Did you know the number one reason adults over the age of 60 are admitted to a rehabilitation hospital is due to broken or fractured hip?
What leads up to this is lack of balance, strength and flexibility.
As bodies age, they change. It’s a fact of life. At age 30, you might feel stiff and achy the morning after a game of softball. At 40, you might feel that same stiffness (or worse) after a few hours of gardening. At 50, every morning seems to bring stiffness, neck and back pain. You may be thinking, “If that’s how I am at 30, 40, and 50, what will life be like at 60 or 70? Will I even be able to get out of bed in the morning?”
It’s a worthwhile question, and the answer is, if you take good physical care of yourself, not only will you be able to get out of bed at 60, 70, and 80+ — you should be able to get back some of the physical strength and agility today that you thought you’d lost forever. And prevent serious injury late in life. The key, though, is that you need to invest in your health. A regular regimen of moderate exercise, stretching and strength training will restore strength and flexibility AND help prevent life-altering injuries like hip fracture and back injury.
These are all things you may have heard before, but what if you haven’t been physically active in a very long time? Or your current physical limitations preclude you from getting any real exercise?
The Secret Inside Your Aching, Aging Body .
The reason adults over the age of 35 often feel stiff in the morning is due to a natural part of the aging process and little known part of the body. This little known part–called “Fascia”–is key to creating stability and strength between our muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. It is the glue that connects every part of the body to every other part. And its role in keeping your body strong, healthy and able to move freely cannot be understated.
“[Fascia] binds specific cells into tissues, tissues into organs and organs into systems,
cements muscles to bones, ties bones and joints.
Wraps every nerve and every vessel, laces all internal structures into place and
envelopes the body as a whole .”
When you are born the “fascia” in your body, just like every other part of your body, is new and pliable and ever-expanding. It continues this way into your 20s and early 30s. But about 35, fascia begins to lose its elasticity, and you feel it in the form of stiffness and tightness in your muscles. As you continue to age, and as the pressures of life begin to mount–like having and caring for a baby, sitting in front of a computer for long hours, lifting heavy equipment and doing redundant physical movement–your body begins to adjust into “unnatural” positions such as tightening the upper back muscles to protect itself from the strain of heavy lifting or craning the neck forward to see words on a computer screen.
The fascia (the stuff that binds all your parts together and allows or disallows free movement), settles into these positions. And you begin to look permanently stooped or bent. You might lean to one side or begin walking on the outsides of your feet rather than on the inside balls of your feet.
Ultimately, these unnatural positions become permanent. The fascia tightens, gravity tugs at you, and your body cries out for relief.
The answer to the pain and stiffness is to bring your body back into proper alignment. That is where Structural Integration comes in. Structural Integration is a method of slowly working from the outside in to loosen fascia, realign body parts and re-train your body to stand in comfortable alignment.
Using my hands I will create heat and friction to warm up the fascia and associated muscles, tendons and ligaments. Then step by step, I will adjust your body to its optimum form. The result will be a looseness and lightness you haven’t felt in years. Your movements will be fluid and easy. As DR. Ida Rolf (creator and founder of SI) would say, “movement will be a pleasure.”
Im Joe Ackerman a Rolf Structural Integrator trained through the CORE Institute and owner of Core Structural Therapy. I am a professional member of the International Association Of Structural Integrators, the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professional organization and certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Professionals. I have obtained several advanced certifications in Orthopedic Massage and Rolf Structural Integration.