Restrictions Released Myofascial Therapy
Restorative Exercises & Movement-Based Lifestyle
"You are how you move." - Katy Bowman
What are restorative exercises?
The human body is extremely adaptable which is both bad news and good news. Years spent moving in a relatively narrow range of movement patterns such as sitting in chairs, driving cars, and working with computers has led our bodies to accommodate these activities. These changes leave us with tightness and limited range of motion which eventually lead to pain and decrease in function. The good news is that when you move differently, your body responds. Restorative exercises are extremely effective exercises to identify and treat parts of the body that aren't moving properly. The blanket statement of "move more" is often prescribed for various ailments, but simply moving more is not the answer. Moving more using dysfunctional patterns can often make the problem worse. An analogy to demonstrate this concept is if the wheels of a car are out of alignment: the wear and tear experienced from misalignment would be much more noticeable after driving it 1,000 miles compared to 1 mile. Restorative exercises help to realign your body so that when you do move more, you are also moving better!
What is a movement-based lifestyle?
As a society, we strive to make as much of our lives as convenient as possible. Unfortunately, the more convenient things become, the less movement they require. Our bodies need continual and varied movement to optimally function, but our environment is consistently taking away opportunities to move. Going to the gym for an hour can not counteract the effects of being sedentary for the rest of the day. There are simple changes that can be incorporated into your lifestyle to get more parts of your body moving more often. An example of this is spending more time sitting on the floor. When was the last time you got down on the floor? You will be strengthening your muscles by lowering and lifting your body weight while getting on and off the floor. When you sit on the floor, your hips and knees are experiencing different joint angles then the typical 90 degrees you experience in a chair. Floor sitting will also work your core muscles in holding you upright instead of outsourcing that work to the back of a chair. Restorative exercises can help you regain the ability to comfortably sit on the floor. By adding more movement into your lifestyle, you eventually eliminate the need for specific exercises to give your body the movement it needs.
The difference between exercise and movement (and why it matters)