Muscle is arguably the most adaptable tissue of the human body. I am not saying diverse and abundant, that would be fascia. The properties of muscle include providing warmth through metabolization of nutrients, movement of the joints and skeletal system, protection of the joints and skeletal system and protection of the abdominal organs. And, yes, they help make you look good in your jeans too. If we are what we eat, then we do what we teach. You may see that protection was listed twice as a property of muscle. It is the protective property and adaptability of muscle that gets us into trouble. This means that all day every day we are teaching our bodies how to behave. Today’s lifestyle and work demands put extreme stresses on our musculoskeletal systems. An example would be what I like to call the 21st century shoulder. Sitting at a computer using a keyboard and mouse with our shoulders elevated and rolled anteriorly for however many hours we do a day is just not natural. It shouldn’t be a surprise to find that your shoulders adapt to that position and don’t have full range of motion. The most insidious thing is that we don’t even know we are doing it until it becomes so engrained of a habit that discomfort and pain begins to set in. When an injury to the musculoskeletal system occurs, whether it be from overuse or trauma, muscle tissue adapts to protect the injury and to help the body to perform the tasks that we must continue to do. The challenge is that this is teaching the body new behaviors or habits that we may continue to do even after the injury is “healed”. This does not allow the body to perform optimally. Imagine that maladaptation and dysfunction left a shadow. How dark would it be if all of the shadows of dysfunction from overuse, previous injuries and poor postural adaptation stayed with us in our bodies? The reality is that they do and we aren’t aware. This is due to the body being such an incredibly adaptable and resilient mechanism and also how our brain is wired to work. Many of us walk the knife edge with function and dysfunction being on either side. Therapeutic massage is an extremely effective modality in that it normalizes soft tissue and retrains the neuromuscular connections. It teaches the client what the underlying issues are in their bodies and how they relate. A knowledgeable LMT can adapt and develop an approach that will help to identify and address your needs. We normalize soft tissue by releasing adhesed tissue, lengthening shortened tissue, providing blood flow to starved stuck tissue and all other kinds of really cool stuff. Therapeutic massage, will allow you to achieve optimum performance.
Thomas Nolan, LMT