After spending a week in snowy Chicago, you won’t hear me complaining about the weather here. But now that January and its “fresh new year” vibe is behind us, it feels like it’s time to settle in. I want to take stock, focus on maintaining what I’ve built in my life, and promote growth from there.
With that in mind, I thought I’d write about a question I get from nearly every Soma client at some point: “What can I do to keep this?” They’re feeling better, and concerned that after completing the series they will fall back into old habits and lose everything they’ve gained. Since I work primarily with fascia (connective tissue), here are five easy ways you can keep your fascia healthy, and even improve its current state.
1. Stretching. Wait, come back!! I swear when I say “stretch,” people picture some sort of strict daily routine nobody would really do. That’s not what I’m talking about. Just make a habit of reaching your limbs around briefly before you get out of bed, and when you stand up after sitting for a while. It’s easy, and it feels good. Picture what a cat does every single time he wakes up from a nap. Do that.
For my absolute favorite explanation of why this kind of stretching is good, check out the Fuzz Speech by Gil Hedley of Integral Anatomy. Please be aware, this short video contains images of human cadavers, so some of you might prefer to skip it. But it’s amazing to see what is really happening when we feel stiff.
2. Movement. This follows up on #1 above – if you don’t move your body, it will gradually lost its ability to move. In this age of sedentary jobs, we simply must seek out some sort of movement we can include in our regular routine. Walking, biking, a sport, an exercise class, a dance class, whatever. And do keep in mind that many sports are very one-sided (i.e. golf) or intensive on one muscle group while ignoring others. Adding a weekly full-body activity like Pilates, yoga or swimming can do wonders in keeping you balanced.
3. Hydration. Your body needs plenty of fluid to keep the surfaces of your tissue gliding smoothly. Think of it this way: Drinking water provides that fluid, then stretching and movement handle the distribution. Simple!
4. Props. Most likely you’ve seen someone using foam rollers or small balls for fascial release work. Just use the prop to get a little pressure on muscular areas that feel stiff or sore, and keep it gentle and easy. When I have a few free minutes in the studio I often use a soft foam roller to stretch and loosen my back tissue, rolling it from my upper traps all the way down to my low back. Using these props can be so effective we are looking into offering some classes in the studio, I’ll keep you posted as that possibility develops!
5. Somassage®. Of course I have to mention the full-body treatment that was developed for the purpose of fascia maintenance! Somassage isn’t for big fascial restrictions (that’s when you want the Series Work). Somassage helps you keep your current glide, and smooth out minor restrictions that have just started to set in. I myself haven’t been through the Series Work in years, but monthly Somassages keep my tissues happy.
P.S. Do you know someone who might be interested in this newsletter? Please feel free to forward or share on Facebook – thanks!
Pilates Beginner Series
New to Pilates? 3 classes for $65 will have you ready for Group Reformer!
Learn the basic principles, equipment safety & reformer repertoires with this new Series Class on Saturdays at 10AM. Next series starts 2/15.
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If you’re not sure, ask us and we’ll look it up for you. Hint: Registering with Perkville earns you 50 points!