© Copyright 2004 by Lin Stone
|As an errand-runner to the drug store for my friends it seems like half the world is taking some kind of muscle relaxing chemical. I don't have the nerve to tell my friends what kind of damage they are doing to their bodies. So, I'll whip up on you instead. You don't mind, do you?|
I've been in constant muscular pain since the spring of 1963 when I encountered an alien windshield face to face. My joints freeze up; muscles tear in trying to live with it. Various health officials found about a dozen ways to help me RELAX, in spite of the curious affliction possessing me.
When I couldn't move one foot in front of another I was convinced to lie on a soft surface with my knees pressed as close to my chest as I could get them. A perpendicular and very solid surface kept my feet from sliding down, or up. Relax? WOW, I even went to sleep for a few hours! Don't get me wrong, it didn't cure anything, but it sure let me rest until I had the courage to go through a cure.
The cure is to stand behind a pickup, holding onto the tailgate as the truck inches forward, faster, then faster, as I indicate I can stand it. Sometimes it takes an hour or two, but sooner or later I can smile again.
The Shogun Shiatsu Kneading Massager hurts a lot less, and seems to do a lot more good in a shorter time frame. This little dude is a big, heavy duty KNEADING machine with fingers that get right down there and loosen those muscles up. The sound kind of reminds me of a roto-tiller hard at work in a garden of sandy loam. Even as a vigorously active child, I rested best when there was work around to get out of, so that added enhancement puts me right to sleep.
Since I did hit that windshield so hard my head bent plumb over past my shoulder I always start the Shiatsu massager out right behind my neck. Those fingers reach around that big knot of pain and dissolves it. Sorry about any advertising Shiatsu might have put out, it takes 15 minutes or so just to get that one knot down to a livable size. The good news is that once it is dissolved the pain doesn't come back for a week or so.
After I'm done with the neck I get the shoulders just for the fun of it, then I ask the handiest pretty woman to do the old backbone. Funny, here lately her name is always Marleen, and she does the cooking too.
Hitaali among the Dineh (Navajo) will tell you that the word for MEDICINE is FOOD. Their theory is that the less medicine you take in, the better off you are. Many Pindo scientists agree with them.
After taking just one dose of sacred corn meal and spruce ash mixed with crumbled piñon bark, all cooked in melted snow for no longer than it takes to do a DawnBoy Greeting while standing barefooted on an icy porch convinced me they were right; Less is definitely More, and I didn't need another dose of that medicine for 2 whole years!
Speaking of Less, ever since Marleen forcibly removed potatoes from my dinner plate all my joints ache far less often than before.
|I've never figured this one out, but I'll relate it anyway just in case you are as peculiar as I am. For some reason the high-speed vibration of hair clippers snipping, snipping away on my head puts me into the drowsing mode. Back when I was rich I'd go to the barber college and whenever I woke up I'd pay them by the hour for letting me sleep in the chair. They broke me of that habit when they let me sleep plumb through Labor Day Weekend. They didn't even furnish a pillow! I was so cricked up I had to take the pickup cure again.|
Some doctors ask me to take a hot shower, as hot as I can stand it. Others insist that high temperatures only let the bones slop out of place so it's better to take a cold shower, as cold as I can stand it. Neither version helps me one bit, so I disregard both bits of advice. If you believe doctors are gods, you can try either hot, or cold.
Now, you go into a Navajo sweat lodge and that's a different story. As the steam hisses to the ceiling, those poisons escape in rivulets, and your thoughts turn to hozho as your lungs capture more and more beauty from the steam.
A variation for those of you who drink is to bring a buddy along to find a ditchful of cold running water in the almighty hot month of August. Leave nothing but your head sticking out above the water and SIP your drink while lazily sharing bits of humor that stood you in good stead way back when the man in the moon was just a little boy.
For those who can afford it, biofeedback training is a good alternative, especially inasmuch as you actually learn to relax those muscles yourself. I tried it with a great psychologist as my instructor for over a month before my money ran out. No matter how well I did though, he would fiddle with some dials and start the agony screeching again. Oh, for a tumbler of hot oil.
The theory seems to be that your mind and body will work together to eliminate some audible shrieking buzz by finding a position that is more comfortable than a previous one. You learn to breathe deeper, unclench your jaws, toe your feet in, hunch shoulders forward and bend your spine backwards, all at the same time. Finally I realized that even if that position were socially acceptable I could not stand that much relief for more than a few minutes at a time. Since then I've found that Vic Conant (1 800 323 5552) offers a smaller version which works just as well, and costs a whole lot less. Any fiddling with the dials that gets done is done by meselfie. I relax a lot faster too, without that psychologist bending my buttons out of shape.
Yoga aficionados stoutly believe that breathing through different sides of your nose will give you different results. I agree that one side does suck easier than the other side, but I need both sides heaving at the same time and an open mouth bellows support besides to gulp enough air into my system in times of distinct pain.
Yoga came from India, and Beauty comes from the Indians known by the Euromericans as Native Americans. The Navajo believe the Indians from India originally wandered off across the Bering Strait, and forgot the whole system of breathing after they left here. Either way the foot traffic went, the two systems of breathing still compliment each other.
My personal hitaali adviser led me through a cleansing ritual first, then a breathing session next. "Forget you have a nose. Forget you have a mouth. Breathe beauty in through every pore of your body."
"Then push the poisons out?" I asked innocently.
He smiled at that.
"No, give back into the world that which IT needs. Breathe in beauty, peace, prosperity, give back kind thoughts, good ideas and appreciation."
It was more effective than a DawnBoy ceremony where you rainbow cast a stream of sacred cornmeal offering to the morning sun and promise to share what you have with the world. I learned to treasure up goodness as I brought air in from all over my body. I learned to add my own goodness to what I was giving back to the world.
"We are all related," he added in our talking circle later. "Some elephant in Africa has breathed the air you now take in. The porcupine down the road may use it next and pass it on to the trees as he takes food. You can call that which you need to you; you can give your internal wealth to those you love by starting it moving from you here, now."
He showed me how to physically breathe with my stomach instead of my lungs, calling health and strength that I might walk in beauty all that day. Practice it long enough and you can do that all day long, relaxing constantly. The Navajo don't gain wealth by hoarding up the air they breathe, but by letting it go back gently unto the night.
I've tried many roads to relaxation. Some worked well for a longer time than others. The one that works most consistently is the good old Shogun Shiatsu Kneading Massager. If that ever fails, you can always try the pickup cure again.
for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed professional in that particular field.
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