How I am going to get better from RSI.
My RSI Healing Plan
– Daily 3 min stretches
– Pilates three times a week
– affirmations and word watch
– emotional pressures detox
– diet: evening Primrose oil, ginger tea, no sugar
– graded activity
– reduce cortisol and adrenaline
This morning I posted my eight week RSI Healing Plan on the fridge. This is the way I am going to get better from my chronic RSI. I will post my progress here over the next two months.
(Yes, I am a bit of a plan girl. I function much better with reminders, to do lists and structured outlines plastered on the fridge.)
First on the list is a daily, 3 minute stretching programme, which I have pinched from the book, 3 minutes to a pain-free life. Maintaining the muscles and the tendons is apparently crucial to keeping them in good working order. I am doing the regular programme, however I am also looking at extra movements for problem areas such as shoulders, wrists and neck.
Next on the list is Pilates, which I think I can manage to do three times a week. Being hyper mobile, which means that my tendons are especially stretchy, I am more prone to injury than other people and the way to reduce the risk is to stay strong. I love Pilates and I have done it before, so this is a good pick for me.
Affirmations and watching how I speak about the problem is also apparently important, according to the book Explain Pain, which says that emotional messages and beliefs about pain affects how we feel it. So, for example, I will try to avoid saying things like, "it's just something I have to manage," or, "my RSI is chronic," which is what I have done in the first paragraph, ironically. Instead, I will say things like, "my shoulders and neck are getting better."
Detoxing my emotional pressure is a funny one. I have written before about how I was cured of a year of chronic pain in my arms simply by thinking. Dr John Sarno, in his book The Mindbody Prescription, argues that if emotional pain is suppressed and not thought about, it will surface as physical pain – chronic and unexplained – because the mindbody connection is so strong. Pain, of whatever kind, has to be expressed somewhere. Simply by bringing the emotional pain to the front of your mind, instead of pushing it down where it doesn't exist will bring relief to the physical symptoms. It worked for me.
Diet is important. I am back on my no sugar bandwagon and, having read that evening Primrose oil is good for joints, and ginger tea is good for inflammation, I am taking both of those.
Graded activity means simply, doing a little bit more every day. It is counter-productive to do nothing, in order to try to avoid pain, because it means that the muscles simply did not get used and therefore, whenever you start doing things again, the problems will recur, probably worse. I got this from physiotherapist I took my daughter to last week. She said to do a little bit every day, but never to get to the point where you are pushing through pain.
Making sure that my body is generally relaxed, and that my levels of cortisol are normal, will give the muscle cells a chance to heal. The physiotherapist pointed out that a cell swimming in a sea of cortisol and adrenaline is not going to heal as quickly as a cell in a more normal environment. The answer to this, is to lie down, shut my eyes, breathe deeply and simply feel and be aware of my body. The first time I did it, I could feel myself twitching at first. After 15 min of deep breathing, the twitching was much less.
Finally, I have given myself a time frame. Apparently normal muscle healing should take place within about two months. I have the space to write down how my tendons are every week for eight weeks. It should help to keep me on track with the healing steps. By week six, I am hoping that all pain will be gone and that I will be building strength only.