Be The Experiment

I Want Answers!

I believe deeply in bodywork, movement and health practices in general.  It is possible to significantly improve your life through becoming acquainted with your body.  Often though I find myself questioning the true benefit of any individual modality.  When looking for concrete answers to questions concerning health it seems both the internet and science have this crazy parallel where you can basically go down any rabbit hole and find contradictory information that either reinforces a bias or makes the topic of consideration sufficiently ambiguous to paralyze the decision making process.  Want 6 pack abs?  Want to find out which massage modality is best for low back pain?  What diet is best for diabetics?  Good luck reading the internet or poring through research on PubMed!  You will almost certainly go crazy with the endless nuance of it all and very likely will still not have a clear answer.  What if the fact that there is no clear answer is the actual answer?  

Who Are You and Where Are You Coming From?

I know your neighbor lost 30lbs eating Paleo but he is a 40 year old male and was on the diving team in college and you are a mother of 3 with no history of organized movement.  Is it crazy to think you will have different considerations and that different diet / exercise / self care routines will get you where you'd like to go?  We are unique snowflakes after all and the path to your goal rests on the somehow complicated process of clearly defining where you are now (Point A) and where you would like to end up (Point B).   

Point A

Although Point A is sometimes overestimated by the snowflake in question I often find the self evaluation process is charged with negative comparisons to either past iterations of oneself or to unrealistic comparisons with others.  I recommend you sit down with pen and paper, roll up your sleeves and attempt to define Point A through the lens of the past year of your life.  Not someone else's and not some long ago idealized version of you. 

Point B

Point B is equally difficult to determine.  Maybe the aging process somehow won't let you move forward.  Maybe you are convinced that pain, movement restriction and that accumulated spare tire are all normal parts of aging.  Without getting on a soap box for this one, I'll simply call bullshit.  Your body's ability to change is what got you here and it is what can move you forward.  The trick is to choose manageable goals that fit within the context of your life and then do the work.  Build on the success of these goals and keep pushing.  Slow, consistent progress.  

So what am I saying here? 

I'm saying that you have to experiment.  The edges are fuzzy and the outcomes aren't guaranteed.  There's not really a shortcut to the experimentation process when it comes to finding what works.  The caveat is that you have to be consistent with any endeavor and actually give it the opportunity to work.  I know people who thrive on crossfit.  I also know people who thrive on yoga...or dance...or walking around the lake in the morning.  There is no one size fits all solution!  I wish it were that easy.  What it really comes down to is honestly giving something a try.  That means sticking to the process long enough to see if it works for you.  If you think Acupuncture is a possible solution to your insomnia then my humble recommendation is to get off the internet and try it out!  Not once or twice but maybe once a week for 6 weeks?  The epiphany may be that acupuncture is not for you.  Not a problem.  Give Tai Chi a shot or possibly watch less TV in the evening.  Be the experiment.  

The take away is that to solve problems or meet specific goals in life there will most likely be some level of experimentation required.  Boundaries will need to be gently but firmly pushed.  You might start discover that the "problems" you are looking to fix are simply avenues of discovery into a dense world of solutions.