Move It Or Lose It

Most people seem surprised when I tell them I’ve been massaging clients since 2002.  It seems ages ago but I have to be honest, after 16 years in this industry I’m starting to feel its effects.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with numbness in my wrists and fingers.  Other times I’ll get up for the day and move as slow as molasses because my 38-year old body feels as stiff and sore as a 70-year old…no offense.



Regardless of the industry you’re in, if you use the same sets of muscles over and over again without giving them attention or an outlet of release, you will feel it.  It may take time, perhaps decades later, but eventually you will feel it.  A cashier, for example, will feel it in their wrists, while runners will feel it in their knees.  Security personnel or law enforcement will feel it in their hips and low back and hair stylists will feel it in their shoulders and arms.


I know there may come a time when bouncing back is not as easy as it used to be.  I hear it over and over again from clients and those in my inner circles, however, I will never embrace the mantra “It sucks to grow old!”  Growing old has always been a perk for me.  I plan to be like a fine wine and get more flavorful with age.  I look forward to it.


My intention is to address that there is a dramatic difference between a 60-year old yogi and a 30-year old couch potato.  Which one do you think has a better quality of life?



What I’ve learned since my yoga teacher training program, is that stretching and movement are necessary to maintain optimal health.  If you don’t move it, you lose it.  I’m sure many of you understand this already.  The most common conditions I’ve seen over the years are carpal tunnel, back fusions, and knee and hip replacements.  Could these have been avoided with proper attention?  I’ll let you be the judge.



In Kent Burden’s book Is Your Chair Killing You? he states that

“Inactivity, stress and poor nutrition cause lifestyle diseases that cause more than 300,000 premature deaths, and cost 90 billion dollars in direct health care costs annually.”



Technology has made it very convenient to get a lot of errands done by the push of a button.  At the same time, it’s unfortunate because that instant gratification can mold your activity into a stationary lifestyle that instantly adds years to your age.  Think of all the hours you spend waiting in your car during traffic, or all the days you spend at a desk working on computers or tablets.  At night when you get home, doesn’t it feel good to decompress by watching TV?  Or if you’re really tired from your day, you can order food through a delivery service via app, phone, or Uber.

Developing a stationary lifestyle is so easy, you may not even realize you have one until you start to move!

Understand, there is no judgment on my part, although how long can one enjoy living without moving?  Sure, you may think “I’m too old, the damage is done.”  Or perhaps you’ve re-played the mantra “I don’t do yoga,” over and over in your head.  Well, here’s the thing, neither did I.


As my yoga teacher says, “You do not have to be a yogi to stretch.  You do not have to speak Sanskrit to rotate your joints.  You don’t even have to be able to walk to feel better.  All you have to do is move.” Sound crazy?  Yes, it may sound a little ironic, but if you watch my video  it may make more sense to you.  By incorporating breath and rotation, you are already on your way to a better quality of life.  The only question I ask is “When will you begin?” 



The Mobility Series I has many benefits if you choose to incorporate it into your daily routine.  The video is geared toward massage therapists and aestheticians in the natural healing industry, but it can also greatly help those who “can’t do yoga.”


This sequence of movements can help to relieve rheumatism and osteoarthritis because it increases circulation and lymph throughout the joints, alleviating pain.  It flushes out excess lactic acid build up in tissues, while reducing high blood pressure, stress and anxiety.  It activates the parasympathetic nervous system, improves coordination, and increases prana, or energy, throughout your energetic channels.  If you are a quadriplegic, you can do this series, with help of course!



As I’ve practiced this series myself, I’ve experienced more strength in my back, less cracking and numbness in my wrists and fingers, and more grounding in my mental state.  It took me a while to adjust to the breath and movement together, but I can understand why both are important for this series.  It creates an extra boost of breaking up, clearing, and infusing new energy into the joints.  It’s quite brilliant.  No wonder why this practice is in ancient texts for wellbeing.  Who knew?


Moving With My Breath,



Is Your Chair Killing You? by Kent Burden
Ayurvedic Yoga Teacher Training RYS-200 with Dr. Christie Smirl

Photo Credit:
Gerd Altmann