[Tripping On…] Physical Therapy Routines, Part 9

I’m winding down in the amount of new information I’m learning from physical therapy. It’s good because my headaches are a mirage from two weeks ago, but that means I’m spending a majority of my hour, heavily-discounted thanks to my insurance, going through the same neck, shoulder, and arm exercises until I reach fatigue – solo. That’s fine and I’m glad I’m not dotted on, but still, it’s different than it was before where I was…

I have three more sessions after this.

I could still go back but I’d need a doctor’s referral, or, my symptoms would have needed to not improve. I’m fine with this. This is the part in the narrative where we should take one last glance, fully-soaking in the scenery and people, before we say goodbye. We can always return, but the people will be different, and we’ll be different, too. After the twelfth session, I don’t have a need to return for headaches. If I need to go back to work on some currently-unforeseen physical circumstance, I know where to go, and I’ll return to the same place for dietary advisement, so I won’t be a complete stranger, but I won’t be going into the physical therapy area to do stretches or exercises.

I’ve learned to say goodbye as a contractor and through my writings.

The events that required me to attend physical therapy, the headaches, are not a positive event but my experiences there are overall positive. I had good conversations about fitness and literature, actually, while I was there, and I’m trying to attach myself stronger to positive events than negative. The routines I learned there helped me get out of that headache-riddled rut that nearly ruined me professionally and personally.

I knew many of the rowing warm-ups and ideas already.

It’s just now a matter of implementing the best of the workouts into my daily life. I can practice the neck stretches as I work and write. I can tilt my head as I was advised to the degrees I was recommended to proactively prevent any major neck dislodgements. I can move my back into better posture, where I can feel better support in my back, and I can feel the massage vest I’m currently wearing make better contact with my spine. I can rotate my shoulders in smaller variations of the larger motions I learned in physical therapy.

I can do these subtle routines along with bigger routines.

Practicing these routines on larger scales can help me do them on smaller scales, like when I’m in a boring meeting, watching a boring movie, or even on a boring commute somewhere. What might have led me into this poor state of physical health was probably a lack of respect in my physical condition, more out of wanting to forget my physical self than out of any maliciousness, so doing these stretches and exercises might, at first, force me to think about myself, but that is an important part of reality.

I don’t like thinking about breathing.

However, when I breathe in deeply or otherwise let the breathing flow in an automatic, natural way, life just feels better. Similarly, I might have to focus on my posture for only a few minutes at first before I find a more comfortable posture, then it becomes subconscious. Our bodies aren’t like tools where the more obtrusions we have the more likely we’ll want to replace them. We have to work through these obtrusions and minimize their impact on our lives. I’m trying to implement the physical therapy routines I’ve been “prescribed” by practicing them like this, casually, so I won’t have to wait to learn what to do when the events that required them to occur.

It’s becoming subtle enough now where I can do many of these routines at my desk.

I still need to dedicate more time to do the full sets, and may figure out ways to integrate them into my rowing sets since I do those at least twice daily now, again, but everything else I stretch or exercise as I notice they’re sore. I don’t need to wait for permission to stretch my arms, or legs – which we didn’t focus on – until they hurt now, but that does mean I end up wiggling around more at my desk. If that’s a distraction for others at work, whatever, and at home, I can wiggle around as much as I want for the limited amount of time I’m here.

It just means learning a good balance of outward wiggle and inward stretches.

When I first learned some of the stretches, which I call the robot and the snow-angel, I tried to figure out how to implement them into my day. Exaggerated shoulder stretches work well for me, and I hazard to recommend them to others, just because I was taught how to do these exercises under the advisement of heathcare professionals, whereas I’m just some dude that is trying to inspire people to get into better health by either working through their existing issues not helped by the American Healthcare System or through general inspiration.

If I would say anything, it would be practice what feels good and stop when it hurts.

That’s the general advice I’ve received from the physical therapists I’ve had recently, and personal trainer I had years ago, along with general fitness advice. If your shoulders feel sore, generally, it should be OK to do some light stretches to let the blood flow into that area, but again, that’s where if your shoulders hurt excessively, you shouldn’t try to do anything that will cause you sharp or dull pain unless you’ve been advised to do so by a doctor. Even though these physical therapy sessions are cheap for me, they’re still not free, and I don’t want any financial problems to incur because I wrote some stupid things about doing too much, someone hurts themselves, then I have to deal with the consequences.

But, practice your healthcare-advised routines.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My physical therapy, personal, and professional experiences.
Inspirations: Writing about my ninth physical therapy session and what I’ve learned in the short-term and what I’ll apply long-term, generally.
Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Picture: I didn’t think of making a template for the physical therapy essays, but this should be fine.
Written On: 2020 February 27 [11:05pm to 11:34pm]
Last Edited: 2020 February 27 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.