Injury rehabilitation is not an easy journey. It is annoying, uncomfortable, and continuously changing. There are the occasional setbacks, but that does not mean all is lost. Whenever I am working with injuries, pain that is changing is usually a good sign. No pain at all would be the best, but if the pain is moving or varying, that at least indicates some change in the tissues.

My mom is now about 4-weeks post injury. It has been very interesting to see the transformation and movement of the bruise as it heals, and the areas that seem to be bruised more deeply. She works daily with her Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls to keep fresh blood flowing to the tissues and unwind tightness in the fascias and muscles. The initial guarding process of the soft tissue does not just go away when things start to feel better – it takes manual manipulation and stretching to restore pliability and flexibility to the tissue. When you don’t have the time or resources to utilize a skilled massage therapist or body worker’s hands to do your stretching, the YTU Therapy Balls are great micro-stretchers for your entire body.

As a result of the guarding and pain, my mom stopped swinging her left arm. Her arm no longer hung freely from her body because all of the soft tissues were casting to protect the injury. Your arms and shoulders do not live in a vacuum – muscles and fascias connect the arms to the torso and fascial fabrics weave from the tips of your fingers down into your torso. If one segment of the body is not moving, the movement is then transferred to another location of the body, and perhaps one that is not comfortable with movement of that magnitude. I encouraged her to get her arm to gently swing with a Yoga Tune Up exercise called Propeller Arms. Watch how to do it in the video below.

Propeller arms can be scaled for any level of ability or mobility. In my mom’s case, all she needed to do was some gentle and controlled swinging. This helped her nervous system to understand that some movement could happen without pain. The gravitational forces on the arm during swinging also helped to continue the movement of lymph through the limb.

The road to recovery is not a short one, but we are definitely making progress. Together, my mom and I are piecing both new and old blind spots in her shoulder and body through various Yoga Tune Up exercises to help her re-embody her tissues. The work is not seeing how many varying movements she can do, but rather building the blocks of stabilization and piecing together movement step by step. You must always be able to isolate and differentiate, before you can integrate =)