Am I Walking My Talk?
Walk the talk. Talk the Talk. Walk the walk.
I would be willing to wager that you have heard this phrase before, or at least some version of it. The idea behind it is the same, I believe. The message is the importance to live the words you speak. Meaning, how authentically do you speak and how genuinely do you live the words that you speak? This is what we will explore in this post.
As someone who promotes relaxation through the craft of massage therapy the past two decades, I have found that doing more is not a healthy or productive way to approach life and business. I tend to be a fairly busy person. I have proudly juggled home, family, business, clients, volunteerism and more. I would go all day long and then collapse late in the evening. The truth is that I didn’t always find satisfaction in a day of busy activities.
A Recent Challenge
About eight months ago, I started struggling with chronic head pain. I described it that way rather than as a headache. I’ve had headaches in the past and this was different.
I could not figure out what was causing the pain, but strangely it seemed to manifest late afternoon or evening. Something as simple as a sneeze or cough would trigger the pain in my head. As the months dragged on and on, it was definitely taking its toll on my quality of life. I kept thinking this pain would go away. It did not.
As a few months passed, I finally went to see my general practitioner. I felt a little embarrassed because it was hard to describe and felt like I had little in the way of details to help figure it out. We eliminated high blood pressure because I had been documenting my readings for about 3 months with nothing out of range. My high blood pressure meds were still working well. Her comment was “These are very strange headaches.” And thus began the journey to other medical professionals to look for answers.
Still, those answers did not come. I visited a neurologist. I visited an ophthalmologist. I underwent an MRI, a MRA, and a MRV. I went for physical therapy. All these visits, tests, and appointments did not produce any answers whatsoever.
Finding an Answer
When something becomes chronic, I am driven to do research, to find an answer, and hopefully relief. In researching the possible reasons for my chronic head pain, I experienced the frustration of no answers.
I sought out Western medicine without result. I depended on my own profession to receive massages. I enjoyed going for floats in my favorite float tank. I attended webinars to learn bodywork stretches or techniques so that I could help myself relieve tension.
The challenge when doing several strategies at once is knowing which one, if any, are producing any kind of positive result. When you do not receive a positive result, the search becomes exhausting and feels fruitless.
What I have determined from what I have experienced is helpful to me. It may not be the answer for others, but that is the gift. Learning to be present to the body, mind, and spirit and being aware of changes, whether good or bad, is important.
What is the Lesson?
So what is the lesson I have learned? It is multi-layered, I believe.
First of all, I have learned that caring for myself is not selfish. I can’t tell you how many times I have told others that very statement and have shared it in numerous social media posts and newsletters!!!! It reminds me of the ancient proverb, Physician heal thyself. There are many statements and pieces of advice I have shared with clients but neglected to really embrace for my own health, wellness and well-being physically, mentally and emotionally.
The second lesson is about paying attention to the messages your body is sending you. Don’t ignore something that is becoming chronic. Pain is a signal that should not be ignored. When I am noticing more neck pain or discomfort in certain movements, I know now that I need to take a break from the computer screen or quilting position.
Yes, there are some people who become hypochondriacs and want to share every detail about every ache and pain. That is not what I am talking about. What I am referring to is how we can sort of turn off those signals when we aren’t sure what they are trying to tell us. We override the signal, trying desperately to ignore it or push it away. We love to have answers and we love to be in control. Pain often does not provide solutions to either of those desires.
I discovered this article by Dani Sheriff on Working Against Gravity which has great content. I urge you to check it out, but here is a small excerpt:
Tips to respond to what your body is saying.
Once you listen, you must respond! Some simple responses are:
· Sleeping more
· Taking a day off work or the gym
· Doing a few days of scaled workouts
· Adding in gentle, nourishing movement like walks or easy swimming
· Assessing your nutrition and focusing on high-quality food
· Getting tested for vitamin deficiencies and supplementing
· Getting a massage or acupuncture
· Reading or doing meditative practices to rest your mind
What is my plan?
My plan is to be vigilant and disciplined in executing the stretches, exercises, and wellness modalities that have been helping me feel better. The head pain is now infrequent and minimized. That’s the good news!
I have learned the MELT method using a foam roller and small balls, and isometric stretches from my physical therapist. I have supplementation from my chiropractor that is helpful, and wellness practitioners who listen and give me valuable feedback. They listen to my input instead of offering a quick and simple diagnosis. Hearing a comment that there is no cure from a professional is not helpful.
How Can I Help You?
Providing wellness and relaxation is what brings me great joy. I am grateful that I GET to make myself available to listen and serve as a Relaxation Concierge and massage therapist. I am grateful that I can help others when they need to find solutions like I have needed to find relief for my chronic head pain.
Being able to use my own experience and wellness journey makes me more able to help others when they have what seems like an unanswerable question.
You can reach out through the website, Facebook business page (BeWellAndRenew), or Messenger.
My wish is always for you to . . .