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Teachable Bruises

March 17, 2011

Today began with a visit to my chiropractor – well, one of my chiropractors.  I’d been going to Dr Niceguy for years before I hurt my mid-back last year, but for some reason, despite the miracles he’d worked on my headaches and TMJ, my frequent visits were getting me nowhere this time. On the advice of a fellow Ashtangi, I started going to Dr Roughhouse, who within a few weeks made demonstrable progress on what was by that time a three month old injury.  But if you’re hurting yourself in yoga, you need a chiropractor (or physical therapist or doctor or osteopath or some practitioner) who practices yoga to tell you exactly how you’re hurting yourself, and more importantly how to stop.

Being adjusted by someone who knows yoga is great. Being adjusted by someone who teaches yoga and knows your practice and who has a shiny new set of Graston tools is… miraculously, agonizingly effective.  These various stainless steel torture devices are used to shred scar tissue within the muscles and fascia, inflicting a few moments of excruciating pain before a wave of relief washes over the affected muscle and range of motion is almost instantly returned.  A few hours later, a predictable dull ache settles over the general area of treatment, where it will remain for a day or so, after which a feeling of increased spiffiness should return.

There’s also bruising.  Having been a fairly well-behaved child and an extremely awkward teen, I am as unaccustomed to a bruised ass as I am to a hickeyed neck.  I have both right now, thanks to Dr Yoga.  Because I had many areas of tension, and because she is thorough and meticulous, I am sore pretty much everywhere, and am black and blue to boot.

This therapeutic beating results in educational contusions which immediately alert me to the behaviors that caused those muscle adhesions in the first place.  Today I learned that my posture at work is a nightmare.  I tilt back on my bum and round my kyphotic little lumbar spine, as the wide blue spots on my outer hips have repeatedly reminded me.  The raw spots on my neck and shoulders say “Hey there!  Who’s a slouchy girl?” while the tender bits on the back of my neck chide me, “chin jutting is unattractive, and signals aggression.” My biceps even seem to have beef with the death grip with which I wield my pen.  I’ve learned that I lean too much, cross my legs too often, and seem to spend an awful lot of time with my right leg pulled up under my left hip, tipping my pelvis like an unlucky dozing cow at the hands of a drunken rural high schooler*.

Meanwhile, I look like I made out with an overeager liger, or perhaps tried to steal a badger’s lunch.

So now I must adjourn to go write “I will not slouch” a hundred times on the blackboard.  With shoulders well-aligned and an easy grip on the chalk…  If only my mother had spanked me more as a child when I ignored her pleas to “stand up straight!”  Those bruises might have prevented these ones.

* I grew up in a small dairy farming town.  I’ve only seen drunken high schoolers try to tip cows once.  Cows are heavy.  Real heavy.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 21, 2011 1:46 pm

    oh I loved this post! I have a chiro is Dr Agony but wow, does he get the job done. He doesn’t use any tools except his poiky elbows. And he rarely cracks anything. I suffered for years before I found him. The first session he found the exact spot on my hip that needed work, dug in while I writhed in pain, and then voila! flood of relief. Big ugly bruise ensued but who cares! I was released! You’ve reminded me that I need an appointment.

    BTW, for some strange reason your blog is showing up on my blogroll as last updated six months ago. Could be Blogger or could be WordPress, dunno, but I better enter an email subscription so I can keep up!

    • March 21, 2011 8:01 pm

      Oh, my massage therapist has a thousand elbows, all of them very pointy!

      I recently cleaned up the categories on some older posts, because, like most Ashtangis, I’m pretty OCD like that… I wonder if WordPress got all confused when I did that?

      Hope Dr Agony treats you well 🙂

  2. March 23, 2011 10:09 am

    Your analogies are hilarious!

    • March 23, 2011 8:51 pm

      Why thank you! And may I say, you write a damn fine book review. Just took a look at your blog – if I can still stand yoga when I’m done with all my teacher training reading, I might just check “Stretch” out!

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