In the words of Guns N’ Roses…” all we need is a little patience.“
In our fast-paced, instant gratification society, many of us want a quick fix to anything that ails us. Yet, let’s remember we’re not machines who have separate parts like a robot. We’re human beings made of interconnected bodies, minds, and spirits. The health of one aspect of ourselves can deeply affect another.
For example, a client comes in for a session who has tension in their shoulders and neck, and they want me to “dig in there” and get it out within a session’s worth of time. Listen up, dear ones, this is not how authentic, long-lasting healing works.
When a therapist, “digs in there,” what happens with the tissue that covers and embeds muscle tissue (i.e. the fascia), is it braces against the outside force to protect the muscle hunkering down on it even further.
If you’d like long-lasting changes to take place in your body, a combination of myofascial release and therapeutic massage (or better yet, just myofascial release on its own), is key. And this is where patience comes in to play.
You see, in order for the fascia to release efficiently, time is a factor, a 5-minute minimum to be specific.
As I wrote last month, it takes 90 – 120 seconds for the fascia to just start releasing. Now imagine you start focusing on one area of tension for only a minute. You ultimately don’t even give the fascia a chance to let go.
Now read on to learn about a magical thing our bodies can do…
When you work on releasing tension and allow the fascia to start releasing within the first 2 minutes…you’re just getting started. When you add on an additional 3 minutes, this extra time allows for a fuller release into layers of tissue you didn’t even know were tight. Now imagine reaching the 5-minute mark and you know what happens, a magical thing. A substance in our bodies called, Interluken 8, releases into our system. And you know what the beautiful thing is about Interluken 8? It’s our bodies, natural anti-inflammatory agent. It’s like taking Advil without the harmful side effects!
Pretty cool huh!?
So when you come in for a session or are treating yourself at home and are in the quick fix frame of mind, I suggest to do the following to allow yourself to chill out enough to experience an effective release:
1. Breathe – not necessarily taking in deep breaths, but rather just noticing your breath naturally moving in and out takes your attention off of your mind’s constant chatter, and down into your body.
2. Become curious – how well do you feel you know your body? I can venture a guess, not really well, given living in a society that tends to live in the head and not in the heart. This shared, I invite you to become curious about the many sensations that can occur during a 5-minute release. You’ll learn things about your body that you never knew and ultimately, your body will thank you for it.
3. Be patient and imagine the reward – “Good things come to those who wait,” is not just a saying for nothing. There’s truth in those words because when you stop long enough for your body to let go on some deep levels and allow time for Interluken 8 to work its magic, you’ll feel so much better in the end.
And if push comes to shove and none of these suggestions work for you, then may I suggest to tune in to your Spotify and play, Patience 😉
“...all we need is a little patience.”