What are trigger points?
Trigger points are areas in muscle that are very irritable, show a band of tightness in the area of muscle itself, and, when pressed, produce a twitch within the affected muscle. A trigger point may produce not only pain in the affected muscle, but in a distant area, including locations in the head and neck, called referred pain. Trigger points may develop because of trauma, injury, inflammation, or other factors.
Can trigger points cause headaches or trigger migraines?
Trigger points within muscles of the head, neck, and shoulders can cause headache by themselves, and this type of condition is often called myofascial pain. In addition, trigger points can be present in patients with migraine, tension-type, post-traumatic, and other headache disorders, and can be worsening or perpetuating factors for the underlying headache condition.
What are trigger point injections?
A trigger point injection is a procedure where a medication, usually a local anesthetic, is injected into the painful muscle to provide relief. The pain relief should be experienced not only in the affected muscle, but in the area of referred pain as well.
Who should receive trigger point injections?
Patients that have specific trigger points that can be elicited with palpation (a firm touch) may experience the most relief from injections. They may be very helpful for immediate relief for severe pain in patients with an individual headache or migraine attack, or can help treat an overall worsening of head pain in patients with chronic headache disorders who are having an exacerbation.
How are trigger point injections performed?
In the trigger point procedure, a health care provider inserts a small needle into the patient’s specific area of pain (trigger point) in a muscle. The injection usually contains only a local anesthetic, but occasionally may contain a steroid medication. This procedure can be performed in a doctor’s office, and does not require sedation. The patient is positioned sitting or lying down. Your doctor will first palpate and identify the painful areas within a muscle. After identifying such trigger points, your doctor will inject those areas. Depending on how many trigger points are identified, more than one injection may be required. Some headache specialists perform trigger point injections along with peripheral nerve blocks in the same treatment session.
How do trigger point injections work?
The anesthetic medication will be injected into the muscle and will block pain receptors within the nerves surrounding the muscle, and, in turn, reduce the pain signals sent to the brain. If steroid medication is used, it reduces the inflammation and swelling of tissue around the nerves, which may help reduce pain. The needle without medication may even provide independent benefits mechanically. The needle separates, relaxes and lengthens the muscle fiber to provide further pain relief. This approach is called “needling” and may be used in patients with allergies to anesthetic medication.
Are trigger point injections safe?
The most common side effects are temporary pain and numbness at the injection site. Infection and bleeding may occur at the injection site, but this can be avoided by cleaning the site before injection and applying pressure to the site after injection. Patients may also experience light-headedness after injections.
If steroid injections are used, repeated dosing may cause a loss of hair, fatty tissue accumulation, or loss of muscle thickness at the injection site.
What can I expect after receiving trigger point injections?
Immediately after the injection, you may feel that your pain has remitted or lessened significantly, in both the affected muscle as well as the area of the referred pain in the head or neck. Some patients may not benefit at all, while others may have significant pain remission lasting for weeks. You can return to your daily activities immediately after the injections. Health care providers may repeat the procedure as needed and customize how often it is performed.
Trigger point injection is a procedure which can be performed at a doctor’s office safely to treat headache and migraine in certain patients. Consult with your doctor as to whether or not this treatment is appropriate for you.
In most cases, a primary care doctor or chiropractor can help you resolve the problem.Published: November, 2017 in Harvard Health LetterLow back pain is one of the most common complaints on the planet. And you may wonder where to turn when you start experiencing some of those aches or twinges in the lower part of your back. Take heart. "In most cases, you won't need a specialist," says Dr. Robert Shmerling, a rheumatologist at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
When pain strikesThere are many causes of low back pain. Some of the most common include an injury to a muscle or tendon (a strain), an injury to a back ligament (a sprain), and a herniated or "slipped" disc (when the soft material inside of a disc between spinal bones leaks and irritates nerves). Many of these issues will eventually resolve on their own.
