What’s The Best Practice…Adjustment Or Massage First?

I get this question often. Let’s look at the reason for the confusion and watch the answer pop into our awareness.

I once had a personal trainer come in for help because of a frustrating weakness of his left bicep muscle. He had been working diligently with the weights to strengthen the weakness in his left arm which had persisted for quite some time…He told me that he was right handed and so it made sense to him that his left side may be less powerful during workouts. But he sensed something else was going on.

I love to share how the body works with the people who come to me for help and the muscles are a logical place to begin. So I said to him lets explore this a little with muscle testing. Have you ever done that? When he said “no”, I explained the principle that the body always reveals the truth about what is beneficial for it and what isn’t.  (Please concentrate with me for the next few moments to follow the sequence and the answer to the question in the title will occur to you).

“Lets begin with your strong side”.  I had him to hold his right arm parallel to the floor in front of him and look straight ahead. I challenged the arm to assess how it adapted to the stress of downward pressure. Not too much force (muscle testing isn’t a competition) but firm enough that we would both know what his body was showing us.  The result was an effortless ability to resist the test. Next I asked him to change his spinal alignment by turning his head either right or left. (The principle here is that any position of our core alignment which isn’t beneficial will show up as weakness in the test muscle). When he rotated (turned) his head towards the left his strong side suddenly became less functional and yet when he was looking to the right the “weak side” left arm worked perfectly. “That’s amazing” he said.   I asked him,  “Can you understand what your body is showing to you?

The beauty of muscle testing is its simplicity and clarity.  We had learned that his left arm signs and symptoms of both weakness, neck pain  and muscle dysfunction were not present when his spinal posture changed to right head rotation.  I took spinal x-rays to assess the actual condition of his core structures which revealed an old neck injury that he had forgotten about.

The important point here is this.  This thirty something year old was suffering from a spinal condition that chiropractors refer to as subluxation. (A neurological disturbance with related consequences caused by a spinal misalignment) BUT he did not know this fact.  And so he had been self-medicating with over the counter meds, and trying to force his weakened muscle to become strong with weight lifting. Can you see that the next potential problem he would develop is a tendonitis if he had not had his spine checked? Can you also grasp that therapeutic attempts to knead chronically weakened and tense muscles would be ineffective and out of order. The answer to the above question is this…Before taking your body with its aching sore muscles and underlying spinal subluxations to your massage therapist, bowen therapist, body talk worker, acupuncturist, or yoga mat; visit your D.C. and have your subluxations corrected.  Your therapists will notice and appreciate the increased order, harmony and balance of your body and you will benefit so much more from their work and your own preference in exercise strategies.

By the way; the personal trainer experienced a significant and surprising improvement in his ability to lift once he had addressed the actual cause of his body’s problems. He began to send his clients to me for subluxation screening before designing their workout schedules. We formed a mutually beneficial collaboration and everyone was better for it.

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