Joints permit movement. When they stiffen and begin to hamper movement, it is absolutely crucial to encourage them to keep moving. In fact, by keeping our ailing joints moving, we are keeping them healthy. As long as a joint has some mobility, we can prevent its permanent loss and even regain lost range of motion. For a person with any form of arthritis, this may seem next to impossible. If we are to embark on the task of recovering from arthritis or joint injury, it is important to remember two things:
First, every movement can be done by degrees, and even the smallest amount of movement in a joint helps to preserve its movement capacity and prevent further damage. If we have an arthritic ankle, no one expects it to perform ballet exercises. What will help is to find the range of motion that the ankle enjoys, no matter how small. Then, we can perform that range of motion regularly, and very gradually expand it.
Second, not all of the pain is directly caused by the condition of our tissues. Some portion of it depends on other factors, such as fatigue, the general condition of the body, and most especially the state of our minds. Research has shown that pain is heavily influenced by perception. Taking steps to mitigate stress will go a long way toward feeling better overall.
Specific Exercises for Arthritis
There are countless exercises that can help joints, depending on the person and his or her situation. We cover many of the specifics in Dr. Schneider’s new book. Until you can get your copy, remember that it is our tendency to nurse painful joints, and to avoid using them. It is good to be careful with injured or arthritic joints, but the best thing we can do for them is to maintain as much mobility as possible. Here are a few simple exercises for stiffness:
- If your troubled by rotating joints like the wrists, shoulders, or ankles, gentle joint rotations can help circulate fluid and encourage cartilage to heal. Rotate your joint in both directions 50-100 times each, ideally early in the morning and before bed.
- For pain in your fingers, use passive rotation. Grab the tip of each finger and gently pull and rotate it in both directions. Open the hands and close them, imagining your fingertips are leading the motion, 50-100 times at least once a day. The same can be done with the toes.
- No matter where you are experiencing pain, stretch your body as best as possible. Keeping your muscles supple and relaxed will contribute to your ongoing health. Choose stretches that are good for your condition and don’t cause much discomfort.
- As you work with your joints, visualize them as light and imagine that the movement is smooth and fluid. Visualization increases your brain’s connection to the troubled joint.
Palming is the best exercise we know of for a total rest for the whole body, and therefore benefits all conditions. Palm for at least half an hour a day, preferably much more – relaxing the eyes relaxes the whole body, dissipates stress, and contributes to healing.
More in Dr. Schneider’s New Book
It isn’t possible to include all the information we’d like to in this short article. Dr. Schneider’s new book, Awakening Your Power for Self Healing, contains an entire, proven compendium on naturally healing arthritis and joint problems. It also contains otherwise unavailable information on general health, diet, and stress mitigation. The book is designed to be a friend for life, and is the product of over 40 years of practice and study. We highly encourage our readers to pick up a copy and begin working with the exercises from start to finish.