I recently decided to have my 8 year chronic back pain evaluated. After the MRI, the doctor said I have a protruding and desiccated disc between lumbar vertebraes 4 and 5. He suggested physical therapy or yoga. Yoga appeals to me because my pain is definitely worse when I am tense. I recently discovered through reading online that the 2 psoras muscles line the last thoracic vertebra and all of the lumbar ones, terminate in the upper femur, and are indirectly connected to the diaphragm. If one side is tighter than the other, then many things get messed up. Imitating the poses in this youtube video really helps my back feel more relaxed, flexible, and pleasantly warm.

One of the explanations for why we have trouble with this area is that this muscle is very sensitive to our fight or flight response. Perceived threats, either physical or psychological, will cause us to tighten this muscle. If we feel under threat all the time, or if there is actual trauma, it can lead to disc problems. I don’t know which is the case for me. Disc dessication is a degenerative problem that usually happens in people older than me. I was a nurse lifting heavy bodies, for a year while going through divorce, I drove a school bus with a seat that severely tilted down to the right, and 8 years ago, I was under a lot of stress regarding some relationships not in my immediate family.

So now I’m trying to learn to relax and strengthen my back. Some people warn against yoga because of its tie to Buddhism. I can see a temptation to adopt a head in the sand, nothing is real mentality. But at the same time, I see value in letting go. Maybe it’s my stage of life as my nest is emptying that I need to learn to let go. But, I also believe everyone is commanded to be anxious for nothing. I wonder at the nation’s constant obsession with 24 hour coverage of distressing events. I don’t think we should ignore these things, but at the same time, I think we do need to learn to give them to God. I am leaning away from activism for many reasons.

One, it seems that these godless, chestless days are prophesied, and therefore inevitable. Two, I think living by example is more convincing than arguments or confrontation (so what is this, ha ha). Three, I think stories are more influential than arguments. Four, I think most of society’s problems stem from a religious point of view, not a social theory, though that is influenced by religion too. Five, I think that personal relationships are the only way to help people, not a vacuously constructed government entity. Six, too much focus on problems will tighten your muscles too much. Seven, God is bigger than the boogey man, as Vegie Tales say. An Orthodox clergyman said, as the world gets worse, heaven gets stronger. Therefore, I think we should learn to let it go to God, and if I’m wrong, and changing laws is the answer, I’ll let go of the shame of your bad opinion as well. God bless you.

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