My husband does a lot of "around the house" projects, and I am his trusty assistant. Most times I am the one he is doing the project for, in order to get them off the "Honey Do" list. So it is only right that I am there to "go for" tools and hold the other end of tape measures.
What I have learned in watching him work, is that it is very important to MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE. I guess that is some famous carpenter saying.
Fewer "Ooops!" are made when this rule is followed. More boards fit perfectly the first time.
There is less throwing tools and screaming - just kidding. Well, kind of just kidding.
So what business does this handyman information have on THIS blog? What has it to do with fascia? Really nothing...except as I watched my husband work one day I realized a way to better describe the importance of exercise/stretching to carpenters.
It is okay if you just chuckled. But please bear with me a tiny bit longer....
I am getting to the point.
STRETCH TWICE, EXERCISE ONCE.....that is actually what I explain to clients everyday, just in different words. That is the example I try to maintain in my own exercise and fitness. It is a formula that I have found works. I am convinced the body needs to stretch before and after activity.
And it is easy to remember this saying, formatted the same as the old famous carpentry quote.
And SO MY POINT:.
In my massage practice I like to link what people already know to how the body works. Using a person's existing knowledge to either remember or to better understand something new is an old technique. The Ancient Greeks used acronyms to remember - and I have read that when in the Dark Ages acronym usage was revived it was considered Dark Art.
Now that is funny.....
probably would not have been good to tell this to my Third Grade History Teacher who told us HOMES stood for the Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior)...I can only imagine the trouble I would have gotten into if I had told her that it was a form of witchcraft. Probably another note home to my mother....that I could 'accidentally' have forgetten on the school bus. Haha.
Mnemonic techniques have been used for thousands of years - using a known word or phrase to associate/link new information to something already known, and thus more easily remember the new information.
Measure Twice, Cut Once.
Stretch Twice, Exercise Once.
In the course of work as therapists we usually find out the occupation or habits/hobbies of our clients. I try to study/inform myself as to what those occupations/habits/hobbies involve. So when it is needed I can create links and similarities with the information I feel is valuable for the client to remember.
For example, Auto Mechanics know all about car engines. If I say a mechanic's (client's) body is giving signs it is extremely dehydrated, the mechanic often will reply, "Yeah, I have been told that I need to drink more water." Or if I say, "Keeping well hydrated (drinking more water throughout the day) could possibly make you feel better and help the stiffness in your joints".....does that really SPEAK to the mechanic?
I have found it does not. It lacks meaning. It does not say "THIS IS VITAL, THIS IS IMPORTANT."
But a blinking light on a car dashboard does.
So when I say, what would happen to an engine if you ran it out of oil and then just kept running it? They are immediately engaged - "It would lock up!" "It would create heat from the friction of the moving parts and it would ruin it." "Blow it up." "It would not run very long and you would have major costly problems."
They have lots of responses to that scenario...the blinking light on the dashboard.
And so then I say, "Water to your body is like the oil to your car." "It is the lubricant that keeps the body tissues moving freely. Keeps friction from heating it up and causing extra wear and tear."
And let it sink in for a moment......
And invariably they Get It! And the next time they make an appointment, almost always they tell me they are drinking or trying to drink more water during the day. And most tell me they can REALLY tell a difference in how they feel.
The importance is...I made it important for them.
Something unimportant became understandable and then important when linked to what they already knew.
They would NEVER run an engine out of oil. They know oil is crucial. Yet in their own bodies - merely they did not see the connection or the importance of water...other than when they were thirsty - they drank.
Sometime then I further ask them, "If your oil light is on how critical is that? Can it be ignored for a while?"
Well, BEING THIRSTY is like the oil light being on for my car....the body is saying it is a "low oil" condition. However critical low oil is, that is how critical the body saying it is thirsty is.
And to me, that THIRSTY condition in my body is a serious condition. Although, thankfully, our bodies are very forgiving of our neglect. I do not want to run my car low on oil and I do not want to run my body low on water. I am convinced low engine oil and low body water wear parts faster and reduce the quality usage life of both engine and human body.
Anyways, these are just a couple examples. I am sure you can think of more parallels.
Always, of course, as massage therapists we have to watch our phrasing and be sure to never diagnose or prescribe. We CAN tell stories and give examples, cite information, point clients to information sources. We can explain and demystify information for clients to the extent of our studies, training, and experience.
For example, many times I have told clients that "ITIS" is just a fancy word for Swelling or Inflammation. -ITIS gets attached to whatever body part is inflamed. So you have sinusITIS (swelling in the sinuses), tendonITIS (swelling in tendons), bursITIS (swelling of bursa), etc.....it sounds a whole lot less scary.
It even, I think, empowers them to believe they can do something to help their conditions - that they are not just helpless to this big scary-sounding word that afflicts them. I think this also encourages them to do what their doctor has told them - because they have a picture in their minds now of what is going on with their body.
I thank you for reading my posts and considering my perspectives.
I hope you have a very good day.
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