Learn About the Link between Body Memory and Pain. Hosted by Sal Graziano, a Naturopathy Expert.
Read the full transcript »
I would like to think that muscle memory is more broad of a subject and I call it body memory. Body memory is infiltrated in everything that we think do or say. Body memory allows us to accomplish learning complex things. On the physical plane, to help us say riding a bike, playing an instrument. By the way, a little side note here, did you know that riding a bike is one the most difficult mechanical processes that we can do? Body memory can affect our emotions, immune system, nervous system, in fact, it affects our whole being and therefore it affects our spiritual self. But let's break this down in a manner that's easy to understand, and please note that this process can be applied to all the other areas that we just talked about. Let's use the physical plane for an example. Say, you want to learn how to play an instrument. During the initial lessons, you may feel awkward with just about everything that has to do with that instrument, but each day that you practice using the instrument, you begin to feel less awkward and the lessons seem to become easier. This is because that each time you perform the same thing, there are pathways that begin to make connections in your brain. This is also known as training or retraining. You could think of these connections as little troughs or grooves, and the more and more you do the same actions, the grooves get deeper and wider. So the difference between practicing your instrument on the first day, say as opposed to two weeks later, the grooves would be significantly different in size, starting from a very thin shallow groove at the end of your first day of practice, to a much deeper and wider group at the two-week mark of practicing your instrument. The longer you do the same thing in repetition, the deeper and wider the connection becomes. This setup by our bodies is normally there to help us. In fact, this process can be created in all things that actually we do in repetition, because our body is a machine and only a machine and must do what we tell it to do. I just explained you the upside, and yes, there is a downside. The downside is that our bodies will re-create anything in repetition that is not life-threatening; this is also known as training or retraining. So anything below the life-threatening threshold, your body will re-create. Your body does not consider pain or physical limitation life-threatening. The downside happens two ways. One, by not knowing about it, and two, by non-action. Number one, we can cross it off the list, because you now know about it. Number two, non-action. I will keep you an example for it. Say for instance, you injured yourself from an impact injury or training your body the wrong way or just by non-action, which by the way is also known as long slow adaptation. Like in the example earlier about playing an instrument, your body is an instrument too, so on the first day of getting the pain or physical limitation, the body memory is created around that area, and like the instrument on the first day, the grooves are thin and shallow, but the longer the pain or problem is in your body, the deeper and wider the connection is made for that repetition to stay there. This is also known as training or retraining. Remember, your body will re-create anything that is not life-threatening. This condition or conditions that we just gave an example for, as far as create or re-create, the connections will even involve pain or physical limitation. The common element between having a pain or physical limitation are the same. They both involve contraction, whether the area is being compressed and is pushing on a nerve or physical limitation that has been created due to the area just being too tight. In order to reverse this and to retrain it out of your body, the opposite of contraction is space. You must do something in repetition that will replace contraction with space, such as a therapeutic massage, stretching, yoga, or any activity that will put flexibility in sp