Muscles, massage and pain

Our bodies are truly amazing

In our Feel Amazing blog posts we often mention striving for wellness, optimal functioning and our body’s capacity to heal. Today, I thought I’d talk about our bodies’ amazing systems, the role of our muscles and how this relates to the treatments we offer.

A person’s health is dependent on a variety of factors, including genes, nutrition, physical activity, environment, access to medical treatment, preventative health care, and social factors. While our bodies are made up of complex systems that work together to allow us to do the most amazing things.

Even the simple things involve a bodywide teamwork approach. The brain, nerves and skeletal muscles work together to cause movement. So to lift a cup of coffee the biceps muscle contracts, while the triceps muscle relaxes, only then can the forearm move up to lift the mug. Or to take a simple breath the lungs, diaphragm and muscles between the ribs are all involved. So looking after our musculoskeletal system really is important!

What makes up the human body?

The human body is made up of living cells, tissue, organs and systems. We are made up of a lot of water, and elements such as oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. Our bodies consist of a number of biological systems that carry out specific functions necessary for everyday living. These include circulatory, digestive, respiratory, endocrine, lymphatic, reproductive, and immune systems. Then there’s the skeletal system, nervous system and muscular systems.
Recent research has mentioned that our bodies also consist of stardust (Ed – how cool is that?!)

So what do our muscles actually do?

The muscular system is responsible for the movement of the human body and to maintain posture/structure. While most people associate muscles with strength, they do more than lifting heavy objects. Attached to the bones of the skeletal system there are over 600 muscles. They support not only movement but also control walking, talking, sitting, standing, eating, circulating blood and other daily functions. So not just moving our arms and legs, muscles produce more subtle movements like facial expressions, eye movements, and respiration. Each of these muscles are made up of skeletal muscle tissue, blood vessels, tendons and nerves.

What about muscle pain?

‘Pain is a complex experience consisting of physiological and psychological responses to a noxious stimulus’ Pain, acute pain specifically, is usually a warning mechanism, primarily associated with injury or the threat of injury. Pain is subjective and difficult to quantify.

Muscle aches are extremely common. Haven’t most of us felt this discomfort at some point? After all, we have muscles all over the body and the cause of the pain can come from many factors. These include injury, strain, tension, overuse, or numerous medical conditions. How many of us have felt it when we use muscles we haven’t for a while – starting a new exercise program comes to mind.

At Feel Amazing Wellness Centre, we also hear from some of our clients that during a massage they discover (or we do) muscles they never knew they had! Well, there are a lot that could be felt, but the three main types of muscles are skeletal, smooth and cardiac. Luckily, we don’t need to massage them all!

The mind-body connection is also real – the impact of stress is a well-known factor in increased muscle tension. This can lead to conditions such as tension headaches, TMJ or jaw pain. Ongoing stress is also a trigger for heart disease and other chronic health problems. So the next time you feel the twinge of tension, pause and notice how the rest of your body is reacting.

Part two in a fortnight will continue our discussion on muscle functioning and associated pain.


Leave a comment

Feel Amazing Wellness Centre