I’ve been seeing a physical therapist for a mysterious tingling in my thumb, index and ring finger. It started when I was 34 weeks pregnant with my daughter and the midwife said it would go away after I delivered…but it didn’t. It got worse.
Therapy involved neck and back cracking, frightening stuff. I was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
and given exercises to strengthen my body. I was also “taped,” a confronting experience where I was asked to remove my shirt and stand with one leg up on a chair while my therapist ran medical sports tape down my neck and back. This all happened in front of a mirror, only two weeks after I delivered my little girl. My feeding bra was lopsided, my tummy pudgy, my legs still too big for non-maternity pants. My husband hadn’t even seen me exposed like this, and there I was in front of a stranger!
Though the experience was traumatic, it worked; whenever I would slouch I’d feel the tug of the tape on my skin. I was physically reminded to stand tall.
But the problem only got worse. Tingling fingers became completely numb. I couldn’t feel the softness of my child’s skin. I am wearing a wrist brace hoping to avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome surgery (pictures at the bottom of link show the surgery-SCARY!). [update–I’m healed, no surgery needed, but I did get an injection and what they said would be better in 2 days was better in 20 minutes.. When God moves, it’s Fast!].
This whole ordeal convicted me that I need to take my fitness and posture seriously. I used to think my hunch came from years of working in the wrong position. But then I remembered my wedding photos, almost ten years ago, showed slumped shoulders despite my efforts to stand tall.
And I realized, my slumping was a way of hiding, even degrading myself. I easily put myself beneath someone, submitting to their opinions or approval. My spirit was suffering and this finally manifested physically.
If you find yourself in doormat mode, please stop. Don’t be afraid to hold your head up and stand tall. It’s not about being haughty. It’s about accepting “you.” Your body, your opinions and ideas, your ways, You.
This is the life you’ve been given, don’t hide it. And please don’t think little of it.
But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head. (Psalm 3:3)