How To Take Care of Yourself
This was originally going to be a “review” of my recent trip to High Five Hand Therapy, but let’s talk about something much more important. I think we’re all really bad, or out of touch, when it comes to recognizing our physical and mental/emotional well-being. There are so many people who try to talk themselves into their condition being worse than it is and there are others who try to convince themselves that something serious isn’t so bad. As a result of our extremism in this realm, we often end up ignoring our issues and failing to deal with them properly. At the end of the day, that lack of awareness turns into negligence and eventually makes our problems worse, often creating even more problems.
As a professional in this field, this is always on my mind, but it can be hard to communicate with clients since so many people can take it the wrong way. Instead of being reasonable and level-headed, in an effort to create a sound plan to reach a goal, most people take offense to any kind of feedback and in the end, they end up suffering more. We’re all victims of it, to a certain degree, myself included. This was made aware to me, or more aware, during and after my trip to this therapy spot in Garden Grove, CA, which is really far from where we live. Still, since health is an important investment, I decided to take the time and money to go, and I’m glad I did.
Back to what we mentioned earlier… so many people think they have it so bad. One of the guys, who was a bit ridiculous in general, asked if he had the “worst (insert some muscle) knots” that they’ve ever seen. I could tell that the therapist wanted to laugh, but he calmly responded, “no.” How dense can you be to think you’re the worst case of anything? There’s obviously a huge disconnect there. This customer, who clearly had a low pain threshold also tried justifying his inability to deal with the treatment by making claims that his abundance of muscle and the difficulty of his workouts means it hurts more on him. Again, the very pragmatic therapist politely said, “no, not really.” Instead of always trying to compare yourself to other people, the first step to take when trying to improve your own health is by focusing on yourself. Be present in your own body and mind, rather than seeing if you’re superior or inferior to those around you.
The thing is, everyone has a story, and you’re not going to know nearly enough about anyone else to be able to make a fair comparison, so don’t bother doing it! The same goes when you’re in the gym… just focus on yourself because watching other people is (most likely) only going to be BAD for you!
Next step: Be completely honest with yourself about your story to recognize your issues or go get conclusive tests completed to know exactly what is wrong… MRIs, X-Rays, etc. You can only create the right rehab/training plan to fix those issues if you know what is actually wrong. Depending on the severity of the problem, you might consider something as serious as surgery or something as practical as stretching. Treatment can include: surgery, physical therapy, personal training, e-stim, Tiger Balm, hot tub, stretching. It really depends on the severity and nature of the problem. I walked into this place thinking that I’d never be 100% without surgeries on torn labrums and rotator cuffs, etc, but the truth is…
I HAVE NOT BEING DOING ENOUGH OF THE EASY STUFF TO SET MYSELF UP FOR SUCCESS. And I know better, so I don’t have any excuses other than being lazy or not in the right place mentally/emotionally. Sure, I need a few more sessions to really grind down the knots that have been developing for years in my rhomboids, but if I stretched every day, they probably wouldn’t be as bad as they are now. If I didn’t film crazy pull-up videos when I’ve been having problems with my right arm, the bursitis in my elbow wouldn’t have been as bad as it is. We try to make excuses for why things are so bad, and tell ourselves we can’t afford things like surgery due to time and money, but we’re not doing enough of what (nearly) anyone can do.
Want to know how to take care of yourself? Here are the steps you should take to get a better hold of your state of well-being:
1. Think about your past injuries and consider their current state. (Are they healed, have they been bothering you?)
2. Seek medical assistance with conclusive results for anything you’re unsure about from step one. (TESTS… blood work, x-ray)
3. Seek specialized professional assistance to figure out the results of the tests and the best steps forward. (Surgery, pt, etc.)
4. Work with a physical therapist, occupational therapist or personal trainer depending on the severity of the issue.
5. If it is less serious, consider using e-stim at home, muscle rubs (tiger balm) and proper exercises (stretches).
6. Monitor progress and avoid any more damage (don’t do anything reckless!)
I’ll be heading back to that therapy spot when they open their new location in Koreatown next month, but until then it is 100% my responsibility to take care of my calves, rhomboids, and other problematic areas to make their job and my life much easier. Being aware of your body and mind is key to staying hungry and fit for a long, long time!