I Crack The Body Electric
I just went to my first ever chiropractic appointment. It was kind of funny, there was a simmering resentment of the medical profession in the office - everyone I met, at some point, made some crack like, "Well, that's our lovely medical industry for you..."
Even so, the chiropractor I saw was a friendly bloke that I met at the race I did last week. He was somewhat amazed that I finished a tri with my bum shoulder, but definitely agreed it was separated and needs to be dealt with. First, he hooked me up to some mad-science devices that measure the temperature and electrical conductivity of musculature in the spine... which all turned out pretty normal with one minor deviation. Then he did a more thorough examination of my back and shoulder.
All my life I've been self-conscious of the fact that I have a very erect posture (Huh huh - I said, "erect") because of the curve in my lumbar. It curves pretty sharply inward, and I figured I was a mutant freak. But the chiro tells me that's a very good thing. Anyway - he did a few minor adjustments after making me watch a six minute corporate-training-type video about what chiropractic is, and how it can help. ("Your Testes and You" kept flashing through my head from Johnny Dangerously) It really did feel like he was trying to break my neck, you know? My back and neck cracked in alarming ways, and he tugged here, pushed there, and moved my shoulder in some weird angles until it hurt. Then he told me to spend a few minutes a day dangling from door jambs. Seriously.
I walked out thinking "I really dont' feel any different" - but now, a few hours later, my shoulder definitely feels tender and sore, which is what I would expect if we're trying to forcibly jam it back down into it's socket. Hopefully this stuff actually works. One thing that was really interesting was learning where all the nerves that control all the various important bits (not that there are any unimportant bits) are, where they lead, and what can cause weird symptoms. Sure, none of those things are affecting me, but some day when I learn the Iron Buddha Palm technique, or maybe the Fluttering Swallow Chop, or something like that - I can tap someone on the back and cause a kidney failure. Wouldn't it be even cooler if you could cause like.. strange hunger cravings? "Ha - I have struck you with my Seven Continents Blow - now you will crave sweet potato pie until the end of your days!"
While waiting in between adjustments, I meditated a bit, and realized that feeling the flow of ki comes much harder today than it used to, probably because I spend so little time in meditation. I'm going to make an effort to spend some more time every day, not just in meditation, but also in just sitting and thinking and percieving the flow of my thoughts, also. I heard an interview about meditation on the radio the other day, and the interviewer, a meditation teacher, said something to the effect of "Meditation doesn't have to be yogic, or spiritual, or anything of the sort. A lot of value can come just from listening to your own thoughts for a few minutes a day, and try and figure out if there's a pattern to your thoughts, where they come from, and what they mean. Many people are afraid to spend time simply sitting - because they're afraid of their own thoughts, and so they seek constant stimulation."
I wonder if it's fear of my own thoughts that keeps me on the go? So, in order to examine that, I'm going to spend more time, not just in ki-breathing and yogic meditation, but also in just sitting. Zazen, but even stoopider, I guess.