Are you a laptop warrior? Most people are these days. In my day to day, I spend plenty of time standing, sitting, and moving around with patients in the office but when it comes to Tuesday (my day off from patients to be here doing this for you guys :)), I spend up to 12 hours at my laptop, writing, editing, planning, and learning.
It doesn’t do a body good (neither does milk, but that’s a whole separate article).
I see complaints of low back pain and shoulder and neck tightness in my office every single day. The common answer is to blame the fact that we are sitting at computers all day. 60 years ago, people were standing and leaning over machines all day – the mechanics have changed, yes, but they’ve been shit forever. You think farmers are concerned with their biomechanics on the day to day basis? Me either. We’re all just trying to get our shit done.
So then, why is it that some people have low back pain and others don’t? If laptop culture doesn’t explain it, what does? Before you get your panties in a bunch, I am NOT saying that our biomechanics aren’t at fault to some degree – but are they the only problem? If it was the only problem, how do we explain why Julie has low back pain and Margaret doesn’t?
If you’ve been around a hot minute at my blog, you’ve heard me talk about face reading and your dominant element. There’s even a quiz for you to figure out yours (click here to take it!). Your dominant element could be one of the following 5: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, or Water.
Each element has a personality and a way of being in the world associated with it. Each human has all 5 elements within them, it is simply a question of dominance and degree. The differences between your dominant elements are a clue for me as to what health problems you might have.
So here it is: If your dominant element is Water, you most likely have a tendency to knee and lower back pain. (Want to read the basics of a water person? Read them here). Water, in Chinese medicine, is related to the Kidney. I capitalized Kidney because in Chinese medicine, the word Kidney refers to the organ, the channel or meridian associated with the organ, and a whole series of energetic events that happen in the body.
The Kidneys are responsible for our reproductive abilities, our willpower, our creativity, and other super fun stuff. When the Kidneys are weak or overused, it shows up as: decreased fertility, inability to push through life situations, having to get out of bed during the night to pee, AND… you guessed it.. Low back pain.
If you really start to look at this, you’ll realize it’s a closed cycle. Water people have a tendency to prefer being over doing or moving. So, they are more sedentary than the average. Here is where you see that biomechanics have an impact and also where you see the cycle. Water people do less, think more. Move less, sit more. So yes, the biomechanics matter but mostly because a Water type’s natural tendency is toward a slower moving life.
Water folk are also highly philosophical and spend a lot of time thinking and creating, which uses their Kidney energy. Western culture, especially American culture, is largely focused on Wood energy: the energy of doing, competition, growth, and passion. This means that Water people often feel pushed to act in a way that isn’t in accordance with their nature. This, again, creates a deficiency of energy available to them because acting away from your nature is a huge energy suck.
So, what do you do if you are a Water person and you find yourself in low back pain territory?
Here’s your map out:
*Find all the ways that your energy is being sucked. Really take a good honest look at your life and decide what energy sucks can be gotten rid of. If you find yourself acting in ways that cost you more than you assume they cost other people – that’s your first sign.
*Start a deep breathing practice, combine with yoga for best effects. Yin yoga is great for water people. It’s slow and allows the time to be in a certain position for extended periods of time. This can counteract the effects of laptop culture.
*Foot soaks. Hot water, epsom salts, possibly a blend of Tibetan herbs: Foot baths are a magical concoction that give your body a chance to rest and unwind, which the Kidney’s really benefit from. In severe cases, you can do one every night. For maintenance purposes, consider once or twice a week!
*More than anything, the Kidney’s restore best with quality sleep. It is literally the best medicine available. Look at your sleep hygiene (yes, that’s a thing) and see what you can clean up in order to ensure a good night’s sleep. I love using Insight timer meditations before bed to send me off to sleep at a brain wave that is more beneficial during the night. NO late nights for my water folk. Get your asses to bed.
Think these are great ideas but need more help?
Do a full face reading with me and learn how to keep all your elements in check! Book it here!