My Health, My Rules!

This title was inspired by my 9 year old daughter.  She has a sign on her door that says:

“My Room, My Rules!”

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And I try to I respect her (within reason of course)!  I acknowledge that she needs her space to be alone.  She needs a place where she can just be herself. She can go inside, literally inside her room, but also inside her mind to figure out who she is and who she wants to be. 

When you go inside, you can feel what is right. You find what is right for you. Whether you are making a big decision, like taking a new job or small, like deciding what to have for dinner.

This internal knowing translates to your health. When you really listen, you know what makes you feel good. You can slowly transition that sense of feeling good to consistently making the right decisions for your health.

People ask me all the time about what works for pain management.  Should I get a massage?  Is Physical Therapy the right answer?  What do you think about a chiropractor, physician, dietitian, health coach?  And the list goes on.  It is really hard for me to tell you what will help, mostly because I’m not you.

Pain is a very personal experience.  It is influenced by our belief system taught to us first by our parents and influenced by family, friends and trusted health are providers.  In a sense, if you believe a treatment will help, then it just might.  Pain is also influenced by our emotions.  Being in pain triggers an emotional response: fear, sadness, grief, anger, etc. When you have had pain for a while, those emotional reactions can then trigger pain.

What I do know is that we all need to move, but the type of movement and how much is, again dependent on your experiences.  If you were hurt in a yoga class.  The yoga is probably NOT for you.  If you enjoy walking and getting into nature, then that is a great way to begin movement.  But using some yoga principles can help with whatever movement that you do.

1.  In your activity you need to balance EFFORT with EASE.  You need strength and stability in your movements, but you should also have some joy and pleasant sensations.  Pushing and straining until exhaustion is NOT a good strategy.  You should enjoy activity so that you can return to it again and again. So the EFFORT or intensity of activity needs to be relevant to your needs.  You can't look at what someone else is doing and try to match or compete.  Again, it is a personal experience.

2. Another principle in yoga is AHISMA or nonviolence.  This follow perfectly after the principle of EFFORT  and EASE because is you push, strain and complete to exhaustion, you will probably end up getting hurt.  Or putting yourself back into the pain cycle.  You want to feel as if the movement or activity you do is NOURISHING.  That is, you want to feel as though you are giving your body something that it needs.

3.  TAPPAS is self-discipline.  Whatever movement, activity, or exercise you choose, needs to be performed with consistency.  When you find that balance of effort and ease, and find joy and nourishment in the movement, then you WANT to move and exercise.  

Take some time to really listen to your body and what it wants and needs.  The listening starts with a practice of Mindfulness or Awareness.  When you learn to really listen, you can create your own movement practice.  You can choose whatever activity or exercise to regularly engage, because it's your body and you get to make the rules.