Friday, May 5, 2017

Compensatory Pain Or What Happens When We Overcompensate

I was in the acupuncturist's office and had just finished telling her that I was having pain on the left side of my body. She told me to lie down on the table. I did. Then she started probing around on the right side.

Thinking she had misheard me, from where my head was stuck in the crinkly paper hole, I gave a muffled, "No, it's the left side." Just as I said that, the acupuncturist found a tender spot on my right side and pressed into it, making me yelp.

She laughed. I didn't. "It's called compensatory pain," she said. When one side of the body is injured, the other side has to overcompensate and you can end up with both sides injured.

Compensatory pain might relate to physical pain, but it also is about  emotional pain and space—or lack thereof—in our lives. Let me give you another example.

One of my kids had surgery recently. We sailed through the surgery, days in the hospital, and recovery period. Piece of cake, right? Wrong. A few days after we got home, there was an emotional meltdown over something comparatively minor.

The meltdown was an outlet, a release valve. He'd used up all of his emotional resolve over the surgery and all of the unsettledness that came with it.

Our lives aren't meant to be out of balance. If you get a flat tire, you put a spare tire or donut on the car. It's meant to be a temporary fix, not a long-term solution.

That spare tire is only intended to get you to a repair shop, not take you the distance. If you drive on it for too long, you risk not only damaging it, but also the other tires and the car's suspension.

When driving on the spare, you're supposed to allow extra time for  braking and drive more slowly than usual - because you're not driving under intended conditions.

The same is true for life. 

If circumstances are such that, for whatever reason, you're not at maximum capacity, you need to take that into account.

You need more margin, more white space, for your body and mind.

Don't go barreling down the highway at 80 mph hellbent on avoiding all the rest stops, your body and your mind can't keep that up for a sustained period of time.

To go fast, you need to go slow.

It's easier said than done.

It's often the opposite of instinct or advice. How many times have we heard no pain, no gain?
That may might be quippy motivation for climbing a mountain or running a marathon, but life isn't a race.

The first one finished isn't the winner.

Happy weekend. I hope it's restful.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, where are you?? Come baaaaack! :) -K.