Our bodies are very intricate and fascinating, it can tell us so much about our environment and what it perceives as something it likes or perceives as a threat. Question is, how often do we actually listen to those feelings that out body is trying to tell us? It’s very easy to just push through and continue on with what we are doing. We are only human and we like to rush through things to get to our end game but, is that always beneficial to us as a whole? Can your body handle that pace and for how long?
“Speed Hides Need”
A very interesting topic was introduced to me this past weekend, “speed hides need”. Meaning your body will find a way to complete a task in the most efficient way, not necessarily the best way. What truly spoke to me was that rushing feeling we get when we are completing tasks. “It’s just one more ________” or “I just don’t have the time for _________ right now”; common phrases we tell ourselves and maybe don’t think about what our body wants or needs. Think about it if you’re rushing to do something is it the same quality until the end? Likely not! This is where “speed hides need” comes into play! As an example you’re doing a squat close to the last repetition, are you consciously thinking about the quality of that movement or the quantity? If you’re speeding through your body may not always be ready, the way it tells us something was too much is through pain, and often unexplained pain is de to those unruly compensation pattern. By speeding through that movement your body is trying to hide that need and mask anything that would sense that you are off in your movement.
What Can my Body Tell Me?
Great question! Your body can tell you when you are maxed out! It can also tell you when it perceives a “threat”. This threat doesn’t mean someone who’s about to sneak up behind you. Rather, your body is telling you “I just can’t do that right now”. Ever get into a stretch and you just feel like you can’t relax into it that well? This may be a sign that you just don’t have that flexibility (yet!). Or this could mean you aren’t in the right mindset for it at that time. When we stretch we want to be relaxed, often if you are rushing through it or it’s uncomfortable your body and brain work together to signal a perceived threat or discomfort. This means something else may tense in response to this perceived stress preventing you from getting that full benefit. This is why it’s important to breathe! A few deep breaths in and out through the nose can do wonders, and help bring you into a better mindset!
Fight or Flight
This may be a concept you’ve heard before in school long ago. This relates to the nervous system and how your body perceives the environment. This tends to signal the body to be in a high alert mode. Meaning that you may be hypersensitive to the stimulus around you. When this occurs we need to find a way to downregulate (lower) that sensation so we can complete daily living tasks. This could be your fears, pain, or simply stress. It’s our job to figure out how to bring that down to a happy level. After all making your body feel its best is our top priority!
How Can We Help?
This is why we like to get to know you and what your goals are! This helps us determine what sorts of techniques will help your body best and determine how much “homework” to give you. This may be why we give you some breathing exercises or remind you to breathe when doing your exercises! Remember we work with your body to give you what it needs!
Written by: Michelle Gaudet BSc, CAT(C)
Certfied Athletic Therapist