Magicians and Massagicians

Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch lived 500 years ago, but like all real art, his paintings carry their meaning through the passage of time. In this one “The Magician”, the life scene in a medieval city can be readily recognized and appreciated by us even today.

The central character of the painting in the forefront is a wealthy old man, who appears to be transfixed by magic tricks while being relieved of his money purse.

As a massage therapist, I am particularly aware of his posture so common in daily life, and yet so damaging to the lower back. There was no Breathe Spa in Netherlands in the 16th century, but if there were, the old man would surely be coming to us for help the next day, if he still could afford it ($90 + GST for the 60 minute treatment) after the thieves stole his money.

Lower back pain caused by a prolonged unsupported flexion of the spine is a very common complaint. This posture often occurs when we water plants, especially holding a full watering can, or when we paint, or shovel snow, or lift a heavy object in front of our body.

There are two main mechanisms of injury from a forward bending posture: first - tearing of the low back extensor muscles and ligaments, and second - a bulging disk, which compresses a spinal cord, or more commonly one of the spinal nerves.

Both of these are fairly serious conditions often requiring surgery. So remember the old man in the painting and don’t let it happen to you. And if it does happen, massage combined with lymphatic drainage can go a long way to relieve the symptoms and help your body heal.

Go online to www.breathespa.ca or call us at 403-457-3060 and make an appointment. You'll feel better about the world and yourself. I promise you.


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