Woman choosing clothes to wear in mall or wardrobe

Triumph or Torture: Where Are You Headed?

You know you’re getting old when a portable massage table and standing desk replace killer shoes and cute clothes on your gift wish list. I’m there. When something falls to the floor, I don’t just pick it up quickly.

I hunker down and hunt for anything that needs attention because getting to and from there is now an Olympic event.

In 2015, back surgery changed my life. It fully trumps labor and delivery!

Following surgery, I was given specific orders. Well, healing time is overrated; surely I could speed up the process. So I followed some directions, sort of.

  • Wore my bone brace religiously for 7 months (recommended: 12–18 months)
  • Stayed down for a SOLID 2 weeks (recommended: 4–6 weeks)
  • Went to a couple physical therapy appointments (recommended: 6 months minimum)
  • Didn’t lift massively heavy objects . . . just luggage (recommended: nothing over 5 pounds—my luggage is usually a bit heavier)
  • Didn’t touch my high-heeled shoes for . . . um . . . 3 months (recommended: no more high heels—that bites)

All was well until odd things began to surface 18 months later.

  • I began to feel the screws and bars protruding at my tailbone.
  • Running to release pain added to greater pain later. (I forgot, running was supposed to be out.)
  • I purchased new shoes—high heels . . . the GLORY of it all, until I wore them . . . twice.
  • I couldn’t take a deep breath without searing pain in my back.
  • My hip cramped up while driving . . . then when sitting . . . and then . . . all the time.
  • Migraines and neck pain returned.

Some of the most important detours in life are untimely. They interrupt our planned paths. We compensate by cutting corners, trying to avoid problems and keep the peace; yet the very thing we avoid will present itself like a log in the road, stubbornly demanding to be addressed.

That log in the road? My back.

The Torture

I finally called my physical therapist. She is a tiny, delightful bundle of energy . . . like walking sunshine. She’s the bomb all wrapped up like a little ball of wisdom, love, and encouragement.

She carried her massage table like it was a tablet . . . one-handed. She quickly set up shop; I carefully landed myself on the large table. This was going to be only the third massage I’ve ever had. The first two were beyond dreamy . . .

  • Subtle spa music
  • Supple pillows
  • Silky soft scents of healing care

Heavenly. It felt like I floated.

Physical Therapy
(Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com)

However, within a minute at most, it became apparent that this was clearly a different kind of massage. Instead of melting into it, I barely managed to breathe. I whispered,

So, um . . . what kind of . . . (breathe) massage is (GASP) . . . is (BREATHE) this?

Evidently, there are many forms of massage therapy. This one was the myofascial/deep tissue (shred your muscles apart) type. It’s not often advertised because who on earth would pay for paralyzing pain?

Connective tissue is just that—attached to every muscle, bone, organ, and cellular vessel throughout the body. A myofascial/deep tissue massage is a process of tearing web connective tissue that has been damaged and is stuck and stiff.

The Human Body

Paul the apostle compared the church body to a physical body in 1 Corinthians 12:12–26. I’ve selected portions of the passage for you to ponder:

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. . . . Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. . . . But our bodies have many parts . . . . The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. . . . And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen . . . . This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

Healthy bodies work seamlessly and cohesively, moving smoothly, swiftly, and without pain. However, when damaged, bodies become rigid, tight, and everything hurts.

As a result, our whole structure is compromised because it automatically compensates to protect itself. We use what we have available to get a job done, right? By doing so, we are really causing more damage.

In the long run, we’ve set ourselves up for a huge setback.

Let Me Hear from You

For this week, let’s talk about your physical body. How are you treating it?  Do you make time for checkups or untimely exams? Do you address what is hurting you? Or, are you avoiding it all because it’s really not that big of a deal . . . YET?

I want to pray for you while I’m lying on that massage table. Please let me know one or two things you have been putting off. What will happen if you don’t attend to your physical health? What needs to be addressed for you to live fully and abundantly?

Next week we’ll talk about a different body we have.

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