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How to Feel Great Again!

by Justine Calderwood, MSPT
Do you remember what your life was like before you started having low back or neck pain? How did you feel before your car accident?  Or when you could reach into the cupboard or blow dry your hair without first planning it out or flat out avoiding it because of shoulder pain?  How much more enjoyable was getting together with friends to ski or ride ATVs when you didn’t worry about “paying for it” the next day?  Picture it, with as many details as you can.  Were you smiling?  Could you do what you wanted, as long as you wanted?  Did you worry or limit yourself the way you do now?
How did it feel to wake up in the morning, fully rested and ready to take on your day?  How about the time of your life before you started limping or shortening your daily walk with your friends?  How powerful did you feel when you could hike a 14er?  Go ahead….imagine and feel it.  What if you could feel that great again?  
Well, it’s possible to move easier and feel better again.  Not sure where to start?  I’d like to share with you some simple tips that can make a huge impact on the way you move and feel.  These are tips that I regularly share with people who are looking for help, just like you.
  • Spend time everyday doing self-treatment.  Even as little as 5 minutes daily can make a difference! 
  • To get started, try using a small inflatable ball to treat painful, tight, tense or disconnected areas of your body.  Simply find the offending area by feeling around your body, and then sit, lie on or lean against the ball for 5 minutes (or longer) in the area of concern, until your discomfort starts to ease up.  Here are some examples:
  • Use a foam roller or rolled up towel to prop under you to do a myofascial stretch of your chest, shoulders, spine and hips.  Put the roller or towel along our spine and open your arms out to the side to stretch your chest and shoulders.  Experiment with placing your arms straight out and/or overhead to open up different areas.  Don’t use a foam roller to “roll out” muscles.  This compresses the soft tissue (fascia) and does more harm than good.   
  • Get moving!  Find something you like and that you’re physically able to do.  It can be brisk walking, yoga, cycling, swimming, PiYo, lifting weights, dancing, karate, or any of a number of things.  If you can’t do the activity you enjoy yet, but you can do it in a modified way or perhaps a similar activity, it may help you become mobile, flexible, and strong enough to enjoy the activity you enjoy.  For instance, just because you can’t run doesn’t mean you can’t walk.  Or if you enjoy mountain biking but can’t do it, maybe a spin class will suffice.  A good instructor can show you modifications so that you can start where you’re at.  Exercise releases endorphins, your body’s NATURAL pain-killers, so try to do some type of exercise everyday.
  • Essential oils can be used to help you move easier and support your nervous, muscular, respiratory, immune, cardiovascular, endocrine, digestive, excretory, and integumentary (skin) systems.  Wow!  All systems a go!  I prefer Young Living* brand of essential oils and it’s the only brand I trust to use with my patients and with my family.  
  • Spend some time quietly checking in with your body. Sit or lie down and tune into any areas that feel tight, painful, or numb.  Soften into your sensations and see if taking slow, relaxing breaths and feeling your body will help ease any unpleasant sensations.  Aim for 15-30 minutes daily.  
  • Practice diaphragmatic breathing.  Place one hand on your stomach and one on your chest, as shown below.  This is a great way to practice breathing into your diaphragm and expanding your rib cage and abdomen, as opposed to just filling your chest.  This is how we should naturally breathe.  As you inhale, fill your stomach so that it rises first, followed by our chest.  Then as you exhale let your stomach fall, like a balloon deflating.  Oxygen is necessary to keep your body healthy and is very nourishing and healing.  Feel your breath reaching into those tight and painful areas of your body.
  • Spend time in nature. Enjoy the fresh air and the feel of your feet on the earth and the beauty and sounds around you.  This can lift your mood, help release endorphins, and clear your mind and body of stress. 
  • Do gentle stretches to relieve soreness and improve mobility.  Doing myofascial stretches, versus traditional stretches, will give longer-lasting relief.  To do this, hold a stretch for 3-5 minutes and allow your body to soften into the direction of stretch, rather than forcing your body into any particular position.  
  • If you’re not sure where to start, ask for help!  It can be intimidating to know which stretches to do, or where to self-treat with a small ball or foam roller. Schedule an appointment with your local physical therapist at The Healing Spot Physical Therapy.  The first visit consists of a thorough evaluation, hands-on treatment and information on what you can do to help yourself.  You will receive personalized, one-on-one care that can help you move better and feel great again!  We also offer small-group classes that can be a great starting point if you just aren’t sure what to do to help yourself.  Ask us about our current class schedule!

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Justine Calderwood, PT, MSPT is the owner and physical therapist at The Healing Spot Physical Therapy, LLC in Woodland Park, CO.  She specializes in treating people with chronic and unresolved pain and conditions that haven’t responded to other forms of treatment.  Since 2002 she has been helping people just like you feel better and move easier, by providing hands-on therapy and educating people on what they can do at home to help themselves.  The Healing Spot Physical Therapy, LLC serves the communities of Woodland Park, Green Mountain Falls, Cascade, Manitou Springs, Colorado Springs, Divide, Florissant and Lake George, Colorado.  Call us for a free phone consultation!  719.270.1123

DISCLAIMER

The materials contained on this website are provided for general information and educational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice on any particular individual situation.  Please see your Healing Spot Physical Therapist or other medical practitioner for full and individual consultation.  The information contained in this blog is not intended to diagnosis, cure, treat or prevent any disease.  
*You can find more information about Young Living by Clicking Here.  Learn about about the “Seed to Seal” guarantee and the founders, Gary and Mary Young.  



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Justine Calderwood, MSPT is a holistic physical therapist who is passionate about helping women and men with chronic pain feel better and move easier to recover from trauma, injury, surgery and childbirth. She wants to help you discover the hidden clues to your physical pain, unravel the kinks, and guide you toward authentic healing, regardless of how long you’ve been suffering. Schedule a no-cost, no-obligation Discovery Session to see if Justine is the right fit for you as you strive for a happy, balanced, active life.

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