“Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you.”
God has given us amazing bodies, but too often, we neglect them. We need exercise, but for many it is difficult. And those who do have the time and energy often suffer from misalignment, repetitive stress and injuries.
Illness and aging are in large part caused by accumulated abuse of the body. I feel younger and stronger every day from a way of exercise I figured out myself, called “micro-exercise.” No matter how old one is, one can do what I do and get better.
Years ago, a friend mused “How do cats keep in shape? They can still jump when they’re old.” I started thinking on that. I was very crippled from arthritis from physical child abuse. My muscles had turned to stone. No doctor would have predicted I would recover, but I did. I share these things to show that my invention is founded in experience.
As I tried desperately to reverse my arthritis, I tried and observed many physical disciplines — from yoga to dance to tennis, etc. I noticed a flaw in all of them. There is too much repetitive motion, allowing for injuries. And the prescribed set positions ignore the in-between connections and small muscles.
In contrast, my invented exercise concentrates on the small connections. Instead of prescribed motions, it prescribes random motion. It influenced me to read that Ted Williams’ baseball talent was due to “microscopic vison.” That is what I am talking about, applied to the body.
Micro-exercise does not mean small motions, though it includes them. It means doing anything at all, from sports to walking to sitting on the couch, with consciousness of the small spots in the body.
I got into the idea of small spots in the body because there were so many that bothered me. There are thousands, millions, an infinity, of spots in the body that need attention.
Obviously, it is not possible to exercise with consciousness of the infinity of small spots in the body. But our amazing God-given muscle memory takes care of that. If you hit a spot even once, the body remembers and builds on that. If you reach a new position even the tiniest bit, the body remembers and is grateful.
As one works randomly all over the body, one becomes progressively more conscious. One finds causes for chronic problems. One finds tension one did not know one had, a huge cause of disease. One finds ways in which one has been using muscles wrong. One finds misalignment, and once one is conscious of that, it starts to change.
Everyone should do micro-exercise along with whatever else they do for physical activity. We should always move large and small muscles here and there even when resting. I do it in bed during the night and when I wake up. I move, stretch and flex random muscles and move my bones around. At the gym, I use light weights on machines to allow positions in different directions. I taught myself to play tennis right-handed and left-handed, so no tennis elbow.
Healing from infirmities may unlock pain. This is important to remember so as not to be
discouraged. The pain of healing is better than the pain of being sick. Micro-exercise is so gentle, it will not cause injurious pain.
Other people can help in your quest for ease of motion. Juneau chiropractor Birger Baastrup saved my life. He says motion is life. Chiropractor Andrea Iverson saved me with BioMagnetism, a deeply relaxing balancing of the body. They are true healers working from the same downtown office.
Material objects help, also. I could not live without the Nikken magnetic roller. It is called MagCreator. I lie on or next to it and press it into the sides of my spine. Thus, I heal and adjust my spine, keeping it strong. I could not live without Warm Tradition hot water bottles. Many hot water bottles burst, but not these. Magnets and hot water bottles make already easy micro-exercise even easier.
• Page Bridges is a member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Living Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders.