Written by Mark Tolle, Fitness Manager
A question that comes to mind each time I work with a client is, “are they in balance?” With close to 30 years of experience ranging from physical therapy, athletic training, sports performance, and fitness, I believe it is important to address the question of having our body in balance (symmetry). The system I’m going to describe in this article (TMR) is proven to help with pain, restrictions and weakness throughout the body, therefore making an exercise program more productive.
Being in balance refers to the idea of being symmetrical. Simply put, a movement on one side of our body should be equal to the opposite. This applies to motion, flexibility & strength. Injury and pain does make this statement more complex, however working toward balance actually encourages & speeds healing of acute & chronic injuries.
Symmetry requires the discussion of three principles on how the body works.
#1 The Body Works Together As a Unit:
As you know our body consists of hundreds of bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons & nerves. We use all of these interconnected pieces together to perform simple to complex movements.
What’s important to understand is when we perform a movement, some areas of the body may move too much, too little or just the right amount. Because our body moves as a unit of interconnected parts, being out of balance in one area creates stress & strain in another part of your body.
For example tightness in your left ankle can cause a chain reaction up the body, having an effect on your back or shoulder, therefore resulting in pain, weakness or tightness.
#2 The Entire Body Needs To Share The Work Load:
This principle basically refers to how the body works together under load, such as lifting an object from the floor. The task of lifting a box from the floor can be completed several ways, but when you share the load with many areas of the body there is less pressure or strain on a specific area.
Therefore the more areas of the body that can move and work appropriately and in unison (in balance), the less strain there is on each individual part.
#3 We Need To Focus On Restrictions:
As mentioned in principle #1, differences in mobility or strength in one or more areas of the body (asymmetry) can lead to stress or strain in what we once believed to be an unrelated joint or area of the body. Thus resulting in pain or injury. Your goal should be to target the area of restriction rather than the area of symptoms or complaints. I consider this a more prudent approach to health and wellness because this approach is proven to prevent problems occurring.
Total Motion Release
Our body truly prefers to be in balance or symmetrical, and there is a simple way to achieve this. I have been trained in a system called Total Motion Release that specifically focuses on getting the body in balance in a pain free way.
Total Motion Release or TMR for short, allows the body to naturally re-balance and heal itself. This has actually been shown to be more effective than other traditional techniques.
TMR is a process of testing various movements on both sides of the body, and looking for differences in the way a body part moves or feels. When a restriction or issue is found we then exercise the “good” side, which in turn improves the “bad” side. Additionally you can then get an improvement in a totally unrelated painful or restricted area of the body. I know this sounds counter intuitive to traditional treatments, but it really works.
I use the TMR system here at Sky Fitness with traditional fitness clients because many members and clients have restrictions, weakness or pain that limits their ability to exercise. When you feel and move better then the idea of exercise is much more pleasant and your workout is then a lot more productive.