We have all been there…. Do you remember buying your first car? The excitement, pride, and pure desire to keep it in perfect condition. I remember obsessing over the maintenance book that stated when I would need to get my car serviced. I was never late getting these ever so important tune ups!
Fast forward 10 years into my career. Endless accounts of disbelief from my clients as to why their back is “suddenly” in extreme pain instead of the occasional ache. Anger and frustration that they can no longer push through that pain to get in their usual workouts. The list is endless. From a personal stand point, I did what many moms do. I got lost in my kids and my daily 1 hour workouts diminished to biweekly or triweekly 30-45 minute events….. if I was lucky.
I get it! It is hard to carve out time for yourself and when you do, you want it to count! For many of us that means some pampering (massage, pedicure, etc) or a great workout where you REALLY sweat! However, behind those small aches and pains or subtle postural changes are a message. The message is this: “Your body is changing. It is time for a tune up.” Equate this to the squeak of a car when it is time for a new belt or new brakes. “Pushing through it” means compensating and setting up faulty patterns. “Pushing through it” means you are setting yourself up for the potential of future breakdown. Nothing stays the same forever, so that small amount of pee that you leak when you sneeze will likely become a bigger problem if left unattended. The same is true for the chronic aches and pains and postural changes.
Know anyone with forward shoulders? A rounded lower spine?
There are many ways to think about a tune up. Energy rebalancing, massage or a chiropractic adjustment are two ways that people often choose to align their bodies. My approach is entirely from a functional point of view. Reset the motor plan for your body and keep that plan active with a few specific exercises. Learn the short cuts that your body wants to take to avoid areas of weakness and create a plan to keep your body strong in all the ways it needs to be to do the things you love. The truth is, our bodies are just intricate machines. Nevertheless, we expect our body to go on forever without a real tune up. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way. 17 years of practice has shown me that the path to long term health means looking at the small details and creating a personalized plan of action. Think of it like this: not every tune up is the same. Sometimes you need an air filter, brakes and new tires and sometimes you just need your tires rotated. I encourage you all to think about your bodies in a new way. Don’t put things off for another day. The time to optimize your wellness is now!
Is a mom of two, life long exercise & nutrition enthusiast, women's health specialist & physical therapist.