In the second of a five-part series on how to rejuvenate the body and mind during and after Ramadan, health and fitness personality Wael Al Sayegh stresses the importance of mobility
In an exclusive column, health and fitness personality Wael Al Sayegh writes about the relevance of mobility.
Movement is life. Without mobility, we are literally enslaved. Those are the words of my fitness mentor, Scott Sonnon. Of all the articles in this series, if you read only one, I hope it’s this one. I cannot do the subject full justice in this short piece, but I will do my best to use the opportunity to explain to you why mobility is the most important of all aspects of keeping healthy.
During the month of Ramadan, many fasting Muslims might experience tightness in their joints and muscles, either from prolonged periods of sitting down or from kneeling. But what if it didn’t need to be that way? What if you could live and work altogether without pain?
Most of us are resigned to the idea that as we get older our bodies will degenerate. But research has shown that by working on our mobility we can choose to feel as young as we like. In other words, we are as old as our flexibility of movement permits. Or as the Soviet-era scientist and physician Alexander Bogomoletz put it: ‘You are as old as the condition of your connective tissues’.
Our modern lifestyle means many of us tend to sit in cars, offices, planes and meeting rooms, which ends up restricting much of our natural mobility. Our joints lose the ability to move freely. If we don’t mobilise each joint daily, then no matter how balanced our diet is, our connective tissue becomes greatly undernourished, and we increasingly lose the power to move smoothly and painlessly.
As we move our joints, we decompress the ‘blocked’ areas, allowing the synovial fluid to provide lubrication and nutrition to the joints it is designed to protect and support. Mobility work, moving each joint through its entire range of motion, is the only way to care for our joints properly. In his book Free to Move, Scott describes how during his time learning and training under the Russian General Retuinskih he came to the realisation that each joint in our body can carry with it an emotional factor. As each joint is mobilised in a systematic manner, so too is the emotional energy attached to it. As we begin to move in our full range we release trapped emotions.
When we do mobility work we are restoring much more than just our joints. The body, mind and soul are not fragmented parts ‘glued together’ in a random way; they are one uniform and sophisticated system. When one is affected, it affects the whole.
It is therefore vital to add mobility training to our health and fitness routine. We must move all our joints: neck, shoulders, arms, elbows, wrists, fingers, thorax, pelvic lumbar, spine, hips, knees and ankles, with progressively increasing degrees of complexity through their full range of motion,
As each JOINT is mobilised in a systematic manner, so too is the EMOTIONAL energy attached to it, releasing trapped emotions
in order to gain the benefits to our health.
The beauty of mobility work is in its accessibility. Everyone can enjoy the benefit, be they elite athletes or individuals in wheelchairs, with results seen almost immediately. Your body will start to feel better after only a few repetitions.
For my own mobility work I use Scott’s Intu-Flow programme, which I recommend to anyone; it has helped me significantly to decrease the stress and increase the fluidity of my movement, leading to a general improvement in my sense of wellbeing.
Ramadan really is the perfect time to commence (or recommence) mobility work. Once our joints are fully mobile and nourished and we are able to move without pain, we can focus on the quality of that movement, and increase it until we reach the greater freedom of mobility our bodies were designed to express. I will be delving further into this topic in my next instalment. Until next Friday.
Yours in Flow, Wael.