Whew. These last few weeks, months, or years have really been a lot, haven’t they?
You may or may not have noticed, but other than Monday it has almost been a year since writing my last blog post here, “Maybe there’s time to rest”. I guess a rest, break or pause was needed.
How about you? Have you been able to find some rest, take a break from it all?
And Monday was also the first time I’ve been out for a walk in almost a month. If you know me at all, this is usually a daily occurrence. Out in nature, looking at the trees, taking in the fresh air – all of that. With ice and snow still on the ground, I joined a gym where I will walk on a treadmill for the time being.
Why the change of scenery?
I had a bad fall. On the ice and snow in our driveway. I thought I may have broken or cracked some ribs, but x-rays ruled that out. Still, progress of any kind of movement has been slow. Any plans of walking, skating, or skiing tossed aside.
This also brought forward personally, what we can all expect to experience from time to time – that being, feeling, experiencing pain. Much of what I teach and talk about with others, now applied (once again) to my own situation.
Immediately, how I moved during the day changed. What I was able to do changed. My thoughts around going outside changed. My worries about healing, how long it would take – all of it changed.
Luckily, my beliefs and understanding about my body didn’t. First, landing firm and hard on my torso with a steel water bottle right where my sternum is, reaffirmed my belief that these bones of ours are generally pretty robust. Particularly, those protecting our precious heart and lungs.
My breath changed. I often held my breath, trying to create stability particularly when I had to bend over or get up. I physically ‘held my body’, when sneezing or coughing to try and decrease the pain.
How I moved changed. I found ways to do things in a way that was not natural or normal to me in order to work-around the pain. When outside, I took very small, slow and guarded steps.
Mostly, I didn’t move a lot which is not great for me or anyone, really. I couldn’t clean the house (that might be a positive….). Many of my daily routines were put on hold. But the worst part by was not being able to go outside for a walk.
I’ve given it some time, almost a month now, and though there is still some pain or discomfort I am determined to get moving again. I also wanted to start lifting weights … but it may still be too much to work on my upper body, so I’ll instead do some lifting, pressing or pulling with my lower body. Not sure how that will go as I do still feel tension in my ribcage when exerting too much. We shall see.
Generally though, I know getting back to doing what is most important to me is the first and most vital thing I can do.
Pain doesn’t just change your body. It changes so much about your life. It’s by exploring all of these things, these changes, and slowly over time re-calibrating, re-patterning them, will help to change it back again.
Will it take longer, if you’re habits and patterns have been different for a while now? Maybe it’s been years that you’ve experienced pain. It’s good to know, however, that sensors/detectors around neurons in your body change every 3-4 days so with consistent practice it’s likely you’ll notice a change in sensitivity or pain, often within 8 weeks.
If someone I’m working with is experiencing really bad pain I might suggest they visualize movement. Or maybe there’s a particular area that is painful, so we’ll often begin somewhere else that’s not painful. I might suggest they begin by just moving their hands. Opening, closing, opening, closing fingers to palms, alongside an easeful breath. By giving your body and your brain a new (pain-free) experience these ‘painful’ patterns can be disrupted. There’s a lot more science to all of it, but I won’t bore you with it. (I try now to only do that to family and friends who have to listen.)
With spring around the corner, I so want to be ready for it. It’s not always easy taking steps forward. But in my mind, so worth it!
How about you? What is it you REALLY want to do? And how might I help you with that?
Curious to know how we can work together?