Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hope and Change!

I've never had  much faith in hope.  It occurs to me a simplistic,  positive thinking, mind over matter that somehow excuses one of not taking action or responsibility.  

I didn't  particularly intend for this blog to be about my back pain.  However, it is almost always on my mind.  I've been through just about all the standard therapies and then some.  I started with a major surgery soon after graduating from college. That was followed with my early adulthood spiritual quest.  Among other spiritual disciplines I explored Rolfing, acupuncture, chiropractic, yoga, tai chi, certain let's say-medicines, long distance running and cycling.   

Fast forward to the last dozen years and you can add five additional spinal surgeries, spinal decompression, traction and steroid epidural injections, ACT(active release therapy) etc.   

I'd pretty much given up and resigned myself to living out my days with this deteriorating spine.  That is until recently with my trip to see the shaman.  

So, looking back on my trip to Mexico I am starting to see that the theme was unacknowledged hope.   Hoping for a miracle.  Hoping for a magical cure.  No real action or responsibility. Rather a suspension of skepticism, an openness.  It was a fun adventure and I'm glad I went but I  can see a hole in the logic.  Just saying. 

I mentioned getting plenty of generous suggestions and recommendations from friends.  Earlier this year my sister, Rachel, emailed me the link to a review of a book called, Anatomy of Hope.  I skimmed it but it didn't make much of an impact at the time. 

She sent me the link again this week in light of my quest and for whatever reason I was much more open to it his time.  You can read the book review  here.

This review led me to Dr. James Rainville who has a spine clinic in Boston.  Here is an interesting (if you are dealing with back pain) article and youtube video here and here. Dr. Rainville's approach is counter-intuitive.  Rather than resting and protecting your back from pain, he runs a "Back Boot Camp" where you aggresively strengthen the muscles of the back with out regard to the pain.  Look at the youtube clip for a better explanation.

I think I found my next journey.  I'm planning a trip back east this fall to visit family and catch a few of my son's college hockey games.  I think I'll include a visit to Dr. Rainville to look into this hope thing. 

Update. I called and scheduled an appointment with the good doctor.  Should I warn him about my recent history with healers?  

Oh yeah, I was visiting a friend the other day and after telling her about my recent near miss with the shaman she offered me a few drops of healing water from Lourdes.  So I have that going for me.  

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