“You and I can hang out and clear some dysfunction.”
Now there's an offer that’s hard to refuse.
My rehabilitation trainer spent her weekend in a course targeting the jaw and how it connects to other muscles in the body. And, more specifically, how to address issues arising when one’s TMJ isn’t normal. Clearly I came to mind.
In the gym on Monday she reviewed a few new insights and then said, “Everyone in the class agreed that you and I have a lot of work ahead of us.” Observing the look on my face, she quickly added, “In the best way, of course.”
Of course. Would I really believe that 35 years of musculoskeletal dysfunction could be fixed in one session?
Years ago I heard someone say that dysfunction works until it doesn’t work for one person. (Sadly, I can’t recall who said it!) The statement significantly shifted my view on the topic and God continues to use my physical circumstances to illustrate.
For three decades my TMJ slowly broke down and over time other muscles began to compensate. My neck bore the majority of the added strain which pulled on my shoulders and misaligned my back. The effects followed down to my feet. Prior to jaw surgery everything hurt and nothing worked as originally designed. One area of dysfunction permeated the whole.
But surgery happened. The intervention took place.
My entire body felt the ramifications of change as old strategies for coping no longer worked. Asking it to adjust to new patterns of correct movement and stability is arduous. Shifting impaired or abnormal functioning to healthy behavior and choices requires commitment.
It began with identifying the source of the problem, or, at the very least, the symptoms of dysfunction. I continue to make decisions to strengthen one muscle knowing that others will be impacted and react. Some will ease into their new role while others spasm and fight every move toward health.
I appreciate the metaphor this systemic awareness provides and find myself asking, “Are there other areas of my life where the principles apply?” “Am I willing to endure some ‘muscle strain’ for the good of growth in both myself and those I love?”
I’ll ponder those questions as I head back to the gym.
With love and gratitude,
In The Midst