I taught Lunchtime Yoga at a local corporation for many years and every time I came I had to check in at the security desk to get my badge. I got to know the Security Officer quite well and one day I asked her if I would ever see her in my Yoga class. She quickly replied “Oh no, not me. I hate to stretch! It hurts!”
I nodded my head and understood. I was surely not going to pressure her into something she seemed very adverse to doing. But, I did notice she was very stiff and moved a bit slowly. Hmmmm… there are probably lots of tight areas in her body that could use some stretching, if she only gave her body permission.
When I saw this graphic recently in an online lecture about the value of stretching, this Security Officer encounter came back to me. She must have been feeling tight and painful in various areas of her body and perhaps felt that moving it would cause her more pain. It becomes a perpetual cycle. An injury causes pain, the body locks down to repair and the fear of movement keeps the body locked even after the healing is complete, which makes the connective tissue (i.e. fascia) stiff and harder to move…. and so on and so on.
If you have tight, painful places in your body, or chronic inflammation or fibrosis, watch this one hour educational video on the importance of connective tissue in the body and its link to the immune system. This lecture talks about recent findings on the effects of stretching on inflammation and fibrosis and the relevance of these findings to chronic pain. (If you don’t have one hour … the net/net is … YOGA and STRETCHING is good for you!)