Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Body Talks

I went to see my physiotherapist yesterday, as a follow-up for some extra pain I was experiencing in my back, since before Christmas.  Now even she tells me I have pent-up or repressed emotional baggage!

I’ll show HER emotion…n…a…  well, anyways…

It’s amazing how much information your body will communicate, provided you listen closely enough.

I was thinking about taking care of myself, and in Love thy Self(less) Part-2 mentioned my back and my weight.  This is right up the same alley, although I don’t want to call it part-3 since this is a separate rant.  

I thoroughly enjoy watching a dance.  Ballet in particular, but ballet-jazz as well as many other dance forms.  I’ve always instinctively understood dancing and appreciated it.  It has been claimed throughout history and various cultures that body movement is a form of communication.  My physiotherapist has given me proof positive that this is the case.

The body has a language all its own.  The most obvious being dance, but we also find it elsewhere:  In fighting as two boxers approach each other in the ring, posturing for intimidation as well as position.  In the teacher, standing up front with credibility and authority.

The body displays emotion as well: the gait and gaze of two people in love is a dead giveaway.  Or the visible anger of the tight fisted, red-faced SUV driver about to mow down a clueless Smart.  

I know I have emotional issues, if I didn’t I wouldn’t be writing this blog.  But how the hell did she know?  Not that I hide my emotions that well, indeed not.  What really worries me is how it affects my body, my posture, but more importantly, my back pain!

When I was at Nortel, my wife commented on the employees looking like they were headed for slaughter when entering the building.  Obviously there was a clear body language to this effect.  I was not immune to this.  

I had gotten a stationary bike, was trying to walk more, eat sensibly and so on.  None of it worked, and my body was telling me exactly that, in no uncertain terms.  I wasn’t listening all that well, but to my credit I did realize something was amiss.  So very shortly before getting laid-off I had come to the decision that I would hand in my resignation before I did irreparable damage to my body, among other things.  I had planned on working there another year at the outside.

More recently, I have been psychologically feeling a lot better, and notwithstanding the back pain, it appeared that my recovery is finally yielding some dividends.  It’s been about a year now that I can drive for more than an hour without falling asleep and being a danger to myself and others.  Oddly enough, for the longest time, I thought this was my body telling me something, whereas it was actually my psyche.  Go figure.

Writing this blog is a testament to addressing psychological recovery. But what of my ongoing back pain?

Getting back to Christmas, my back pain got so bad that I could no longer sleep or walk.  Obviously my body was telling me something.  And it was my body this time, for sure, no equivocation!  Herniated disks are a shout really, the body’s equivalent to screaming blue-bloody-murder.

So as usual, I went to see my physiotherapist to get me fixed up, until the next episode.  My back was telling me: “you are NOT listening”, and proceeded to cost me more time, and money, and stretching exercises until I got the drift.

About end-February, I decided to sign up to Minçavi a weight control program, which had seen some success with my wife.  So we went together to our first meeting on March 7th.  It is a little complicated to understand at first but after a couple of weeks of actually doing the program, I got the hang of it quite easily.

As of last week, I’ve relocated some 17.4 pounds.  As of this week, my physiotherapist tells me: “I’ve never, EVER, seen your back look this good,” and proceeded with the comment about emotional core-posture problem, which could never be addressed until now.

I have a long way to go yet, with my back, my posture, and my weight.  

As for the emotional?  I’m still writing ain’t I?

But at least I listened, and my body is congratulating me on my active listening skills.  

My reward is that I can now focus on my posture as an investment, rather than throwing away effort and energy into pain management.


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