Although this is going to be about muscles and joints, I will not bore you with anatomical diagrams. Look instead at these paintings of people socializing in large groups unafraid and having a great time.

The 17th century painting by Pieter Brueghel, 19th century canvas by Auguste Renoir and a modern work by James Sparks, all portray the world which we've enjoyed for thousands of years, took for granted and temporarily lost almost overnight.

When people talk about the quarantine and the stay-at-home rules, the common theme is that this is something new and nobody has any experience with it. Is it true? Not at all.

The virus might be new, but situations when someone’s limb or the whole body is temporarily immobilized and deprived of movement, nutrients and sunlight, are not new. They occur as a result of sickness or injury when a person is required to stay in bed, wear a cast, a bandage, or a sling.

The consequences of a prolonged immobilization could be severe, and we, as massage therapists, have training and experience dealing with them. Here are some:

1. Muscle atrophy

2. Loss of muscle strength and endurance

3. Muscle contracture

4. Decreased range of motion of joints

5. Degenerative joint disease

6. Disuse osteoporosis

7. Decreased cardiac reserve

8. Venous insufficiency and thromboembolism.

In the times of stress these complications could be worsened by worry and depression.

Massage and lymphatic drainage go a long way to relieve and slow down these processes, but we of course cannot book an appointment for you at this time. So do your body a favour and get it moving. The spring is here, so walk, run or bike. And if you choose not to leave home, do what you can inside. Give all your muscle groups a strenuous workout, and don’t forget to stretch before and after. You need it more than ever.

We, at Breathe Spa, are staying in touch with the provincial regulators and will open our doors as soon as cleared to do so. We have really missed you and hope that you missed us too. Stay healthy and move!

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