and allowing time for recovering, the mobility in each part of their muscles will be limited by discomfort. This is how an inflexible body affects a person.

Another situation is people who are working in an IT, finance environment, the office will be their workspace. Sitting on a chair and maintaining a few used-to postures throughout the day, so when they get home the tensity of their muscles start kicking in like a debt bill but they’re too tired to do anything. Normal resting does not have enough time to fix the cause. they’ll need extra effort to ease the pain. The common muscle problems are shoulder, elbow, wrist, and the whole back.

The least example is farming and fishery. Although the outdoor environment is pleasant, workers need to bend a lot in between their tasks. Like checking the soil or utilising the equipment, they don’t realise the strain on muscles will steadily creep on their back if they don’t enact sooner. The familiar body problems are the lower back pain, and, not being able to stand straight properly.

The problems we have mentioned above are commonly known as overuse injuries. Regardless of how simple some postures are, combining with enough intensity, duration, and frequency, they can make some serious damages to the tissue.

Obviously, every job has its advantages and disadvantages. This article is to bring awareness of the cause rather than scaring you away from not doing anything. As we can identify which postures doing are hurting us, we can find the solution.

To prevent injury occurs in the first place we need to keep four tips as a reminder in the stretching system:
– Rest when you feel pain or overly sore
– massage tightens areas to release tension
– Gently stretch
– Proper rest

If it’s seriously injured, I suggest you seek professional help. Although we might have a common sense of what the normal procedure or treatments are, it’s always better to have someone’s else opinion on the problem that you’re encountering.

This stretching system can be formed only we understand that Massage takes away fifty percent of its own. Like the Tao symbol, only stretching as one element isn’t enough to sustain the system itself. Massage is the relaxation part of the stretching system, which I’ll cover in the next coming articles.

Now we get to the fun part of creating a system for our body health! Grab a pen or computer, we gonna go for a little mental processing!

There are four steps involved.
discover the problem
Find the solution
Set goal
And create a realistic timeline for our expectation, I’ll provide examples.

Ask questions:
What problems I have right now?

Example:
the stretching system - 1.jpg

What poses can relieve pain?

Example:
the stretching system - 2.jpg

(If you’re unsure about which poses will help, don’t worry. I’ll cover them soon.)

For the Goal setting part:
1)What benefits will you get by reaching a goal?
2)What drawbacks will you get by not reaching a goal?
3)What efforts will you make to achieve your goal?
4)How will you know you’ve achieved your goal?
5)What first steps will you do to achieve your goal?

Example:
the stretching system - 3.jpg

Realistic timeline ( for visualisation)
In 3 months
In 6 months
In 1 year
and so on..

Example:
the stretching system - 4.jpg

By having a clear, structural system for yourself, it is an assertive way you’ll make a strong commitment to and stay within. I hope this article helps you develop a stretching habit and love stretching as much as I do.

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