Enough. I am tired of hearing 40 and 50 year olds complain about their age and using it as an excuse for their lack of activity. It’s a BS excuse and a lie you keep telling yourself over and over.
I am writing this article as a shout out to those of you who have been told that you need to stop running, jumping, lifting or just plain living because you have bad knees, hips and shoulders. This article is for those of you that have been told that you need to take it easy because your favorite sport is too “high impact”. This article is for all of you who have been told that your body aches and is in pain because of your age.
Consider for a moment that maybe your symptoms are not due to wear and tear, or old age. Use the checklist at the end of this article to explore new ways of thinking that empower healing and joint repair within your body.
THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL
As a Chiropractor, I get to hear all sorts of stories of people who have been riddled with injuries, pain, and arthritis. Whether its from torn tendons, rotator cuff problems or spine injuries from all the sports we played at children- the pain and injuries that people often complain about the most include chronic shoulder, hip, lower back pain and neck pain. People quite often blame their lack of physical activity on injuries or the wear and tear from high impact running, squatting with heavy barbells, hours on the elliptical and treadmill, and countless hours spent working on the yard.
Everyone has the best “knee doctor”. Everyone has a “shoulder guy”. By the time someone comes to me, they’ve been to the best “surgeon” or “orthopedic”. What’s funny is the best always seem to give the same advice: “taking it easy.” And when the experts validate the belief that wear and tear has taken its toll on your body by telling you that your knees, hips, and shoulders are not meant to be pounded on consistently; your brain rewires this lie for truth. And despite the rest and withdraw from physical activity that these people have take from their “high impact activities”, their health and fitness continue to dwindle and they are no longer able to perform their favorite activities without pain or limitation.
But I want you to know that you can absolutely change it. Your knees, hips, back, and shoulders can be pain free. You can perform high-impact activities five to six days a week such as weight lifting, running hills and long distances, and even water sports. You can achieve a status of injury free and enjoy physical activity the rest of your life.
And if you don’t change it… then I’d rather you be in pain from movement and activity and enjoying the activities you love, rather than being in pain and spending the rest of your life in limbo.
MOVEMENT IS MEDICINE
I have seen people make a 180 degree shift in their thinking that set them on a physical 180 degree shift in health. There is something transformative when you go from stinking thinking such as “My body has been ruined from high impact activities.” to realizing that there is actually nothing wrong with these activities, and in fact, your body is supposed to be able to move and perform at a high level regardless of age. When you take a global look at your body and begin to realize that your chronic ailments are simply symptoms of joint misalignments and muscular imbalances, you can begin to take ownership of your body and work on correcting it with daily corrective exercises. I personally have taken daily actions since 2002 to fix and heal my own body, I never skip a day of doing my posture exercises. This process has not been a passive or a fast one by any means! But I can confidently say that my body is stronger, more flexible and durable than 10 years ago.
The science of Physiology has taught us that the human body has the ability to heal itself, if given the chance, and I have hundreds of not thousands of files of peoples who are breathing proof that this is possible. Today, I believe that we don’t ruin our bodies by moving, instead we ruin our bodies by not moving.
Movement is my “healthcare plan” for remaining pain and injury free. And as I get older, my body will continue to get younger by most peoples standards. My range of motion and ability to function the way the human body was designed to move without limitation and with total freedom will continue to expand.
Shift Your Stinking Thinking
Now, how can we determine if it’s your body or your brain that is broken?
If you are suffering from chronic pain or old injuries, take a moment to write down the thoughts that you tell yourself consistently every day. And yes… literally write them down because then you won’t be “actively participating” and if that’s the case, I can’t help you! Professionals do the work. So be a pro for your body and do the work! So…
Step 1: Write down your self-talk. Write down the things you tell yourself as to why you are not being physical or refraining from participating in a certain activity.
Step 2: Ask yourself the questions: Are these thoughts empowering? Do these thoughts honor my body’s ability to heal itself the way my body is supposed to heal itself? Is it the physical activity itself that is causing the problem, or is it something you can correct internally?
Step 3: Write down alternative thoughts and mindsets you could adopt that could lead to healing and getting the most benefit from the healing modalities that are available to you. Is there something you can be doing everyday to improve movement during the activity? Do you lack the joint flexibility to participate? Do you need to improve your endurance to handle the stress? Can you improve strength?
We all have the same innate abilities within ourselves to heal, and the brain is the most powerful vehicle for facilitating this process of healing within ourselves.
Maxwell Maltz was a plastic surgeon who wrote the book Psychocybernetics) said it best:
We are engineered as goal seeking mechanisms. We are built that way. When we have no personal goal which we are interested in and which “means something” to us, we are apt to “go around in circles”, feel “lost” and find life itself “aimless” and “purposeless”. We are built to conqueror environment, solve problems, achieve goals and we find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conqueror and goals to achieve. People who say that life is not worthwhile are really saying that they themselves have no personal goals which are worthwhile.
If you have the belief that your body is broken and you cannot do anything about it- then you need to rewire your circuits, because it’s just not true. The best part about all this, is that the brain is designed to be rewired. In fact, your self image is just a bunch of neurons and circuits that can be rearranged. If you currently have a self image of being broken by age or old injuries, then you’ve got a brain problem; not a body problem and you are in desperate need of brainwashing! Neuroscientists call the process of rewiring neural connections brainwashing. And how do you brainwash? By performing the activities listed in Steps 1-3 above. You literally have to make it a habit to soak up and concentrate on new thoughts.
Ultimately, your health, diagnosis or treatment outcome is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. Health is your greatest asset and failure to invest in your health daily has its consequences. I hope each and everyone of you read this article from top to bottom and then re-read it over and over and even share it with your friends. I hope you make the decision to free yourself from the chains of bad beliefs and negative neural connections. But most of all, I hope you take this information and execute.