I’ve been happy for the past couple of days, and I think it’s because the antidepressant is kicking in. I even did a couple of minutes of sitting meditation yesterday. Also, yesterday I saw a physical therapist that I really like. He felt my back and told me that my cancer side felt like a washboard whereas the other side felt like a “violin string”, and that both sides should be feeling like violin strings. He said the washboard side, because it’s so tight, is weakened. That is why I have so little back endurance, one side is getting overtaxed.
He also said that mastectomies make me tight across my chest and pull my shoulders in and forward, and not back. That discourages good posture.
We went over what I’ve been doing at the health club, and he ranted about how health clubs cater to some definition of average person and can’t accommodate anyone who deviates from that. He said even the back program I’ve been doing hasn’t been doing anything for my back. He told me never to do chest presses again. I should instead be doing rows (strengthening the back instead of the chest).
He gave me exercises to do, rolling my back on a foam roller to stretch it back, and also leg and arm raises that strengthen my hips. Hips apparently are important to back repair because they lay the foundation for good posture. If the foundation collapses, the rest of the column doesn’t stand a chance for supporting itself in alignment.
I love seeing a practitioner that gives me a feeling of confidence that he knows exactly what’s causing my pain and how to make it better. Most physical therapists that I’ve been to have sent me through a standard set of stretches and sent me home, still in pain, saying “we’ve done all we can do for you.” As sophisticated as our world seems to be in medicine, we’re depressingly backwards in truly understanding how the human body works. Holistics is still a third world concept that few doctors acknowledge as a viable alternative. Health insurance certainly doesn’t!
It’s a rare practitioner that can combine human sensitivity with science. We need to have a new field of medical diagnostics called Human Whisperer which bridges this gap between scientific medicine and holistics and acknowledges that not every problem can be solved with medications and surgeries, and acknowledges that just because my problem can’t be seen on an x-ray doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.