Do you feel more like flesh or stone?
Pain is a messenger, motivator and dictator. It is a signal to your brain to stop what causes the pain. It will motivate you to do something to get rid of the pain and it will dictate what you can and cannot do. This is when most people will seek help for their pain.
It is my personal belief that pain and rigidity is part physical and part a physiological response to influences and emotions that affect you on a conscious and subconscious level. ("Heal Your Back Pain", by John E. Sarno, MD)
Most of what we do in this world is sitting and forward bending of the shoulders, thoracic spine and head. This causes shortening of muscles in the front of the body and over-stretching and tightening of muscles in the back of the body, hence the pain in the neck, upper back and lower back and/or hips.
In discussion with clients about what was happening in their life when the pain started, I hear stories of all kinds, but it usually boils down to anxiety, anger, lack of sleep and frustration. These are not emotions that we culturally deem "appropriate" so they are buried and we politely agree to take on more than we can do and stay healthy. Then, you bend and pick up something, get out of bed or move a certain way that causes a spasm and that becomes the event we tack onto the message of pain, instead of the root of the problem.
I am not talking about falls or injury, this is something so simple, like picking up a bag of groceries or getting out of the car.
The best thing for any body is stretching and strengthening. Age is not a reason to stop moving. I have clients in their 70's and 80's that do yoga, briskly walk 2-5 miles and speed along on road bikes. There are 94 year old marathoners, so age is no excuse!
Bodies were built to work and move. What are you doing with yours?
Simple techniques to unwind mentally, emotionally, physically:
- MOVE...go for a walk, run, bike ride or dance, yoga, light weights
- Schedule at least 5 minutes of quiet time each day
- "No", is a complete sentence, say it more then reward yourself for taking care of you!
- Stretch at least 10 minutes every day
"Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity."
- excerpt from "tao te ching", english translation by Stephen Mitchell
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