But some causes of low back pain, such as a narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis), may require a specialist. "A referral makes sense when conservative measures have failed to address your back pain, symptoms aren't improving or are getting worse, or there's a suspicion that surgery might be needed," says Dr. Shmerling.
Where to turnSince you shouldn't try to diagnose your own back pain, make your first call to a professional who can assess your problem, such as a primary care physician or a chiropractor. "Both can serve as the entry point for back pain," says Dr. Matthew Kowalski, a chiropractor with the Osher Clinical Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital. "And 35% to 42% of people with their first episode of back pain will consult a chiropractor."
Chiropractors use posture exercises and hands-on spinal manipulation to relieve back pain, improve function, and help the body heal itself. They often work in conjunction with other doctors, and they can prescribe diet, exercise, and stretching programs. "A well-trained chiropractor will sort out whether you should be in their care or the care of a physical therapist or medical doctor," Dr. Kowalski explains.
The next stepIf you do need a specialist on your team, there are many experts who can help, depending on your needs. You may be referred to any of these:
And you may need more than one expert managing your back pain. It just depends on the situation. "Most people who see more than one expert have more than one problem or have not improved with prior treatments," says Dr. Shmerling.
But for back sprains, strains, and herniated discs, a visit to your primary care physician or chiropractor may be all it takes to feel better. Make that initial call if back pain is interfering with your day.
Adjust Regenerative Medicine is excited to add Blood or Vampire Facials to our Anti-Aging care options.
Our new approach, the plasma-rich protein (PRP) facial, combines plasma and platelets from your blood with other rejuvenation techniques.
Hope to minimize your facial lines and wrinkles? If you don't want surgery, you've got other options.
"It triggers collagen production," explains plastic surgeon J. Vicente Poblete, MD. "Collagen is the 'latticework of the face,' so a PRP facial helps tighten, smooth and improve skin tone."
Here's what you need to know about PRP facials (sometimes called blood or 'vampire' facials).
Creating platelet-rich plasma
PRP facials are medical, rather than cosmetic procedures. Your medical team first takes a small sample of your blood.
Then they spin it in a centrifuge to extract protein-rich plasma. Next, they extract platelets. Finally, they concentrate the sample, creating what is called platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
While dermatologists recently started using PRP to stimulate collagen production, orthopaedic doctors have injected PRP to heal injured joints - typically ankles, knees and elbows - for many years.
It is the growth factors in PRP that help the body to heal.
What happens during treatment
The medical team first spreads plasma on your face and then uses microneedling across your cheeks and forehead to help your face absorb the proteins.
Microneedling is exactly what it sounds like - a procedure that creates a series of tiny, superficial punctures using sterile needles.
"Both PRP and microneedling stimulate collagen growth, and are more effective when done together," explains Dr. Poblete says. "We attack the problem in two layers: beneath the skin and on top of it."
Global life expectancy averages out to 71.4 years. That means, of course, that some parts of the world see much shorter life spans, while others enjoy far greater longevity.
Five places, in particular, fall into the latter category. They’re known as Blue Zones—named for the blue circles researchers drew to identify the first one on a map—and they’re home to some of the oldest and healthiest people in the world. Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones and The Blue Zones Solution, told TIME why residents of these places live so long—and how you can steal their habits.
A largely plant-based diet, daily physical activity and familial closeness have given this Blue Zone the highest concentration of male centenarians in the world. (Sheep herders, who tend to walk at least five miles a day, and men with daughters, who may get especially tender care as they age, live even longer than most in this area.) It also doesn’t hurt that the M26 marker, a genetic variant linked to extreme longevity, has been passed down through generations in this secluded community.
Many Blue Zones emphasize family and community, but bonding reaches its peak in this Japanese culture. Okinawans are supported by their moai, a small but tight-knit social circle meant to be there through all of life’s ups and downs, which provides social support strong enough to dull mental stressors and reinforce shared healthy behaviors. The result? A culture that boasts the longest-living women in the world, with many surpassing 100.
