Lauren’s Blog!

Why Motion = Lotion

We’re starting today’s blog with one of my favourite quotes; “motion is lotion”!

This sweet little phrase doesn’t seem to have a direct source – if anyone can educate me on this, please do! But it’s often repeated by movement and bodywork professionals, and I wanted to delve deeper into the meaning behind it.

From a purely scientific point of view, motion equals lotion for a hundred reasons… I’ll include a more detailed list at the bottom of this post, but here are my favourites:

– Cardiac hypertrophy. Movement strengthens and builds your cardiac muscle, increasing the size and power of the heart – the most beautiful benefit!

– Increased vital capacity. Vital capacity is the biggest amount of air you can expel from your lungs after your maximum inhalation. The bigger your vital capacity, the bigger your oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output, and the better your performance (moving or not!). Movement increases your capacity for life!

– Encourages the circulation of synovial fluid (the fluid in your joint capsule). This is where motion truly is lotion – increasing the fluid in your joints and allowing the bones to move smoothly against each other.

– Increases bone density. Movement encourages the production of osteoblasts, the cells which are responsible for increasing bone density and making your skeleton stronger. Movement gives you a strong frame and good support!

In total…

– Movement makes your heart bigger and stronger ❤️
– Movement increases your “capacity for life” 🌟
– Movement allows you to move more smoothly 🤸‍♂️
– Movement helps you build a strong support system 💪

And although we’re talking about benefits for the physical body here, I think these sentences could be applied to the mind too – movement does all of those things for your mental health as well!

My favourite kind of movement is dancing – any kind of partner dancing, be it blues, zouk or west coast swing. It brings me joy, human connection and a sense of being grounded that is hard to find elsewhere.

What is the best thing that movement brings to you? And what kind of movement and motion makes you happiest?

Lx

Lauren Southey Massage & Bodywork
Stoke Bishop, Bristol

Longer list of movement benefits (concisely worded!):

– Cardiac hypertrophy (increase in cardiac muscle) and increased size and strength of heart
– Increased stroke volume (amount of blood pumped by left ventricle – good because higher volume = more time taken to pump = lower resting heart rate)
– Increase in red blood cells
– Makes muscular walls of veins and arteries more elastic/flexible, results in lower resting blood pressure
– Increases blood flow – allows nourishing oxygen and nutrients to get to other structures (joints, tendons, ligaments, organs)

– Weight on joints during movement forces water out of the cartilage; when weight is lifted and water comes back in, it brings oxygen and nutrients with it
– Joint movement activates genes associated with rebuilding cartilage
– Encourages movement of synovial fluid – motion is lotion! – allows bones in joints to move with each other smoothly
– Improve or maintain joint range of motion; losing range of motion means reduced balance and stability

– Movement triggers “autophagy” – the process where damaged/old cells in the joint are broken down and removed

– Increased vital capacity (maximum amount of air you can expel from your lungs after maximum inhalation) – improves performance, increases oxygen intake, increases CO2 output – increased “capacity for life”!
– Increased number of functioning alveoli and capillarisation; when new capillaries are formed – increases oxygen intake, increases CO2 output
– Strengthens respiratory muscles (internal and external intercostals and diaphragm)
– Increased lung capacity and volume

– Increased production of energy
– Increased tolerance to lactic acid

– Strengthens and helps muscles to grow
– Strengthens tendons and ligaments; when these tissues are strong, they act like a brace for their joint and provide protection and stability

– Increases bone density – gives you a strong frame/support

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Three Reasons Why You Should Get a Monthly Massage

Ok folks. You’ve seen the title – I’m not going to beat around the bush – here’s three reasons why you should get a monthly maintenance massage!

Put the kettle on and settle down for a read. Kettle and settle. Enjoy!

  1. It is much easier to maintain a ongoing pain-free state, rather than have to be “fixed” every time you are in a state of acute pain. Regular massage keeps your tissues in a smooth, relaxed, flexible state; it prevents knots and adhesions forming, and muscles are much less likely to tear or become stiff. It gives your muscles more capability; smooth, easy, massaged muscles can lift that heavy box and run that extra mile – it’s much much harder for sore, tight muscles to cope with these extra stresses!

 

  1. Those knots in your back/neck/shoulders/EVERYWHERE aren’t going away on their own. Sure, you can somewhat prevent them with stretching and exercise, and ease them with a soak in the tub or a heat pack, but when you get a knot or area of tension that is painful and persistent, you can’t treat it yourself. You can’t reach around to your shoulder and apply deep pressure (or not without hurting your hand!). So enlist a massage therapist for help; we’re the experts in pain-free bodies! We have so many techniques for getting rid of the gremlin in your right trapezius.

 

  1. When was the last time you felt stressed? Yesterday, when you watched the news? This morning, on your drive to work? Five seconds ago, when your laptop died as you tried to write your blog post? (Can’t relate).

    When you have a stressful experience, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode; an evolutionary response to stress that was real handy when we had to fight sabre tooth tigers, but hasn’t caught up with the times.

    You guys, we go into fight-or-flight mode ALL. THE. TIME. Everyday, we experience many more stressors than we were designed to cope with. Most people know that this takes a huge toll on the mind, but did you realise it’s also affecting your body?

    When you go into fight-or-flight, your body releases neurotransmitters and hormones that make us reactive, ready to run or attack; our muscles tense; we filter out unnecessary noise; digestive and reproductive processes come to a halt. This is amazing if you are being confronted by a sabre tooth tiger! Less so if the stressor is something you experience every day, every morning, every hour.

    And this stress doesn’t just disappear after the experience – the chemicals and hormones settle in your body, in your tissues and your nervous system, unless we actively try to get rid of them.

    The most effective way to do this is by moving your body – it’s what your ancestors did, when they ran away from the tiger, or fought the bear. They completed the cycle of the fight-or-flight response. But we don’t do this anymore; we have a stressful experience, and we sit down and message our friends about it.

    So the stress just sits there, in your nervous system and your tissues, making you feel tense, cranky, tired and on-alert, all at the same time…

    … and this is where massage comes in! Bodies love massage. When you get a massage, your body starts producing all sorts of lovely, lovely chemicals. And these chemicals combat the side effects of the stressful experience; they allow us to let go of the stressful chemicals and hormones, in the same way that running or fighting would.

    The chemicals that are produced by massage include oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine and melatonin – which are known as the love hormone, the happiness hormones and the sleepy hormone. They promote feelings of connection and bonding, reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, improve your sleep, and are just generally brilliant. They allow us to feel safe from stress, safe in our bodies, and – due to the very nature of massage – connected to another human, which is essential for feeling safe. We are relational creatures; we need human connection to be happy and feel secure.

 

There are about 44,000 minutes in a month.

You only need 60 for a massage.

 

TL;DR:

  • It is much easier to maintain a ongoing pain-free state, rather than have to be “fixed” every time you are in a state of acute pain.
  • Those knots in your back/neck/shoulders/EVERYWHERE aren’t going away on their own….
  • Just like the knots, all the side effects from the stress you experience on a daily basis, are not going away by themselves! Enlist professional help!

Love, Lauren x

07598 643 784

laurensoutheymassage@gmail.com

laurensoutheymassage.com

Stoke Bishop, Bristol