This is a telling reminder mobility and movement is just as much a lifestyle aspect as power and metabolic function. Something that degenerates in the same manner with age.
Despite the pain and suffering, I forced myself to constantly stretch in various directions and in ever increasing angles, the affected part, until I could go back to normal. Both the "rehab" and healing was much faster. No accu required. Besides I didn't want to use precious needles.
By allowing yourself to simply "rest it off" "let it heal";
- Recovery would be much slower and;
- Worse, the affected and related muscle groups and systems can ATROPHY (weaken) thereby leading to more complications.
Rest is good only during Regular Sleep and power naps (intermittent 1 hour or less)
There are many forms of stretching exercises but I wont go into too much detail here. Suffice to say, the benefits of stretching are:
- Increased mobility.
- Improved circulation. (both blood and energy)(which in turn helps the detox, healing and other processes)
- Slight assistance to metabolic functions.
- Should not be used PRIOR to power training. Only AFTER. It can weaken muscles by at most a factor of 15%. Ergo if you could lift 100kgs, after stretching you can only lift 85kgs.
The type and objective of stretching exercise. (or HOW TO STRETCH)
- Should be done after power training. Limbering and warm up (light) stretching can be done before sports but not escalating stretch exercises (which will tax your muscles and angle of mobility)
- Should be escalating in difficulty. Ergo, if you could previously do a horizontal split 120 degrees, you should do a 122 degree split the next time.
- Best done with a partner to push the body parts very slowly and incrementally into greater range of motion.
- Should be always relaxed. Don't tense the muscles that you are stretching. Don't be afraid of the pain.
- Should encompass all the major muscle groups esp. the legs and back.
- When extending the muscles. Don't "bounce" it. Push it to the desired angle slowly and hold it there for a minimum of 12-16 seconds.
- RECORD (write) the angle of your stretching exercise. Include the angle, reach even pain and difficulty level if you must. This is the only way to track your progress.
- For improved regeneration and recovery, vit B complex and accupuncture (aside from other supplements will help)
So the next time you go to the gym or your pilates class. It's always best to have someone to help you our and record your angles. DON'T WASTE PRECIOUS TIME like I mentioned in the other blog posts below. Log all your angles etc. Stretching is best done with a consistent partner.
I will post recommended stretching manouevres in the future to simplify your life and minimize wasted time.