Massage in Frankfurt, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Several months ago, I noticed a sharp pain when trying to lift my left arm. The pain was down my arm and not in my shoulder – and hard to explain. It only hurt when trying to put my arm above my head – and so my obvious conclusion to this irritating and painful problem was not to do that. Ever. I found another way to get undressed and remove clothing attached and around my arms with my arm in a down position – I’m pretty creative like that 🙂
I told my massage therapist and she smiled and said knowingly, “this just happens as we get older”. Great. That’s what I was afraid of. And because of my repetitious movement at the computer and playing piano for a few hours each day – the problem has increased in recent years. That day and every time since, she has worked on that arm and attached ligaments and helped me to get increased mobility. The pain was only so-so – UNTIL the last time I was in to see her. By this time I noticed that I had the same pesky pain in BOTH arms when trying to raise them above my head. She worked on one side and it honestly took my breath away it hurt SO BAD.
She suggested some stretches and a heating pad to loosen up the locked up area – and Greg decided to get in on the action by “suggesting” some stretches. He has me get down on the floor flat on my back and raise my arms above my head. It sounds so easy – anyone should be able to do it, right? But for me – it’s very difficult. Because I’m a good sport (and to humor him) I am trying this – lifting my arms as far as I can and letting gravity pull them down on my floor. It is very hard NOT to arch my lower back – but I am at least trying. Not an easy task while our puppy is all excited that we’re down on the floor with her – she thinks we’re down there to play with her and keeps jumping on my sore arms – OUCH!
And although these stretches, plus the other ones suggested to me are good for me – I do not like them. I’m not a fan of pain, physical, emotion or any other kind. But I have come to terms with pain – have made friends with it and am trying to let it teach me the lesson that it needs to. Pain will have its way – teach its lesson and hopefully move on. At least in other aspects of my life – this has been the case.
Ah – pain! The great teacher. That moment making us change and do something different. Making us take great efforts to avoid, get fixed up and obliterate forever.
Like those awful stretches. I will do them because I do not like the alternative.
How about you? Do you have some painful stretches in your life? Are they worth it? Is it better than the alternative?
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I carry my stress and tension in my upper body – neck, shoulders, arms, upper back and have done so for years. Unfortunately – over time – it takes its toll.
I am under the care of a good chiropractor and now have a wonderful massage therapist too. I really noticed problems starting last year when I had to direct theater productions. Since we only had done two of them a year – it is not something my body is used to. And in directing during rehearsals and then in the four performances I use muscles that I am not accustom to – throwing my neck and shoulders in a foreign position and taking much therapy to resolve. This year before I had to have a ‘conducting week’ I made sure I had a massage – a really deep tissue one – actually it was a Thai massage which was wonderful and gave me extra movement, elongating some of the muscles I was going to be using. It really helped.
This last Sunday I went to a new massage therapist – someone highly recommended by a friend from church – and she was really excellent. I felt like I got the best information and advice – as well as free massage lotions (she makes her own) and other gifts. I probably learned more about the muscles in the neck and back – and what can happen over time due to poor posture and bad habits – (playing the piano, sitting at the computer) like we all develop if not careful. It has sent me on a search to help correct some of the problems that have already started in my neck and back – and she even suggested acupuncture to help with some of it – as that procedure has greatly helped her. I have even looked into using a Rolfer – and have been searching for information and testimonials from people who have received help by using this type of therapy and with similar problems to mine.
In the meantime though, it’s amazing what help you can find if you do a ‘search’ on the internet – and there are many exercises on youtube and other websites for the neck. One site in particular gave some wonderful neck and spine stretches – and another video used some light weights to help get that posture back in the right place – instead of the head pulling forward – as happens to most of us as we get older. Very good information – and I have been following this good advice and feel better in just a couple of days. Amazing!
Last week – as part of my birthday present – Greg bought me a new office chair. Not the cheap kind either – but one of those chairs with the lower back support. It’s like a dream to sit in this chair – and easy to sit taller and better when you have a supportive chair to sit in. It arrived yesterday and I was all SMILES when sitting in it to teach piano lessons – it made one of my students giggle 🙂 And of course they ALL wanted to sit in my new chair. It looks like something from Star Trek! Very cool!
I’m also back to yoga – as my massage therapist says there’s nothing better. I have a weak wrist so it makes it dicey – but it is so good for my neck, spine and shoulders – so I am doing them anyway – modifying the poses where I have to.
At night before bed – I have 3 neck stretches that I’m doing. Talk about a long good stretch! Wow. These are amazing. I am sticking my neck out – literally. I also now sleep with a body pillow – as per the suggestion from my chiropractor. It gives that added support to the hips and shoulders. He sleeps with one all the time – and if you want to know the best way to sleep – ask your chiropractor how he sleeps. I figure if it’s good enough for him – then I should be doing it!
Here’s to good posture and healthy ‘sticking your neck out’ moments 🙂
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It is Day 4 of my birthday month. I have happily given myself a whole month for the experience of having yet another birthday. And not just any birthday.
Last night my very romantic husband texted me and asked me for a late night rendezvous on his way home from work. For COFFEE people – get your minds out of the gutter!! I was still up, reading and returning emails – and I was like YES – let’s do it! Forgetting that I’m not 25 anymore – and that it takes me more than a day to recover after being up WAY past my normal bedtime – but I was wide awake and I was anxious to shake it up a little. I mean – if the younger people can do this – why can’t I? What do they have that I don’t? Our 19-year-old son does it ALL THE TIME and he seems to be no worse for wear. What’s the DEAL? The other night he came home after a late shift at guitar center and started cooking at 11:30pm! Needless to say, it woke us up and it was most unpleasant – not to mention annoying to hear the banging around in the kitchen and then smelling the food as we’re trying to sleep. I was much too tired to deal with it at the time – but when he finally emerged from his room the next day I said to him, “Shawn – do you have to come home at that hour and COOK? Can’t you pick something up on the way home or something”? And do you know what his response was to this? “Why do you and Dad have to go to bed so early?” Unbelievable.
Yes. I am old.
So this morning I woke up with a screaming headache and quickly took some headache pills and put ice on my aching head. Then made an appointment with my Chiropractor. And would you believe – the adjustment didn’t help me? Good grief – I dislike VERY MUCH getting older. However we did manage to find a wonderful and supportive office chair for me so I can sit at my computer and write with excellent posture and hopefully eliminate neck and shoulder soreness. As a piano player – I have dealt with tight muscles my whole life – but it is worse as I’ve gotten older for sure.
My sweet husband used to tell me brilliant things like this: “Why don’t you just relax?” So you can see that I’m surrounded by sympathetic men in my life. Actually he’s learned that it is not just a matter of relaxing – or willing my tight muscles to relax – it’s my personality type – and where I carry my stress. We all carry it somewhere.
The good news is that I also will be going to have a massage on Sunday afternoon with someone who was highly recommended to me – so that will be very nice! The last massage I had was from a man who did Tye massage – and it was wonderful – but he is available only at the times that I teach. I need one every week – just wish I could work it out financially. 🙂
But it IS my birthday month – so pretty much anything goes this month.
Have a wonderful evening and God Bless