Apparently, I’m not learning how to listen to myself fast enough because the “infection” that the walk-in clinic diagnosed me with, turned out to be much worse. I finally gave in and drove the hour and a bit to my family Doctor, instead of the forty-five minutes to a walk-in clinic, got an accurate diagnosis and was put on meds that started working straight away.
It wasn’t the Doctor that diagnosed me first; it was her nurse and when she told me what it was, I couldn’t help but cry. It was the second time in just over a year that I’d been diagnosed with shingles and I knew that the pain that I had been dealing with might not go away once the skin healed because I still have residual pain in my back from the first time I got them.
Anyway, I’m not going to dwell on it because it won’t change anything. I may have scars on my face where the shingles are and I may have residual nerve pain but like I said, there’s nothing I can do to change that. I can, however, continue to move forward and try to find a way to calm the symptoms of PTSD so that I don’t keep ending up with health issues that are caused by the stressors of living with a mental illness.
As you know, I work-out regularly and I eat healthy; I also try to meditate, but I struggle with meditation. I have apps on my phone to try and help but like I said, I struggle. I can keep my mind quiet for about a minute and a half, but then I start to get antsy, for lack of a better word. I just can’t seem to sit still and I feel extremely vulnerable sitting with my eyes closed – especially if there are other people in the room - so I’m going to try something different and that’s Tai Chi.
I’ve been doing some research and I think Tai Chi may be exactly what I need to help with the day-to-day challenges of living with mental injury/illness.
Medical News Today states that “Tai Chi is a competitive martial art known for both its defense techniques as well as its health benefits.” The phrase “Tai chi ch’uan” translates to “supreme ultimate fist” or “boundless fist, and can be traced back to Taoist and Buddhist monasteries. Tai Chi is considered safe for people of all ages because it doesn’t put too much stress on the muscles or joints and has been shown to improve balance, fitness and flexibility, especially when it comes to the elderly.
Another thing I found extremely interesting is that it has also been shown to alter a person’s responses against shingles; making the immune system better and stronger. Studies also say that it appears to reduce pain, the symptoms of depression, and it can also help to alleviate stress and anxiety, which are found in mental illnesses.
It (Tai Chi) has evolved over centuries as a form of “meditation in motion,” and there are many people that claim that it promotes serenity and inner peace through its gentle physical exercise and stretching with mindfulness.
Honestly, I’m at my wit’s end but I think Tai Chi is exactly what the Doctor ordered! I’m going to get started on Monday of next week - which I might add is the first class available of the season for beginners. The class starts early in the morning, so that I won’t have time to talk myself out of it, plus I can get to it without going on a highway; you know how important that is for me when I have to drive myself somewhere. I promise to let you know how it all goes.
Stay safe, stay strong and thanks for following.