The Importance of Rest

By the end of the week, if I haven’t had a break, my hands hurt.  My wrists ache and my thumbs are sore.  If it has been a very busy week they’ll start to ache by Thursday night. 

Now, I’m not telling you this to have a whinge.  I am extremely proud of the fact that at Physique we are manual therapists.  We believe strongly in providing the most effective health solutions for all of our patients and that’s why we have a no machines policy.  I use my hands to loosen off tight structures, decrease inflammation, increase movement and correct muscle dysfunction.  My experience tells me and my patients constantly remind me, that using my hands, rather than Ultrasound or Interferential machines, is a very effective way of treating pain and stiffness.  Rather than just alleviating symptoms for a short period of time, hands-on therapy treats the underlying cause of the symptoms and my hands can tell much more about your body and movement issues than any feedback system on a machine.  

And I get good results.  Often, my patients can’t believe how much better they feel with the regular hands-on physiotherapy input.  But, like I said, by the end of the week, if I haven’t had a break, my hands hurt.  The reason I am telling you about my hands is to point out the absolute necessity for us to have a break.  To take a rest, recuperate and give our bodies time to heal themselves.

One of our physios, Emily, has just got back from 5 weeks in Portugal.  While she was away the remaining 4 physios here at Physique had an increased workload.  As a result my hands did not get the rest that they needed.  I found that not having a break resulted in an increasing accumulation of inflammation and aches and pains.  This is a pattern I have seen so often with my patients.  An inability to take a breath, step back and rest, leads to niggly aches becoming episodes of pain and injury.

One of the first things I ask my patients to do is to rest.  I am always amazed at how hard that is for some people.  Believe me I do get it.  I am busy. The kids need me to do things, my wife can’t do everything, the business is always flat out and unfortunately they haven’t invented self-cutting grass yet.  But when did it become so bad to just stop for a period?  To just relax and let our body do what it was designed to do.  To deal with the inflammation, the stress hormones and the niggling injuries we all have. 

When we just stop, we stop overloading our body and give it a chance to get out of the inflammatory cycle.  By doing this we are actually allowing ourselves to heal.  To replenish and rejuvenate.

So this weekend, instead of spending all day working in the yard why not take some time to rest?  See what happens – maybe you might even see the benefit and decide to make it a regular thing.  Happy resting everyone – you deserve it!