Teeter-Totter Times

When you reach age 50 (or so I recall… it’s been awhile), you’ve hit the theoretical apex of the body's teeter-totter: Before 50, most usually experience aches and pains and other “what is that?” moments and often ignore them. Once the end of the teeter-totter tilts downward after 50, the frequency and concern over aches and pains increases, becoming more challenging to overcome.

It’s not the age… it’s the maintenance. - Anon

I’ve worked on such challenges in a variety of ways since the end of my teeter-totter began slowly dipping closer to the ground. But since passing the Big 7 moment last month, it's time to shift my approach again.

Started a program last week with a local, well-thought-of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctor. Ostensibly to resolve some stubborn issues, the stretch goal is to proactively and holistically regain balance in my body's systems. Hoping this is the "one," and finally sticking good behaviors to keep that wood-worn teeter-totter from bouncing on the ground. We’re never too old to lose weight, improve flexibility, cure annoying stomach gurgles, etc. Or so they say. We'll see.

No stranger to eastern health solutions, having spent three years working with Ayurvedic practitioners. I expect my dive into TCM to reset will be similar and easy (for me) to adopt and embrace.

Expectations met? On adapting? Yes, so far. Without body complaints? Nope. Added to the TCM's clinic and herbal costs is the unexpected necessity of weekly massages to quiet screaming joints, moaning muscles, and heretofore silent body parts now protesting in their ways.

Never thought simple energy movements (think Tai Chi) could initially be so painful, and humbling from my inability to bend and flex. My Chinese doctor via video shows how to do the ten daily morning energy movement exercises. In one of the last movements, he sits on the ground with legs spread, then bends at the waist, reaches and holds his toes, instructing "Try to touch knee with chin." Chin to knee? Will he settle for my measly 5 degree bend at the waist with a wistful sigh, knowing damn well my chin will never tap my knee and become touching buddies. I suspect most newbie program patients live the same fate and can't bend their bodies either like a well-cooked udon noodle.

The effort for this new direction will be worth it. Patience tells me this will take a while, where impatience wonders why. Yet that part of my mind, ever-waiting to voice "I told you so!", reminds me it took many years to "achieve" this inflexible, imbalanced condition, so "Don't expect a magic bean: It worked for Jack, but you... not so much."

Time will tell if this approach is what's been missing. I know this is just the new kid in town, the latest in a long string of intentions, a proverbial line of tombstones marking the demise of many, many earlier approaches or programs. Each seemed like "It" but eventually had their names carved in stone.

I am encouraged by this one so far, yet realise my teeter-totter will never be back to level. The actual goal is to keep it off the ground as near to level as I can, which equates to becoming healthier. Can't ask for better than that.

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