Nicoya, Costa Rica
Most Blue Zone residents avoid processed food, but Nicoyans take it to another level. The Costa Rican people traditionally get the majority of their caloric intake from beans, squash and corn, plus tropical fruits. This plant-forward, nutrient-dense diet— and plenty of time outdoors—makes for strong, well-nourished bodies. Meanwhile, a plan de vida, or guiding life purpose, helps Nicoyans stay mentally and spiritually fulfilled to age 90 and beyond.
Loma Linda, Calif., U.S.A.
The U.S.’s only Blue Zone is a haven for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a Protestant denomination. A shared set of principles, emphasis on community and adherence to the Sabbath—a day of rest, reflection and recharging— help Loma Linda Adventists live 10 years longer than their fellow Americans. Many avoid meat and eat plenty of plants, whole grains and nuts.
A fierce sense of island pride keeps Ikarians invested in their community. That, combined with late bedtimes offset by daily naps and a strict adherence to the Mediterranean diet—eating lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, potatoes and olive oil—propels 1 in 3 Ikarians to live into their 90s, often free of dementia and chronic disease.
One factor that is relatively consistent among top athletes is their constant desire to improve their sports performance. Additionally, when this performance is hindered in any way, it can have a dramatic impact.
This is something Steven W. Whitelaw, DC, CCSP, has witnessed firsthand over his past 20 years as chiropractic provider for the Arkansas Razorbacks. In fact, he recalls one rather memorable experience in particular.
“We were about to play our first game at a college world series,” says Whitelaw, “and leaving the locker room to go to my seat, I saw our starting pitcher. He was over by the warm up cage and was very frustrated and distraught. I asked him what was wrong as he was usually very calm and collected before a start.”
The pitcher soon revealed that his wrist was hurting and the pain was so intense it was affecting his ability to throw accurately across the plate. Whitelaw conducted a quick evaluation, adjusted the athlete’s wrist and elbow, and had him throw a couple pitches.
Immediately, the player returned to his normal pre-game self and went on to pitch seven innings, helping the team secure a win. “He found me after and thanked me,” says Whitelaw, “saying if it weren’t for the adjustment, he would have had an awful night.”
While this is just one example of how chiropractic can benefit athletes, Whitelaw says that he and his team at Millennium Chiropractic Sports Medicine and Rehab in Fayetteville, Ark. —which includes Bobby R. Pritchett, DC, CCSP and David M. Sence, DC, CCSP — have identified seven specific ways chiropractic can boost sports performance.
1. Better hand–eye coordinationThough hand-eye coordination is helpful for daily living activities such as using utensils to feed yourself and folding the laundry, it is absolutely critical for athletes wanting to master their sports of choice. Research has found that chiropractic can improve this level of coordination, especially if neck pain is present, by changing the interaction between the cerebellum and motor cortex.
2. Improved reaction timeStudies have also found that chiropractic has a positive effect on reaction time, helping athletes respond more quickly to their opponents’ actions. For instance, one study published in the journal Trials involved 120 special-operation military personnel, individuals with extremely physical roles. After just one session, the participants receiving chiropractic care were able to complete a complex whole-body motor response task in less time.
3. Faster recovery from concussionsConcussions, and their subsequent neck pain, are a major issue for athletes, with the Brain Injury Research Institute estimating that as many as 3.8 million recreation-related concussions occur each year within the United States alone. Whitelaw and his team have found that chiropractic helps reduce the players’ recovery time from this type of injury.
4. Decreased healing time associated with other athletic injuriesChiropractic is helpful for speeding healing time associated with other sports injuries as well. For instance, one survey of the National Football League revealed that chiropractors are often used to help these pro players heal from low back pain and a variety of other musculoskeletal issues, some of which include those related to “stingers” and “burners,” as well as play-related headaches.
5. Reduced need for medicationsResearch indicates that athletes tend to use pain medications and oral antibacterials more often than the rest of the population. Additionally, many of these medicines negatively impact these players’ sports performance. Therefore, treating the cause of the original issue via regular chiropractic reduces the need for these types of medications, ultimately improving performance as a result.
