The trees that arch in the woods capture my attention. As do the fall ferns turning from green to rust, the heart shaped rocks wedged in the dirt, and the pillowy moss patches growing on decaying tree stumps. Walks amongst the trees clear my mind and resolve worry. I feel satisfied when the pace of my thoughts slow, and I begin to hum and then sing out loud. Yet, the soft pines, golden larches and sturdy cedars that twist or bend across the road or almost touch the ground distract me from a thought or song and get me reaching for my camera.
As a chiropractor I spend a good part of my day feeling for or watching ranges of motion of the bendable, moving, dynamic structures of the spine and limbs. In my yoga teaching I instruct students to bend with focus from the waist. I show them poses to open their hips and have awareness about good posture. With a keen eye I interpret where they may have too much or too little motion or issues with misalignment. It is no accident that “The Bend” is the name of my clinic. And, what does the name of my clinic have to do with the sweeping trunks bowing but not breaking in the forest?
That is it, EXACTLY. They bend but don’t break,…sometimes. After 2 full seasons of snowshoeing in the winter and watching the same trees bend under the heavy snow loads and then rise back up in the spring I am, again, mesmerized by nature. It is my observation…that… they, and we, all have a breaking point. I ask, “Do you know your snow load? Or, are you like one of those trunks with a crook? At what point, if ever, do you become vulnerable to inflexibility that strain or crack your trunk?”
Chiropractic is restorative and preventative. If you “break”, we help relieve pain, correct your problem and give you exercises and stretches to rehabilitate and prevent another episode. If you are the active, healthy lifestyle type you understand that getting regular care keeps you bending in all of the right place. You understand that you have to undo what you do with regards to repetitive motion patterns, conditioning and physical activities (work and fun).
To me “The Bend” is a catchy metaphor. It infers that how we bend matters and that things like yoga and chiropractic bend you in the right ways for your body, mind and spirit. It also implies that the loads we carry matter and our unique structure matters. The burdens we bear also affect our bodies. Our physical work load, our emotional stress load and many other forces (besides snow) can influence us or cause us to bend unnaturally. I believe my job is help people bend well, improve alignment, and sensitively help them get honest about life stresses so that they don’t become vulnerable to misalignments, let alone breaks.
Next time you see a BEND tree in the forest. Take a picture for me. Post it our Facebook page. Those curved trees of inspiration from the forest make me smile. They might even remind you to do your exercises, have a little fun and come in for checkup.
Photo Credit: Shea Rodgers