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  • Karen Stoner, LMT

Massage Tips and Trivia: Our society "norms" almost guarantees that our bodies will be in pain

"Our society 'norms' almost guarantees that our bodies will be in pain"

We torture our bodies on a daily basis, and we barely even realize it. In today's society, we spend a large amount of time sitting - wether it is at a desk, on a couch in front of the tv, or in a car commuting or running kids from point A to point B. Even if we aren't sitting, that means we are standing and being on our feet for long periods of time also usually means we are lifting, carrying, or still staying in certain positions for extended periods of time. And let's not even get into fashion (high heels) or what our phones and laptops are doing to our posture! Plus, this isn't a new phenomenon - look back to the pioneers who had to build their own houses and "till the land" to get our society established, or the Industrial Age where people worked in factories with heavy, dangerous equipment.

The human race has always been rough on their bodies. I'm sure there are researchers and people with a lot of fancy degrees that can tell you why we act so unnaturally with our bodies, constantly putting them into positions and situations that we simply weren't designed for. (I'm still searching for what exactly we were designed for, but I probably need some fancy degrees myself for that.) Nonetheless, since we put our bodies through all sorts of stress and constantly bend and shape them into painful positions and conditions, it emphasizes more than ever the need to add self-care into our daily routines.

Self care can be anything from making sure you get up from your desk every hour or so and walk around the office, allowing yourself a few minutes to stretch and move, or adding bodily care techniques such as exercise, meditation, yoga, or massage to your regular routines to help ease and counteract the effects of our daily life. Our society also has advanced medicine such as fancy pain killers and surgeries to cover just about any situation, and even that seems to be trending towards the "norm" of our society - fix it once it's broken, but rarely is it encouraged to take the time to prevent the 'broken' in the first place.

I recently read a quote that I feel sums up our attitudes toward and need for self care rather perfectly: "If you don't take time for your wellness, you will be forced to take time for your illness". Many people feel that taking time for themselves to help and heal themselves is selfish or not important. However, since our modern society puts more emphasis on sitting hunched in front of a computer all day, or being on your feet with little rest - it is up to us to make the time to care for ourselves in whatever big or little way possible.

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