6. Increased muscular functionMuscular function is important in athletics because it allows for increased strength. According to one studypublished in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, spinal manipulation has been found to reduce muscle inhibition by 7.5 percent, an action that, by default, increases muscular function.
7. Decreased joint stiffness and painWhitelaw and his team also note that chiropractic can decrease joint stiffness and pain, leading to increased mobility and, therefore, increased athletic function and proprioception. It’s highly effective too.
“After my second season with football, the assistant trainer and I took a look back over the past four years of time missed in practice and games due to low-back pain,” says Whitelaw. “That number dropped by almost 90 percent after starting regular chiropractic care both during the week and on game day.”
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a safe, effective, and innovative treatment option for joint pain, tendon injuries, and back problems. The advantages of PRP therapy compared to other procedures include reduced downtime and improved outcomes. PRP uses the patient's own blood platelets to jumpstart the body's natural healing process, delivering optimum pain relief.
How Does PRP Therapy Work?
Everyone's blood is composed of the same main components: white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Platelets are the essential products of PRP therapy, and they heal chronic injuries. Platelets are an army of cells that circulate in the blood. These blood products control bleeding, but they also have over 1,500 growth factors and special proteins that facilitate tissue repair and wound healing. The platelets trigger the healing process and reduce inflammation and pain.
What Conditions Are Treated Using PRP Therapy?
PRP therapy is used to treat many musculoskeletal injuries.
The conditions treated include:
Hip, knee, and shoulder pain
Common sports injuries
Acute ligament and muscle injuries in athletes
Neck and back pain
What Can I Expect During The PRP Therapy Appointments?
During your PRP therapy consultation, the physician will discuss the procedure, take a medical history, and conduct a medical examination. During the PRP therapy appointment, a nurse draws your blood, and the blood is spun in a centrifuge to isolate the platelets. After preparing the solution, the treatment area is cleansed with an antiseptic, and a local anesthetic is used to numb the area. Under ultrasound guidance, the joints and other body structures are injected with the PRP solution.
What Can I Expect After The PRP Injections?
After the PRP injections, there is a two-day recovery period. During recovery, it is normal to have some discomfort and swelling at the injection site, which resolves on its own. Depending on the extent of injury and body region, you will often feel the results of the PRP therapy after 2-8 weeks. Symptom relief and the healing process also continues for up to six months after the final treatment. A series of 2-3 PRP injections may be given.
Does PRP Therapy Work?
In a recent research study, doctors at the University of Rochester found that two PRP treatments helped improve pain, relieve stiffness, and increase functional capacity in patients with knee osteoarthritis. In another report, the researchers of the University of Washington used PRP therapy for sports injuries. They found that they greatly improved outcomes in people who had injuries. Another study showed that the healing factors initiated connective tissue healing through protein and collagen synthesis.
To schedule a consultation call 972.701.WELL
If you are considering joint replacement surgery I highly recommend watching this film.
New Netflix Documentary Film Is Scathing Indictment Of FDA's Regulation Of Medical Devices.
The Bleeding Edge
Yesterday, like every other Tuesday, I have a patient who comes in right before closing time. He has been coming here for around 4 years now, and let's be honest, he usually shows up 5 minutes after we close. But he comes, like clockwork, every single week. I don't even think he has ever missed a day. But when I see him walk through the door, I know the work week is over half way done and it is all downhill from here. But yesterday was different, I felt like I literally saw him the previous day. Had a week really gone by already?
Many people live for the weekend, I can be guilty of it too. Wanting to get through the week as fast as possible. But those weeks turn in to months, and those months turn in to years. Think about it, can you believe it is June right now? It was just Christmas! But ever since my first daughter was born I have been obsessed with time. And I cringe when another parent who has kids much older than mine tells me how fast their kids grew up. I have actually began to stop them mid sentence and politely tell them that I don't want to hear it. My oldest turns 8 next month, and I have no idea how that happened. Where did the time go? My youngest turns 5 in two months, I have to remind myself five years not five months. And even though we have packed so many good memories in to those years. I want more time.
