Balancing A Sedentary Life With Massage by Maryann Stamatopoulos

Previously we have discussed the importance and frequency of Remedial Massage; we used the paradigm of having a car serviced or going in for a tune up.

Speaking from personal experience, I understand that our sedentary lifestyles are something that is often unavoidable. At the end of the working day, when I previously sat at a desk all day, my shoulders were hiked up to my ears, looking like I was wearing them as earrings. As a result, I have been an advocate of regular massage treatment, even before changing careers and becoming a Remedial Therapist.

Still to this day, I look forward to my regular tune up and my body thanks me. It’s fair to say that we may balance our sedentary lifestyles through a healthy diet and exercise; however, implementing an exercise or strengthening programme will not completely work without first releasing the tension or tightness.

Understanding how everything works together, or should work together in the body, is a big part of unravelling painful movement patterns. Let’s take the example of sitting all day at work. Spending long periods of time in a seated position, at a desk or driving, causes the front of the hips (called the hip flexors, or psoas) to become short and tight, while the back of the hips (the glute muscles) become long and weak. They “switch off”. What happens when you stand up? Your brain can’t connect with your glutes, so it finds other muscles close by that it can use to compensate for the lack of glute activation. If one structure is working too much, how does this affect the structures above and below?

The same applies to our upper body structures. Our neck and shoulders become painful and tight, because our upper trap muscles become more dominant and tight while our lower traps become weak. Throw into the mix that you may often carry a bag or clutch a phone between your shoulder and your ear, and every time you move the first muscle that will be over worked, is your upper traps. Over a period of time this becomes a learned position; subjecting the body to overuse, pain, dysfunction and limited range of motion. As a practitioner who takes a holistic approach to treatment, my aim is to work with you using effective treatment methods suited to your needs.

In the clinic, I see a number of individuals with varying musculoskeletal ailments. For those engaged in busy working lives in Melbourne, massage is becoming more important than ever. Whatever your goal may be – to run the Melbourne Marathon, find relief from headaches, as part of a pre or post surgery programme, a tune up to iron out those knots as part of regular maintenance, or simply to tune out and relax – I invite you to book a treatment. Start reaping the benefits of what Remedial Massage has to offer, and I’m sure just like mine, your body will thank you too!

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