Summary: No Pain No Gain? Learn why this is not true and experience a motion called Quick Shake which will reduce pain, reverse aging, and help move emotions through our body. Join Move Into Resilience host Pamela Stokes and learn for yourself why this phrase, No Pain No Gain, is simply not true.
- [00:00] Introduction
- [01:51] Types of Pain
- [03:00] Fascia and Pain
- [04:47] What causes the burn?
- [06:48] Endorphins
- [08:12] The Pain Trap
- [10:08] Remove pain by moving the fascia
- [12:11] QUICK SHAKE
- [13:27] Recap
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[00:00] Hello, friends. And welcome to Move Into Resilience. I’m your host, Pamela Stokes. In today’s episode we will be dispelling the myth, No pain, no gain. It’s just not true. And we’ll be doing a motion that will allow you to move your fascia and get it hydrated. Hydrated fascia sends a signal that all is well. So let’s get into it.
Hello, my friends. Pamela here. Thanks for joining me today. We’re talking about a phrase that is commonly used and I’d like to turn it on its head and dispel the validity of, and that is “No pain No gain.” This is a phrase that has been popularized, as Jane Fonda said in the 1980’s, “Feel the burn. No pain, no gain.” And I’m here to tell you that actually that isn’t true at all. What we really know about pain is that it is a signal that there’s something wrong, that there’s a problem. We get pain for various reasons and in various forms, and if we don’t listen to that message, what we’re actually saying to our own body is I’m not listening to you. And now we set up an internal battle which can compound the pain.
[01:51] Pain comes in different forms: we can have physical pain, emotional pain, mental pain, and even spiritual pain. These kinds of pain all come from similar things. We can have an illness or an injury. We can also get chronic tension and discomfort due to the responses that we might have to a traumatic event. And chronic stress is another reason why there may be a pain response. Another thing that’s interesting is that physical pain and emotional pain register the same in our brain—there’s no difference. The way that we register pain, and this physical pain especially, comes from things in our body called pain receptors. There are pain receptors in our muscles, in our tissues, but also in our fascia.
[03:00] And I’ve talked about fascia before. It is the connective tissue that connects every part of us to every other part of ourselves and it is what gives us our 3-dimensional shape. When there’s tightness, when there’s tension from an injury or an illness or a traumatic event, fascia can get stuck in that tension and tight. And it can also dry out and get hard. And when we have fascia tightness and tension and this hardness, this stickiness, that sends a message that there is a problem. And it also sets up a pulling somewhere else. So when we have tension in one part of the fascia, another part of our system may feel the pulling there and we get this referred pain. Our fascia has five to seven times more pain receptors than our muscles, so we’re actually feeling more of the pain through the fascia than we are through the muscles.
[04:47] What causes the burn?
In doing the research for this episode, I had to unlearn something myself. I had learned that lactic acid buildup is what causes muscle soreness. And after doing this research I discovered that the muscle soreness doesn’t come from lactic acid. In fact, lactic acid is just naturally in our muscles anyway. So this is another myth that I can dispel for us today. And in fact, what’s causing the pain and the burn when we overuse our muscles is not from lactic acid. Instead, it’s from the anaerobic creation of energy which makes it so that we now have a high hydrogen ion count. That was a lot. Basically, what it means is when we use a muscle too long, we don’t have enough oxygen left, so we start doing a process to make energy for ourselves using no oxygen. And that process is called fermentation. And in the fermentation process we get a little bit of energy but we also get a lot of hydrogen ions. And an excess of hydrogen ions makes an acidic environment, and acid burns. So that’s what’s causing the burning sensation. In addition to that, we also build up heat from the friction of the muscle fibers. So that heat plus this increased acid will make the muscles feel like they’re burning. That’s the pain part. But that does nothing good for us—there is no gain from that. There is no strengthening of muscles that happens. Another thing that can cause pain in the muscles is muscle tears. And this I mentioned in the previous episode called Muscles Don’t Stretch, because muscles don’t stretch, they tear. And so when you overuse a muscle you can also cause these little tearings, these little microtears, which is painful.
[06:48] What happens when we do strenuous exercise is we produce a molecule that is in a class called endorphins. Endorphins is a group of different, there many of them, there are about 20 of them. And it stands for “endogenous morphine”. So we’re actually producing our own pain-relieving molecule when we have excess stress and strain on the muscle tissues. And that endorphin production increases dopamine, so it actually we get a little pleasure, we get a little reward. And so perhaps we can interpret that as the pain is making us feel a little bit better. But basically it’s kind of like, If this hurts, if I stop doing it, I’ll feel better. Well just how about just don’t do it in the 1st place? And I think that’s something that we can learn from this—that we’re really not getting any benefit from this production of the endorphins and the dopamine except for just a short-term feeling of pleasure. But there are many other ways that we can do that. One of the easiest ways to make endorphins is laughing.
