Movement Therapy 101

Movement Therapy 101: The art of movement isn’t rocket science

Movement therapy health coaching for older adults. The issues of aging limit our daily lives. The issues of chronic illness at any age create impediments.
Movement therapy teaches you to love fluid movement and work with what you have. It’s a return to the pleasure of movement, not the hardcore do it till ya drop military fitness regimes.

Cycling is something we all love to learn when young and skill building is critical to our learning.  And the saying goes, once you learn to ride, you never forget!  The first 10 minutes of any ride makes you feel like a kid again.  And in adult movement theory, the first 10 minutes are a warm up to wake up the muscles, get the blood flowing, and prepare the body for exertion.  

In my early coaching career, my husband was nearly bedridden. His disease had yet to be diagnosed, but I’d witness a strange decline.  I was guiding people to wellness while watching this weird decline.  As he got sicker, the outdoor active life that we both cherished was diminished. No hiking. no kayaking, and for me due to foot issues, no running either. I was going crazy — so I said one day: I WANT A BIKE.   He looked at me, smiled, and said ME TOO!

Rick's mid life crisis

Meet Lucy – the Mad Red One

His worst ride ever was a whopping 1 mile. This was after many longer rides, so it was confusing.   Balance, dizziness, and mental functioning were low.   We didn’t understand any of it until we finally got a diagnosis from the Mayo Clinic. All I knew, as his coach, was something was weirdly wrong. But he wanted to move! He loved getting fresh air, moving, feeling his body respond. The whole journey caused me to earn my health coaching license and now the movement therapy license. Relapses happen, but movement is essential. It’s a softer version of if you don’t use it you lose it. But – it’s a worse result and harder recovery if you stop moving. Think about it. The clean and oiled bike chain flows over the cogs’ teeth effortlessly. THAT’S HOW THE BODY SHOULD RESPOND. Like a rusted out chain, if you don’t maintain your body, your joints stiffen and the muscles don’t respond.

Chained Melody

Chained Melody

Now — I see it clearly. We have a diagnosis. We learned more about the fluctuating issues, and we understand it so much better. MOVEMENT, NOT EXERCISE IS THE THOUGHT PROCESS. KEEP THE BODY MOVING, LUBRICATED, AND FUELED RIGHT FOR THE EFFORT.

IN MOVEMENT THERAPY, WE WORK WITH THE CLIENT TO GET THEIR JUICES FLOWING. I don’t mean personal training and forced sit-ups. I mean moving to loosen the body and help it restore itself. 

True Spokes

The key to movement is to do it. Do something. If you are sitting in your easy chair, do some leg extensions, ankle rolls, push imaginary blocks out of your way. You can do some simple yoga in that chair of yours.  

When you wake up, stretch. Big long cat-like stretches. Before you even get out of bed, do some ankle circles and foot flexing.  As you brush your teeth, stretch your calves. As you make your coffee, do some arm circles and shoulder shrugs.  
Do what feels good, slowly and safely. Hold on to the counter if you must — or practice balance with the counter within reach.

The key to fluidity is stretching and moving the way the body was meant to move.  The key to starting anything is to start slowly and mindfully.