We all want that relationship with our body that we see in the movies. The man or woman hiking up the mountain, jogging on the beach, or roughhousing with their grandkids. Effortlessly loving life. They appear to place so much blind trust in their body, knowing that it will come through on all they ask of it.
You may be thinking, 'That used to be us! We were crazy in love and always on the same page back when we were high school sweethearts... how did we get to this point 😔?' Don't stress, it can happen to the best of us. The important question is, how do we recapture it? What does it take to re-build that kind of teamwork, understanding and LOVE?
As a Therapist who gives professional help to people and their bodies when the relationship has gone awry, I have come up with a list of 5 Secrets to Love That Lasts.
If you feel like your body doesn't support you in doing the things that matter most to you? Have you considered that maybe your body is thinking:
👉🏽 'You only care about them when you need them!'
👉🏽 'You don't listen when they tell you that what you're doing is hurtful!'
👉🏽 'You don't TREAT them right!'
This is a classic case of poor communication! If you neglect their feelings, they may turn their back on you when you need them most. (They may even do it out of spite!).
Your body may have been telling you things for years... Every time you ran on pavement, your knees told you they were upset, every time you sat at a computer for 8 hours, your back politely said, 'Excuse me, can you please move, I don't think I like this anymore', every time you slept on your stomach with your head turned to the side, your neck screamed, 'Ouch you jerk!'
After years of this, it may have finally had enough of you not listening and exploded on you (it's something that happens when you hold something in for too long).
Pro Therapy Tip: The important thing to remember here is, your body is always the first to know when something is wrong. So when it talks, LISTEN, and tell your Doctor of Physical Therapy what it said, this way you can nip a problem in the bud. The longer you wait, the harder it is to fix.
2.) Physical Touch
Physical touch might be the way to go if you want to Get Lucky this Valentine's Day...... and feel great all year!
When you suddenly can no longer do the things you used to, it always comes down to mechanics. What isn't stretching? What is stuck? What moves too much? Which muscle isn't strong enough to do it's job (or conversly is too active, tugging on something all the time) etc.
Physical touch can be an incredibly powerful tool. This includes things you can do on your own such as stretching, massages, relaxation or active movements... Or things you can have a skilled professional do for you including mobilizing painful joints, corrective movements at stuck joints, stabilization exercises, myofascial stretching, active releasing of muscles etc.
Sometimes Physical Touch is the only way to rekindle the fire you once had when you were a power couple... Doing what you wanted, when you wanted, with nothing holding you back.
Pro Therapy Tip: Generally muscles do not work properly as a result of a joint problem. So massaging and stretching the muscles are a good way to get pain relief. However, if you find it keeps coming back, you need to correct the joint mechanics (after an examination of the neck, shoulder, back, hip or knee) to fix it for good.
3.) Gift Giving
I know, I know, how superficial can it be... gifts? The truth is, some bodies really appreciate a gift, it's not the price, but the thought that counts I've seen it go a long way.
Some good ideas might be:
A lumbar roll to better support the low back and sciatica
New ergonomically correct desk chair to improve total body posture
Supportive shoes to support the hips, knees and spine
Maybe you make it a healthy smoothie every morning to start the day
Book yourself a massage or myofascial stretch session
Or a how about a gift certificate to be evaluated by a Physical Therapist to find out what's going wrong between you two?
Pro Therapy Tip: Nowadays, an ergonomically correct home workstation can be the best give you can give a body. Check out this article to exactly how to set one up (CLICK HERE)!
4.) Trust & Respect
If you book that dream trip to Hawaii filled with beautiful hikes or tell your friends you'll be there for golf this weekend. You need to be able to TRUST that your body will support you in that decision and not give up on you half way through.
So why does something so simple seem like so much to ask? I think your body would agree that it has no problem supporting you, IF it could just trust that you would RESPECT it's feelings...
Like when it starts warning you your back isn't ready to start doing yard work again, can it trust that you will listen, or just drag it along kicking and screaming?
Or when it wants sleep and you want to stay up another hour to watch your favorite show, what will you do?
How about when it warns you something is wrong and you should go see the Physical Therapist to figure out what to do? Will you go?
Sure by ignoring it, there are short term benefits for YOU, but what does that message send your body? I've seen so many relationships fail due to a blatant lack of trust and respect.
Pro Therapy Tip: To build trust, whatever activity you want to get back to, cut it in to 4ths. Meaning, if you want to get back to a 60 minute game of Tennis, start with 15 minutes. Next time move it up to 30, then 45 and finally 60. Don't move on to the next stage until you can complete 2 sessions pain-free at the previous stage.
5.) Never EVER Break Your Promises
I promise I will start doing 30 minutes of exercise 3x per week.
From now on I will take a 15 minute walk at lunch every day.
I will stand up and move around after 30 minutes of sitting.
I will finally see a physical therapist for my chronic sciatica.
Any of those 👆🏼 sound familiar 🤔? Every time you body gets it's hopes up that things will be different... and then NOTHING CHANGES, your body becomes less inclined to keep it's promises in the future.
Pro Therapy Tip: Try Habit Stacking. Habit Stacking is when you add a new habit to an existing habit. For example, let's say you have a long standing habit of drinking coffee every morning. Now you want to create a new habit of having a fresh smoothie every day. Habit stacking would be making the smoothie immediately after drinking your coffee. By doing this, it gives you a finite time and location for the new habit as opposed to trying to randomly slip it in at some point during the day.
Remember, LOVE IS A CHOICE, and therefore so is experiencing your body at it's full potential. Ignore it for too long and 1 of 2 things will happen, you will be in a miserable relationship or you will find yourself sitting in Therapy.
Feel that you might need professional help?
You might need 1 on 1 therapy, and the first step is admitting you need help AND taking action. No pride, no regrets, no finger-pointing, just a willingness to get back to your days of being a power couple.
If you think it might be time to seek professional help, a great way to figure it out is with a Free 30-Min Discovery Session (virtual or in-person). Our specialist Doctor of Physical Therapy will listen to your concerns and give you an opportunity to ask any questions you have. You will receive all the information you need to make the BEST decision for YOUR health.
👍🏽 It is a no-obligation, no forms to sign, no credit card required, totally free consultation. This can be done Virtually or In Our Wyckoff, New Jersey Clinic...