I have researched for a few years now on different methods for living in the moment and how to slow down time. I have made a commitment that I strive to live by to not put off what can be done today. We take every vacation we can, even when it's not the smartest thing to do. We try to live spontaneously, and my goal is to spend every dollar I ever make and hopefully the last one on my last day here. You can't get these days back. It's very easy to get stuck in a rut and go day to day through the mundane patterns we have created for ourselves. I have read that the biggest regrets people have on their death bed are not spending more time with family, working too much, and not taking risks or chances.
The following article is one of the best explanations on how you literally have the power to manipulate perception of time. Enjoy and take note. DrA.
Originally posted on http://www.artofmanliness.com/.
Be a Time Wizard: How to Slow Down and Speed Up Time
By Brett & Kate McKay
As we now approach the sunset of the summer season, take a look back on the last few months. Does it seem like your summer lasted forever, that it slowly floated along in a hot haze? Or did these last few months seem to go by in a blink?
Your answer to that question will likely depend on your age. If you’re a young buck, you’ll probably feel like you fit six months into the last three. If you’re longer in the tooth, chances are your summer seems to have gone by in a quick blur – much like the rest of your year.
Why does time seem to slow down when you’re young, and speed up as you get older? You may have heard it said that this phenomenon can be chalked up to the fact that when you’re younger, each year comprises a larger percentage of your total lifespan and thus feels more sizeable; one year is 1/14 of your life when you’re fourteen, but only 1/40 when you’re 40.
That’s a fun theory, but there’s an actual neurological reason for how our perception of time changes as we age. And once you understand it, you can become something of a time wizard — quickening or slowing the way time feels, and even making your life seem longer than it really is.
Living on Brain Time
Time is a fixed dimension. “Clock time” can be broken into minutes, seconds, and nanoseconds, and can be objectively measured. Even without an external chronometer to aid us, our internal clocks often do an excellent job of tracking time; if I asked you to guess the time right now, you’d probably be pretty close.
Yet how we perceive time is not always so accurate. Depending on our circumstances, time may seem to contract or expand, speed up or slow down. Dr. David Eagleman, neuroscientist and foremost researcher on time perception, calls this phenomenon “brain time,” and unlike clock time, its measurements are very subjective.
In contrast to our other senses like touch and taste, which are located in specific parts of our brains, our sense of time is woven throughout our neural matter. As Eagleman puts it, time is “metasensory” and “rides on top of all the others.” Because our perception of time is intricately tied up with our emotions and memories, the information we take in about how our hours are spent isn’t raw data. Instead, Eagleman explains, our minds filter the info before presenting it to us:
“the brain goes through a lot of trouble to edit and present this story to you of what’s going on out there and how fast or slowly it happens. What your brain’s telling you [that] you see is not always what’s out there. It’s trying to put together the best, most useful story of what’s happening out there in the world.”
Time then, Eagleman argues, is ultimately “a construction of the brain.”
Does “Matrix” Time Exist?
To understand when, how, and why your brain edits your perception of time, it’s useful to begin with what happens to your “brain time” when faced with a life-threatening situation. If you’ve ever felt close to death – gotten into a car wreck, engaged in a firefight, fell off a roof – you likely felt that time expanded during those fraught moments, and that everything happened in slow motion, a la The Matrix. In the aftermath, you probably remembered the experience in vivid detail.
Dr. Eagleman wanted to find out if people’s brains were really slowing down their perception of the world during these life-threatening situations, or if something else was going on. So he took a group of participants to one of the scariest “amusement” rides in the world: the SCAD. Riders are dropped, on their backs, into a 100-foot freefall. Those who try it typically find the experience utterly terrifying. Eagleman had his participants wear a wristwatch and asked them to look at it during their freefall. The watch would flash a digital read-out of a number a split-second too fast for the human eye to register under normal conditions. If fear slows down our perception of reality, Eagleman reasoned, the participants would be able to see the number as they dropped. Yet none were able to do so.
