Why I Still Do My Physio Exercises -- Sort Of

After posting The Great Mind-Body Connection I've had a few questions about whether or not I still do the remedial physio exercises I depended on for so long. And the answer is yes -- and no.

The basic concept behind Super Physio's exercises -- which she often referred to as "remedial Pilates" -- is an active relaxation of the tense muscles. The reason for muscular pain is that the muscle fibers that are supposed to be loose and relaxed are actually "switched on" and in spasm, or constant movement. Through the exercises, you "switch on" your core muscles and when you do that, it is impossible to for the tense muscles in your back, neck, etc. to remain "switched on". And this is exactly how Pilates classes help people maintain good posture. It's all about making sure the right muscles are strong.

And as long as the pain problem is mechanical, these exercises work very well, which is why they helped me muddle through some really difficult times. But as I explained in my previous post, I was still experiencing pain because my mind continued to create tension in these muscles. And now that I know that, the pain has mostly subsided.

But I still do my physio exercises at least once per week. Why is this? As they are a very basic form of pilates, they help to keep my posture aligned. And why is this important if I'm not doing it for pain relief? Three reasons:

1. Good posture is essential for proper breathing. Just speak to a singer. You can't communicate, stay calm or sing (if that's the sort of thing you like to do) without breathing correctly. It really is our life force, physically, mentally and emotionally.

2. Then there's vanity. Let's face it, people with good posture just look better. They sit and stand up tall, they look healthier and more confident.

3. Basic exercise. Sometimes I'm not exercising as regularly as I'd like, but as long as I'm doing my core exercises, at least I know I can maintain a very minimal level of core strength (very minimal, mind you).

And as a caveat: this may seem counter intuitive, but I make a point to try not to do the physio exercises when I do have a small pain flare up. This is because I now know that my problem was not a physical one to begin with. Sure, it became physical, when my body was tied up into knots, but these days I address the emotional aspect first and the physical results follow.

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1 comment

  1. I found this article really useful and it tallys up with my experiences perfectly - working daily on my posture has been one of the most beneficial things that I've ever done! I'm feeling more confident, breathing better and I'm sure my friends and colleagues can tell the difference and respond to me in a different way, now!

    Emmett Fletcher @ CK Physiotherapy


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