Is muscle pain winning control over your life?
Expert says people of all ages can start to feel better almost
immediately by using quick and simple Active Isolated Stretches
by Diane Cherico
When was the last time you really stretched? Not just yawned and put your arms over your head, but moved like a tiger? Did you know that a few seconds of easy stretches can relieve chronic muscle pain and make you more limber?
Muscle pain sidelines most of us at one time or another. “Repetitively overusing muscles, even if it's simply from sitting at a computer all day straining your neck and shoulders, can cause those muscles to get way too tight,” says Diane Cherico, LMT, MMP, author of You Can If You Say You Can: A Common-Sense Approach to Better Your Body, Mind and Soul.
She says the resulting pain can rule your life. “Rest and/or pain pills may provide temporary relief, but once you resume using the muscle, it will tighten again. That’s why some people suffer from muscle pain for years and are desperate for help.”
Get the knots out with a few minutes of life-changing stretching
A Medical Massage Practitioner and Licensed Massage Therapist, Cherico discovered Active Isolated Stretches (AIS) when pursuing her continuing education credits in 2003. Unlike prolonged stretching, AIS stretches last for just a few seconds. This lengthens the targeted muscles, providing optimal strength and wellness.
Cherico was immediately impressed by the results. “I was able to stretch my pain away and my range of motion increased,” she recalls. “I’m more flexible now than I’ve been in my life.” While AIS has been around for more than 60 years, Cherico says there are very few AIS practitioners. After learning the techniques from experts, she simplified the stretches to make them easier for people to do without having to see a licensed therapist. She has compiled those instructions in her book and on a DVD.
“You will need to spend 10 minutes a night stretching. Stretching at night gets the blood flowing which helps as the body repairs itself while you sleep. It also helps you unwind, which is why I say it helps the body, mind, and soul.”
Although you’ll feel the difference by the next day, Cherico advises that you make stretching a nightly routine. “Of course, if you could unlock a tight muscle by just stretching once, that would be great. But it doesn’t work that way. It took a while for it to get tight in the first place and you will need to do the stretches even after the pain goes away or it will come back,” she explains.
“Once you get your muscle memory back, you may be able to skip a few nights without doing your stretches and still feel great.”
The “Natural Solution Revolution”
Encouraging self-taught AIS is one way that Cherico is committed to helping people live their best lives. It’s a mission she calls, “The Natural Solution Revolution” that encompasses body, mind, and spirit. “I want to help others change their mindset by giving them easy tips for feeling better.”
Her fully illustrated easy-to-follow book provides straightforward and simple AIS instructions including her very popular “Off the Bed” stretches. “That three-minute AIS routine does so much for everyone that I even teach it to kids!” she exclaims.
There are chapters demonstrating stretches for all of the muscle groups, as well as tips for avoiding positions and activities that may be making those muscles sore or tight in the first place. “My book also features photos of my 84-year-old Mom doing the stretches. She’s been able to avoid a knee replacement. In fact, she still dances!”
In addition to AIS, Cherico gives three tips for natural ways to live a happier, healthier life:
Move every day.
Take care of yourself. “If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of everything else around you.”
Breathe properly. “Most people breathe too shallowly. Learning how to breathe properly is such a gift, and it’s so easy to do. Once you develop the muscle memory for this, you will do it naturally.”
Cherico says practicing AIS and following some of the other simple tips in her book or DVD, both available from www.gettheknotsout.org, may help relieve immediate pain and help preserve your health down the line.
Diane Cherico, LMT, MMP is a Medical Massage Practitioner and Licensed Massage Therapist. A specialist in Active Isolated Stretching, she has owned her own practice, Get the Knots Out Therapeutic Massage Center, since 1999. Cherico is author of “You Can If You Say You Can: A Common-Sense Approach to Better Your Body, Mind and Soul” (available on Amazon and GettheKnotsOut.org) and creator of the personal stretching DVD, “Stretching with Diane Cherico” available on GettheKnotsOut.org.