After their experience on the SCAD, Eagleman asked the participants to imagine their fall and how long it had taken. Though they had been able to accurately guess the time of others’ falls, when it came to estimating their own drop, they invariably felt it had taken 30% longer than it actually had.
From these results, Eagleman posited that time doesn’t actually slow down when we’re fearing for our lives. Instead, scary situations send our amygdala – a part of the brain connected with memory and emotion – into overdrive, spurring the brain to record much more detail than normal. Because the brain lays down such rich, dense memories of those moments, when you later look back on the experience, there’s a lot more “footage” than normal to run through, making the experience seem like it lasted longer than it actually did.
Novelty and Our Sense of Time
Time will not only seem to expand during life-threatening situations, but also whenever we encounter something novel or do something new.
In another experiment, Eagleman had participants sit in front of a computer screen that continuously flashed the same image of a shoe. Every once in awhile, the monotony was broken with a picture of a flower. The participants believed that the flower stayed on the screen longer, when in fact it cycled through just as quickly as the shoes.
It may be that the flower seemed to linger because its novelty spurred the participants to pay greater attention to it (more attention=more memory laid down=perception of longer duration). But it’s equally possible that the flower seemed to stay longer because the pictures of the shoes became compressed. Through a cognitive phenomenon called “repetition suppression,” once the brain has been exposed repeatedly to the same stimuli, it doesn’t have to expend as much time and energy recognizing it. The first time the brain encounters something, it utilizes a high amount of cognitive resources in order to make sense of it. The novelty of the stimulus spurs the mind to capture a lot of detail, which makes the encounter seem longer. With each exposure to the same stimuli, the energy required to identify it goes down, as does how long your encounter with it seems to last; the brain develops little neural shortcuts, allowing it to recognize the stimulus much more efficiently. Thus for the participants in the study, the shoe images would have appeared to stay on the screen for a shorter duration than they actually did, making the flash of an occasional flower seem longer in contrast.
“Repetition suppression” is also in effect when we encounter predictable patterns. The brain knows what’s coming and doesn’t have to work very hard to prepare for what’s around the bend. For example, when you see “1, 2, 3, 4…” your brain’s energy expenditure rises on #1, and then greatly falls off once it recognizes the familiar pattern.
But Doesn’t Time Fly When You’re Having Fun?
What may be puzzling about Eagleman’s research is that it seems to contradict popular maxims like “Time flies when you’re having fun,” and “The watched pot never boils.” Don’t exciting and novel experiences speed up time rather than slow it down?
I posed this question to Dr. Eagleman, who explained to me that there are two types of time perception: prospective and retrospective. Prospective time occurs when you’re in the moment, and your brain is anticipating what will happen next. When you’re busy and a lot is happening, “your mind is no longer attending to time at that moment — you’re not checking your watch or clock — so it seems like time is going by fast.” If you’ve ever been a waiter on a busy night, you know your shift can fly by — your mind is super focused on serving customers and what your next task is rather than on the clock.
The flip side of prospective time occurs in situations that lack stimuli to engage your brain. If you’re in a boring meeting, or on a long flight, “your mind is deeply attuned to time because you’re always checking your watch every 10 minutes or so.” You have little else to do besides watch the minutes tick by, which makes time seem to slow way down.
Once your mind reflects on what you’ve been doing (which happens pretty immediately), you transition into retrospective time. If you’ve been doing something boring and bereft of stimuli, your brain won’t have recorded much “footage” from the experience, and it will seem like a quick episode – a waft of cerebral nothingness – in your memory. If you look back on that boring meeting or long flight, it barely registers as a happening in your brain.
But when you reflect on a dangerous or novel experience, your mind’s got plenty of detailed footage for you to peruse. Your brain interprets this fact thusly: “That must have taken a long time because I don’t normally retain that much detail about events.”