[08:12] The Pain Trap
There’s something also I wanted to talk about called the Pain Trap. And this is where, if we have pain because of an injury and we start to heal, maybe the pain doesn’t go away right away. Now we start to fear Is the pain ever going to go away? Will I ever get better? that kind of thing. And so there’s a fear that gets set up around the pain and now we have a vicious cycle. So the fear itself is creating stress which is causing tension, which is causing pain, and then it just feeds on itself, so it goes round and round. So we can come out of this pain trap by acknowledging that we are not the pain; we are not the experience of the pain; what we are experiencing is the sensations associated with the pain. And oftentimes just sitting quietly and noticing those sensations, oftentimes they will go to a minimal level, they will turn down just by paying attention. By pushing away, by disregarding the pain, we’re really sending a message that says I don’t want to listen to you, and you don’t have any value, and so this really can kind of set up a whole belief around this—that we don’t have value and that we can’t be listened to; we can’t be trusted and so forth. And that’s also contributing to the stress and adding onto what may be causing the pain in the first place.
[10:08] When our fascia is tense and tight, it causes us to feel pain because there are many pain receptors in the fascia. And by moving our fascia gently and very small movements, what that does is it allows the fascia to slide over itself, over the different layers of itself, and that brings fluids in, brings in water from the spaces between our cells. By hydrating our fascia, keeping it hydrated, we reduce the chance that there is any pain and tension. And that’s a good thing. That sends really good signals to our nervous system that all is well, and we can now have optimal wellness and our cells will function properly and all of that.
[10:58] In today’s activity we’re going to be moving the fascia in gentle ways and it’s kind of fun and kind of funny. It’s called the Quick Shake. And I like doing this pretty much every day I do this. Sometimes in the morning when I wake up and also sometimes if I’m having an emotional reaction, I can usually help my body to process that emotion more easily by doing a Quick Shake. The Quick Shake comes from the practice of Qigong. And what we’re doing is we are allowing the fluids, blood and the lymph fluid, to move around in our body; we’re bringing awareness to all of our tissues around the whole body; and allowing the fascia to slide over itself, which causes it to become hydrated. Hydrated fascia equals everything’s OK. And actually a sign of aging is dry fascia, so by hydrating it we’re actually reducing or reversing the process of aging.
[12:11] So this is called QUICK SHAKE. What we’re doing is we’re starting by wagging your tail. Starting at your tailbone and wagging it like it’s a happy, like you’re happy dog. And then allowing that wiggle to come up your spine and let your arms and your legs be soft and wiggly too. And then let the whole thing come all way up your spine to the top of your head. And then we’ll make a sound with our mouth which sounds like a motorboat. So your lips are nice and loose like this: (make a motorboat sound). And that is how we finish the Quick Shake.
Please come to standing and join in and enjoy the Quick Shake. Quick Shake. Beginning at your tailbone, wag it like a happy dog, and allow the wagging to move up your spine to your shoulders and your neck, keeping your arms and legs soft. Allow your head to wiggle. And then with a long slow loose-lipped exhale, like a motorboat (make motorboat sound). And notice how you feel.
[13:27] So to tie things up, we talked about the phrase No Pain No Gain and how it is completely untrue. And what we’re really after is ease and comfort in order to make our cells work better, and our muscles work better, and to keep that trauma response out of our lives—turn that off—and to feel good. It’s important to feel good, for our body to know that all is well and that it can function optimally. So the No Pain No Gain? Not true. We learned about endorphins and we learned about the facial system a little bit more and how there are so many pain receptors on our fascia that tell us, and this is a signal that there’s something wrong, and we need to listen. So I’m going to invite you to start listening to yourself. Remember, you are not the pain. The pain is just a sensation. And there probably is a little bit of ease that you’ll get by doing the Quick Shake, so I recommend doing that at least once a day. It feels so good. And so you’re going to be making that fascia hydrated and smooth and watery, and that’s what we like. We like that and our nervous system likes that too. Thanks for joining me today and send yourself some appreciation for joining in. This has been Move Into Resilience. You can find out more at MoveIntoResilience.com. I’m Pamela Stokes. Take it easy!