"Your upper back muscles and neck muscles are unusually tense," said my chiropractor on Tuesday and added with admonition: "this is due to stress." He did not stop there. "Also, some spinal disks are compressed due to bad posture, particularly slouching while sitting." He then went on to demonstrate to me how I sit -- I immediately recognised myself in his demonstration: legs flung out in front of me and my weight baring on the tail-bone, instead of the bottom of my buttocks, in a lazy recline, rather than an actual sit.
"This is how I sit when I'm tired," I said.
He looked anything but impressed. "The nerves are compressed, and it may in the future affect your legs." And I remembered how he mentioned long ago that if I do not fix the problem now that I may one day, years from now, have to get spinal disk related surgery.
"When I'm tired, I slouch. I'm quite tired these days."
"Then you should exercise more," he retorted.
"Exercise more!" My exclamation is so much a lamentation at the idea of extra exercise, as it is at the distress of adding yet more to my schedule. I should cut down on things, not add things to it. He has a point, however. The more you exercise, the greater the number of mitochondria in your cells, which in turn makes you feel more energetic.
But when?! I already sleep too little as it is, and the only time I have to exercise more would be in the morning, if I get up earlier. He doesn't know of my sleeping problem. Had he known, the scolding would have been greater.
So here is the issue: I have too much stress and I'm overtired, both of which affects my posture and musculature negatively, either directly or indirectly, which in turn affects the rest of my constitution.
He noticed on Tuesday, for instance, that the area around my right kidney is tensed and sensitive. The problem is posture or stress (tension) related, not kidney related, but because of the close proximity it can affect the organ. Then we all know how stress can affect your heart, your mind, and what not else. All parts of one's body are sympathetic to rest. Distress in one area causes ailment in another; disease in one organ manifests as symptoms elsewhere. Eliminating the causes are always better than treating the symptoms.
My chiropractor had to have a serious talk to me today about these things because if I do not find the causes and solutions to them now, they will manifest in serious ways later in life. I'm single, I do not have parents, and my closest friends are on the other side of the world. There are none of these intimate people to talk into my life, to remind me to take better care of myself, to reprimand me when my priorities are skewed, so God sends me my chiropractor, at $50 an hour, to do so.
I really need a sabbatical to take inventory of my life; re-establish my long-, mid- and short term goals; and re-prioritize the things that occupy my time and thoughts. Just a month and a half then I can go on vacation.