Hence, time does fly when you’re having fun, but then stretches out in your memory.
How to Become a Time Wizard and Slow or Quicken Your Perception of Time
As you’ve been reading along, you’ve probably already been thinking about how this research applies to your own life, and at last you know the answer to the question we posed at the start: why does time seem to slow down when you’re young, and speed up as you get older?
When you’re young, everything is new – you’re constantly figuring out how the world works and learning the rules that govern nature and society. And you’re regularly engaging in “firsts”: first day of school, first time driving, first real job, and so on. With all this novelty, your brain is regularly laying down the kind of rich, dense memories that stretch out your perception of time.
In contrast, when you’re an adult, you’ve pretty much been there and done that. You’ve discovered the patterns of life, and your day-to-day doings are likely much more routine and predictable. Your brain doesn’t have any reason to expend energy on capturing your repetitious and predictable morning commute, ceremonial eating of a ham sandwich at your desk at work, and nightly watching of Game of Thrones. “Nothing to see here,” your brain says, and its camera clicks off. Thus, when you look back on each week, month, and year, there’s very little footage to read out, and your life seems to have passed in a fleeting blur.
Those who live a mundane, repetitious life are actually hit with a double whammy: in the midst of their boring day-to-day lives (prospective time), time seems to drag interminably on. Yet when they reflect on their lives (retrospective time), it seems to have sped by!
Yet such a fate is not inevitable. The very cool thing about this research is that it shows us how easily time can be manipulated – how “rubbery” it is, as Eagleman puts it. You have it in your power to slow down (or speed up) your perception of time. You can’t literally make your life longer, but you can make it seem longer. All you need to do is regularly inject a little novelty into it. Think about the last time you went on a great, action-packed vacation. Dimes to donuts, at the end of the trip, you said something like, “We were only here a week, but I feel like we’ve been gone forever.” All that new adventure slowed down your perception of time. Even as we get older, we can still seek out new horizons and new “firsts.”
You don’t have to do big things like traveling in order to stretch out time either. Eagleman says that even very small changes that “shake up your neural circuits” will do the trick. He recommends trying things like:
Switching the wrist you put your watch on
Changing around the arrangement of your furniture at home
Driving a different way to work
Once you start looking for them, you can find tons of ways to mix things up and re-capture your youthful curiosity and penchant for exploration. My favorite of Eagleman’s suggestions is simple but incredibly important: engaging in life-long learning. Just because you’re no longer roaming through an endless summer, doesn’t mean there isn’t a world of fascinating knowledge out there still to discover.
When you reach the end of your days, and look back over the course of your life, you can either feel like you were just 18 yesterday and that the subsequent decades passed in the blink of an eye; or, you can run the tape on a seemingly never-ending stream of rich footage of your many adventures, your interesting everyday life, and the wealth of knowledge you accumulated. If the latter, instead of seeing your life flash before your eyes, you will enjoy the satisfaction of watching it languidly unfold and relish the sense of having fit several lifetimes into a single one.
Sometimes I will be going over xrays with a patient, "Well what can I do at home?" Or, my personal favorite, "What kind of stretches can I do?" These questions, ironically, usually come after I go over some of the worst xrays. Early onset of degeneration and arthritis, complete loss of cervical curve, disc spaces so tight they are virtually bone on bone, or forward head posture so bad I have to remind myself not to use the word hump.
But here's the reality, what are you currently doing at home? I'm guessing nothing to help this. And if you do start doing something at home how long is it going to last? There is a reason people hire personal trainers, and it's not for the exercises, you can YouTube any kind of exercise and how to do it. It is for the accountability. It's to make you show up.
I have had very dedicated patients buy different parts of rehab to do at home. Now there are some key parts that you simply can not do yourself. You can't give yourself an adjustment or trigger point injection. But how often are these patients using their rehab equipment? I have no idea. Hard to make recommendations when you don't know what is actually being done or not. So all that to say No, you can't do it at home. But even if you could, would you trust yourself to do it? Honestly?
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