PAIN FREE - Livin' the Good Life
Jul. 22nd, 2009
11:09 am - PAIN FREE
Lately, I've been grudgingly attributing my various little aches and pains to my getting older. At least, that's what my former chiropractor kept telling me was the cause. But, gosh darn, I have a knee-jerk reaction to someone telling me, "There's nothing you can do about it. You're just getting older. Get used to it." (That's why he is now my "former chiropractor".) I also object to someone telling me those things and then taking my money! Now that offends me. I'm going to this person, who espouses an optimistic method of health care, expecting him to help me get better and assuming that he believes I can. I BELIEVE I CAN GET BETTER. So don't anyone tell me I can't!
But then, what is the answer? A different chiropractor?
Then Maya introduces me to the book PAIN FREE, by Pete Egoscue, that puts a whole new light on aches and pains. For a mere $12 (of course one can just check it out from the library), I was able to begin moving forward again.
The author is an anatomical physiologist. He explains that the body is built on a balanced framework of bones and is held in place by muscles. He says over and over that "bones do what the muscles tell them to do." If the body is held in perfect balance by the muscles, the bones stay in a symetrical framework, and everything moves freely without pain. But when we maintain poor posture, over time the muscles that hold us upright begin to either atrophy or maintain a constant contraction, causing other muscles (that are not meant for maintaining posture) to try and help out. This wrong use of muscles causes joints to be pulled out of place, as the framework tries to function off-kilter and out of symmetry, causing pain. Muscles freeze up, causing chronic stiffness. The body begins to fold forward, constricting internal organs so they don't get proper blood supply, causing malfunction. The head juts forward causing more and more stress on the neck muscles that are trying to keep this very heavy thing balanced on top of body. Hence, chronically tight shoulders and a neck that won't turn from side to side without pain. Oh yes, and when your pain is in your wrist, it's very likely that the source of the problem is your low back or hips, believe it or not! (Read the book for a better explanation of everything. He's the physiologist, not me!)
The answer to these problems, according to the author, is to teach the muscles how to operate as they are meant to by doing special "exercises" (more like stretches) and by maintaining excellent posture. Oh yes, muscles are meant to MOVE to be healthy, so lots of regular activity is essential, too. (No sitting for hours at the computer, folks! Get up and walk around... better yet, climb, skip, hop, roll, twist, jump, bend, sway, and run!) The attractive thing about this method is that it is completely "self-help". It can all be done in your own home by yourself. There is no special equipment. All you need really is a chair or bench (a piano bench works great), and a wall, a couple of towels, a long belt, a stairstep, and a clock. All things one has around the house. The hardest part about it is that is takes TIME... time, not money. At this stage in my life, that's a perfect fit for me. I've got plenty of time and lots of motivation. I'll report on how it goes... I'm on day four.