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Recently I have spoken to a few clients who are trying to heal their back, leg and shoulder pain without actually exercising.

One client, for example, consulted me for a medical intuitive reading on her shoulder pain. She had been visiting a chiropractor, acupuncturist and body worker. Her body worker has been encouraging her to do a few movements, but she failed to follow through on his simple suggestions.

Chiropractic, acupuncture, massage and body work are all incredibly helpful. I visit a chiropractor regularly to maintain my own alignment. In my healing work, I practice acupressure and muscle re-education body work that releases stuck places and increases the range of motion.

Although all these techniques have their place, the truth is your muscles require your participation in order to heal completely.

Why is this the case?

  1. You must change the postural patterns that caused you to have neck, shoulder, back, hip and knee pain in the first place. I can’t tell you how many clients I have helped get out of pain 100 percent just by changing the way they sit, stand and sleep.
  2. Muscles in spasm remain weak until you actually strengthen them. The only way to do that is through movement.
  3. Muscles that are tight remain shortened and contracted until you actually stretch them. The only way to do that is through lengthening movements.
  4. Muscles that are imbalanced – for example, the sacrospinalis on one side of your spine may be more developed than the other – remain imbalanced until you develop equal strength and length on both sides.
  5. You can not delegate the healing of your body the way you hire out a secretary, maid or nanny. The more conscious awareness you bring to how you are sitting, standing, sleeping and moving, the more likely you are to get better. You can get other practitioners to work on your muscles but if you remain unconscious to the patterns that caused your pain in the first place you may fail to get better.
  6. You have to integrate new, healthy patterns through movement in order for your body to remember them.
  7. You are more likely to reinjure yourself if you don’t balance, lengthen and strengthen your muscles.

This past Thursday in my 11 a.m. yoga class, one of my students came in with pain in her upper back.

As a faithful yogini, she had been doing every stretch she could think of to try to make herself feel better. She knew she needed to move to heal, she just wasn’t sure what to do.

I taught the entire class 5 simple yoga poses that they could do to get rid of pain in their upper back:

  1. Arms stretched over head, hands clasped, 1 minute.
  2. Eagle arms, 1 minute each side.
  3. Kneeling lat stretch on a chair, 1 minute.
  4. Sage twist on a chair, 1 minute each side.
  5. A second twist sitting on the side of the chair, hands clasping the back of the chair, 1 minute each side.

“I could teach you 10 or 20 poses for the upper back,” I explained, “but it’s easier to remember 5 simple ones that you can do anytime anywhere.

“Practicing yoga is like learning to be a carpenter. You have a hammer, a saw, a screwdriver and they all do different things. You learn which tool to use in which situation.

“We practice so that we can develop a tool set. When the inevitable aches and pains of life come along, you know what to do to make yourself feel better. You no longer feel powerles. You are empowered because you understand how to operate your body.”

Learning how to take better care of your body through movement is incredibly empowering.

For example, if I develop a catch in my right hip, I know which movements will make it feel better.

I did a FREE 15-minute medical intuitive reading this past Friday for a young woman in Canada who had shooting pain down her left leg. She told me she thought it was a tumor.

“It comes and goes, right?” I asked her.

She confirmed.

“It’s your sciatic nerve,” I explained. “You just need to learn how to operate your body. You are projecting your fear of life into your body. You can learn how to get rid of sciatic pain in 6o seconds.”

I referred her to the exercise library on this website.

You will experience your body the remainder of this lifetime so you might as well learn how to operate it at your highest and best potential.

What is healing? Healing happens when you participate in your own healing by taking the time to learn how your muscles operate, lengthening and strengthening your way to health and happiness.