Today we are going to be talking about the difference between doing your self-care without pain versus doing your self-care with pain. These are two completely different worlds, because your brain does something different when it’s not in pain and when it’s in pain: it’s called panic. So let’s teach you not to panic.
So first, as you’re stretching and as you are doing your trigger point work and foam rolling, you want to think about getting your body to tell you specific things. Then you need to learn how those things feel and you have to learn them in detail. This is because when you go to the opposite side of the spectrum and you are going crazy, your brain is no longer in a relaxation mode. Instead, it is trying to go through many things at once and gets into panic mode. The first thing you have to do is slow down your brain and this gets your body to calm down. Then you go into those same activities but slowing them down completely to minute levels of movement. You have to get the body to stop wanting to protect itself so much. So if you hurt your ankle you can start with small ankle rotations and then eventually it will let you increase the range-of-motion. Gradually it will allow you to reach a good range-of-motion which will then allow you to put a load on it. Now you can do more exercises where you can lift yourself.
Now, how does trigger point work and stretching differ? Your ‘flight or fight’ response is going to get kick-started, so you will eventually stop feeling any sensations. This is what your body is designed to do. When you are in pain, your sensation for all those small things will diminish, so you have to move slower than you did before. Yet, you have to coax your body to calm down first. Once you start learning what you need to do to fix your body, you don’t have a reason to panic, because you understand what your body is doing. You have to understand, the body will go through a process to fix itself. You will know what the process is and you can help it along when you are calm. So when you do your foam rolling, trigger point work, and stretching, you can get the body to move little by little. That’s it–that is the healing process. That is what you have to learn how to do: getting everything to start balancing itself out.
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