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Have you fallen lately??

English: LANDSTUHL, Germany (Oct. 16, 2008) Ph...Let Us Love You

Leonard Cohen’s song Anthem has the line, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” I know as men we work hard at hiding that crack.

In the last nine years of Sandpoint Men’s Group (SMG) we see smart, successful men take one of our Two Day trainings or join one of our groups because a woman ‘encouraged’ them. Not much different from a woman sending her husband to the doc to check his mole, she may suggest he check out what we offer.

Men not only die sooner, we die lonely. Once we left school or the military most of us left a close network of friends. As we developed our careers and grew our families, we became increasingly isolated from other men. We also see the full impact of never being trained how to be emotionally intelligent as a man. Sure, we had our mothers teaching us along with all our girlfriends. Nevertheless, how many men do you know who had men teaching them as a boy or latter as a man how to frame emotions in a masculine way?

Then you add the trauma and stress of life to the mix and you have a guy that is trapped in the solitude of emotional isolation. Most men will try to apply the suggestions his partner gives him on how to show up more emotionally. Her well-meaning suggestions help up to a point—then both the woman and the man gets frustrated. It seems like he’s not trying in actuality he’s trying at doing something that is unnatural for him. It’s as if we are attempting to have him look good in a dress. I don’t care how beautiful the dress is—he won’t like it and it won’t look good on him.

Many years ago I stumbled on to a very simple solution to this problem and its three causes: men’s groups. In these groups men safely release their stress, learn through other men what was never taught, and naturally create the brotherhood they forgot they needed. These groups will love the man as a man so he can learn to love himself. Once a man acquires the self-love and self-respect, how he shows up for others naturally transforms. What once was struggle is now pleasure. He may still have his cracks, but now his light shining on everyone.

Owen Marcus, MA Certified Advanced Rolfer, www.align.org, www.freetowin.CO provides more information about the men’s groups, trainings, and documentary film on SMG – call if you have questions: 265.8440. This article and many more health and wellness articles are at the blog: www.sandpointwellnesscouncil.com. Go to the blog to ask questions or add your comments on any article.
Last month I watched a guy fall on the ice. Wow, what an insult to the body! He quickly got up and went on his way, but it got me thinking about the trauma of falling. Do you remember that formula from Physics? F=MA

Force = mass x acceleration? If you’re walking at 3 mph and weigh 150 pounds, that means you hit the sidewalk with 450 pounds of force. Ouch! This man hit his right hip or tailbone, torqued his neck, and put his arm out to break the fall possibly hurting his wrist or hand.

Some people come in for treatment early on while others were raised to “shake it off”. My belief is somewhere in the middle. RICE is the acronym for rest, ice, compress, and elevate. This is what is advised for any acute injury. People generally are reluctant to use ice as no one likes being cold, but it really is effective. I never advise heat as it increases the swelling, however after visiting with my acupuncturist, he reminded me that according to Chinese medicine, heat is the go to modality, not ice. Some people like to alternate heat and ice. Monitor your progress for two weeks, then if you’re not showing signs of improvement, it’s a good time to get things checked out.

I have treated many people who have fallen and have tailbone injuries, many from 20+ years ago when the doctor said “there’s nothing we can do for it, sit on a pillow”. In fact, I did treat a woman who had been sitting on a pillow for 20 yrs. The tailbone is very easy to treat and can be associated with back pain, hamstring pain, and even migraine.

Often we are injured trying to avoid falling. This is also very painful and can result in neck or back injuries. Sometimes the joints get tweaked or the muscles get strained. This is often remedied by a trip to your favorite physical therapist, chiropractor, or massage therapist. All of these practitioners are trained in treatment of muscle strains. For more serious injuries involving joint dysfunction or nerve strain causing numbness and tingling, a chiropractor or physical therapist would be helpful. They truly are experts of musculoskeletal dysfunction.

Of course some people have wrist fractures, rib injuries, shoulder injuries, or injuries of the knee following a fall. If the pain is severe and unrelenting, then a trip to your doctor or Immediate Care may be in order. Please remember to take good care of your body, it’s the only one you get.

Mary Boyd, MS, PT is the owner of Mountain View Physical Therapy and a member of the Sandpoint Wellness Council. She can be reached for questions at 290-5575.

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