Thursday, January 15, 2015

I'm surprised I finished this in time

Man.. I think I may be the only person who was dreading winning the listserve.

Writing is very difficult you see. Over 4 years ago I developed what specialists ambiguously call "overuse syndrome". Unofficially thoracic outlet syndrome and occupational dystonia, brought on mostly by too much computer use.

I am constant pain with limited ability to do things with my hands, especially in a repetitive fashion. I can still take care of myself but anything computer, tablet, or phone related is especially problematic. I cannot even begin to explain the ways this has negatively affected my career (which I had to give up) and personal life. I can only share some things I learned along the way.

Exercise matters. Movement matters. Nutrition matters. I grew up thinking that exercise was a lifestyle choice. That movement beyond the basics was optional. Being slim I thought I didn't need to exercise or care about what I ate. That was for losing weight right? Or for people who are into sports. I was into reading or drawing or spending countless hours on the computer.

Movement is critical for human health though. It just IS. You can't sit most of the day and expect your body to maintain FULL range of motion, functional alignment and healthy muscle tone. Your body needs to walk and lift and carry and bend and climb and do a million other things that we don't do in our cubicles.

There are others that explain this way better than I can. Like Katy Bowman. She's amazing. I'm halfway through her book Move your DNA. I strongly recommend this to every human being out there.

All computer users should read 'Its Not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome' , also 'Pain Free' by Peter Egoscue. For any kind of pain 'The Trigger Point Workbook' by Clair Davies.

As far as food goes 'Deep Nutrition' by Dr Cate Shanahan blew my mind. Also check out 'Latest In Paleo' podcast even if you are not into paleo. Host Angelo Copolla is thoughtful, eloquent and unbiased. I can't recommend it enough.

I'm excited by the Food Is Free project. Also Ron Finley of South Central LA deserves a serious shout out. Google his website and Ted Talk. We need more people like this.

I wish I had a success story that included how these challenges led to great changes in my life. How I found an awesome new life path, or cured my ailments and now help others, or even met an amazing guy to start a family with and live happily ever after.

Unfortunately I can say none of those things. But I keep looking. And so should you.

If you are in pain don't give up. Keep trying new things. And get your body moving, however you can.

I'd love to hear from anyone that has had success dealing with RSI or TOS in particular.
If anyone knows of any fantastic physical therapy places.. health retreats.. where can one go to restore alignment and movement and function and strength? Where can one live amidst nature with an actual real community and grow and build things? I just want to get better and help others and be a part of something meaningful and exciting. But I don't know how. Is that too much to ask for?

PS, this email is made possible by Google speech. Please, people of Google, keep working on ways to make technology more hands free. Speech recognition helps, but it needs so much more improvement The less the human race has to type and hunch over devices the better.. Thank you.

Tam
frerev1789[AT]gmail.com
Albany NY

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