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my fixing design for the upper back

with notes on local food in Bali

watch the story on vimeo 1

I use three modes of practice, and I call them coaxing, fixing, and f-ck-ng around. Usually, I take three-nine days to focus on each and then switch, but sometimes fixing comes first and takes longer. Injuries happen even when you train with a qualified PT and measure your every move using expensive gadgetry. With self-directed practice, though, I have no one else to blame but myself when I slip and take a bench. It’s my time for f-ck-ng around, but unfortunately, my body is falling apart, and I have to go into mending mode. My self-diagnosis is thoracic vertebrae dislocation or subluxation and confused rhomboid muscles. It’s not the first time I wake up experiencing pain and hindered mobility in my upper back. I am not the cause and effect guy, in the perspective where removing a particular problem could make everything great again. And simply knowing what’s-what doesn’t suddenly make me sleep well. But it feels natural to understand what is not suitable for my body, and I remember what triggered my vertebrae to “go bad” for the first time. No more long-boarding over cobblestones for me, period. I also have a long-playing “problemo”, and I trust my intuition that the funky vertebra is sitting on its tail, and this tail keeps growing. Therefore while I have to work with my spine now, I also have to go up the chain (but down it anatomically) and manoeuvre around the hip mobility and lower leg variability.

Practice:

I remind myself to keep it mellow, balanced and sequent. I learned that most injuries happen to me not when I do the regular daily practice but when I stop for several days and pick it up as I never took a pause. Going too fast and doing too hard is never a good idea, especially when the goal is to put parts back together.

Food:

Calcium + zinc:

Manganese (formation of bone mass, helps to balance hormones):

Essential oils:

Teas:

Avoid:

Balinese Umami diet:

Speaking of the self-directed fixing practice. Why not go to a doctor and get a proper diagnosis in the first place, considering how much discomfort the injury causes? First, aside from new-age fitness chiropractors in California and old-school Chinese medicine practitioners in Asia, most doctors do not assume the whole complex of a patient’s body. They don’t have time, knowledge and genuine belief that the big toe on your left foot is connected to your thoracic spine. Besides, I am travelling, and I still oughta learn how to find good practitioners aligned with my beliefs without knocking on every door.

Second, while the discomfort is palpable, the base of self-direction is trusting the senses and training the intuition. And it doesn’t happen if I ask somebody else’s advice every chance I get. It is imperative to do my own research, underline basic assumptions and proceed with testing them. Finally, unlike surgery and prescription drugs, the above design can’t hurt. It is a lifestyle adjustment. So even if my bones and ligaments were in the best shape, I wouldn’t think of a handful of almonds as a complete waste of money. It’s always good nutrition. I won’t be able to brag about it all and show two numbers (before and after) on Facebook, entertaining a bunch of biohackers. Still, I feel damn good internally, which matters to me most. And I know that other experiences and skills will build on that feeling and contribute to getting more depth in work.


  1. peak asanas in video: garudasana arms (virabhadrasana) with backbend, modified parivrtta janu sirsasana; eight limbed pose (ashtangasana), dragon fly pose (maksikanagasana), grasshopper pose↩︎