Good morning, everyone
~It’s shortly after 4:00a.m. as I start this week’s Group message. Outside, the 58 degree temps under mostly cloudy/still dark skies blankets the sleeping neighborhood with a promise of pending rain. Barometric pressure is building.
For some of us, that building pressure can be felt in our bones/joints. For others, it’s the low pressures that trigger pain. Mystery, eh?
Remember Kewpie Dolls? Little plastic figurines on a pedestal, constructed of dozens of pieces of plastic held together by an elastic sting. Press the bottom of the pedestal, and the elastic string loses tension, making the figurine slump. With a bit of clever maneuvering of the base, you could make that figurine dance, contorting into a myriad number of poses.
Barometric pressure works in similar ways. High pressure maintains maximum tension on the body. No movement possible; all joints are locked into place. For some people, the extra bit of rigidity helps maintain just enough support for the body to maintain a feeling of being altogether together. Movement is easier, because all the bits-n-pieces are not knocking about, crashing into one another, pinching nerves.
For others, low pressure allows all the bits a greater range of motion. Bits-n-pieces of the body that had been tensed by high pressure can relax. The relief feels very similar to floating on a placid lake — no restrictions, nothing binding or squeezing against sensitive nerves.
I am a low-pressure lover. I love the rain that releases my body from tension. It’s the closest I ever get to pain-free living. As you can imagine, I pay attention to the weather forecasts and plan ahead as much as possible. I know that, when the barometric pressure starts rising, I need to get as much physical/mental work done in advance as possible, for when it peaks, I’ll be incapacitated. Likewise, when rain is in the forecast, I can make a list of things to do when I’ll feel at my best performance level, during the downfall.
Environment does indeed determine our behavior! Knowing what conditions will enhance as well as impinge upon physical performance is a worthy ‘tool’ to have in our Tool Box for pain management. When others better understand our fluctuations, they are better able to gauge expectations.
Having grown up on a farm in the foothills of N.C., weather conditions were important factors in determining what we needed to do. Gathering fresh bedding for the livestock, for instance, required knowledge of when leaves/pine straw would be at peak dryness. Knowing when sustained freezing temperatures would arrive set the calendar for slaughtering time. Planting and harvesting were not determined by the social calendar or our inner willingness, but by weather conditions, phases of moon, timing of seasons. All played a role in our daily chores, and in how well we did them.
In our modern climate-controlled, mostly-indoor lifestyles, we are too often removed from the natural elements to remember our intimate connection with them. Thus, we have almost lost our ability to connect how we physically feel with the natural changes taking place in the greater outdoors. We can, if we are willing, get better acquainted with our kewpie-doll self simply by paying greater attention to what conditions in the environment help and hinder our physical well-being.
I have heard people state that rainy weather makes them feel “so depressed”. Hmmmm ~ as if that elastic tension that had held them up-right/up-beat had suddenly been released? All the bits-n-pieces … slumping, sliding, coming unglued? That’s a high-pressure lover!
We may not be able to cure or prevent what ails us. We’ll surely never be able to manipulate weather conditions that result in everyone being content/feeling great. But we can learn more about how to deal with our fluctuating pain levels by knowing our own connection to the environment. Pay attention; and, plan accordingly!
Similarly, our mental/emotional pain management is affected by external environmental factors. As we move forward into our third year of this pandemic, let’s continue to pay attention to what we can do as well as what we should not do within whatever environment we find ourselves in. Sometimes, the best we can do may not feel good. Sometimes, our best is not recognized by others as “good enough”. It will always be the best we can do.
We cannot control the weather. We cannot please everyone. Doing the right thing won’t always result in feeling good or gaining public accolades. No magic potions or wizard-wands or happily-ever-after. No one lives continually pain-free. We can, however, know more about our connection with environmental conditions and plan accordingly. Don’t like the weather? Wait a while — it’ll change!
Gentle hugs/much love,