what it is to be human…4-27-20

There’s a narrow plot south side of my studio, the only remaining place receiving full sun in a yard purposefully forested over the decades.  Twice a year I double dig the earth-wormed soil, add nourishment, cultivate hope.  This year those little optimistic seedlings sprout as teeny prayers for a harvest chapter currently unknowable.  Besides nourishing my belly and soul, this biannual activity gauges my own physical health.  Exactly five years ago I couldn’t turn the soil on my own, surrendered to a severe bout of left hip pain.  Four years ago I could shovel fifteen minutes at a time before needing a rest.  Two years ago I worked this land two hours non-stop, no problem.  Today I’m third day into a sore right hamstring from this very same chore.

This is what it is to be human.  To be incarnated in a body bound to go on the fritz time to time before it eventually comes to its final halt.  We’re surrounded by news shouting of our mortality right now.  Yet even our everyday aches and pains serve to sense our kinship with and compassion for the suffering of all sentient beings.  My aching hamstring had me in this frame of heart when I saw I was tagged in a Facebook post (see above).  So I let my curiosity investigate.  The author reaches out to his friends for advice about the most common human travail: low back pain.  When I last checked 69 people had advice for him.  Why this huge response?  Because we have all been there and we have all moved through this human dilemma with varying degrees of success.

Over 80 percent of us will experience a LBP episode some time during life.  Most of us will recover within a few weeks or months with or without treatment.  In the physical therapy world we name these recuperated folks symptom free (yeah!) but unfortunately not sign free.  Lay anyone on my treatment table and my hands will go right to the restricted tell-tale soft tissue that takes up residence after painful sensation disappears.  On literally every one of us. And that’s what sets us up for chronic or recurring problems. 

So yes to the myriad of answers on this gentleman’s FB post: ice, heat, CBD oil, chiropractic, massage, this stretch, that stretch, this gizmo, that traction.  It all works for symptomatic relief.  Which we need when pain is super-acute.  It’s when things calm down, its when we think we’re finally done with all that…that’s when I want to be with you.  That’s when returning the injured fascia to a more supple condition, subtle toning the deep core and gently lengthening the clenched tissue can lay the foundation for non-recurrence. 

The quickest way through this residual quagmire is with expert physical therapy one-on-one help.  Which is what I do, currently without the treatment table part.  It is pretty amazing what we can create together on Zoom.  But you can also come to the floor on your own 15-20 minutes daily and systematically address the most common areas that need your help.  And that’s what we do in Essentials on Tuesday morning 10:00.  Fascial release in the spine, shoulders and hips, toning deep core and stretching of key regions that tend towards tightness on all of us.  Loose, long and strong is the ultimate answer for our Facebook friend up there.

I hope you can join me tomorrow and revel in the pleasure a supported hour session like this provides.  I hear you….please, can we focus on neck and shoulders?  Of course, all these hours with our devices is friggin’ hard on us.  So, that’s the focus tomorrow.  You need a roller and a single small ball and two tennis balls taped together or put in a sock.  And your knowledge that I’m a phone call away if you want some individual help. Oh yeah…and your willingness, patience and sense of wonder.

It is my pleasure to be with you in this healing way…❤️Bella