October 21, 2006

Healthy Exorcise

Posted in film, psychology at 9:49 am by Jerry

Have you ever been stressed out so much your muscles start tightening up, and if you want to loosen them just a little (drug-free) you have to intentionally relax them through the worst pain your stress empowered them with? That seems to be my situation as of late.

For the last month, I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of physical and psychological tricks (and treats) to rid myself of my back pain. While lying on my back (my back pain shows up after sleep), I’ve been taking a breath in while sending an arched-back wave, if you will, down my spine, followed by an upside-down arch waving down my spine as I breathe out. This exorcise helps me locate minor and hidden pain that are not-so-minor and hidden when I wake up.

When I’ve found the pain, I play a psychological trick&treat that seems to be working, so far. What I’ve been doing is trying to find an emotional association with a spot of pain in my back. These pictures and feelings hidden within me may in fact be the cause of my stress, who knows? But, surprisingly, they’re not what I would call “unhealthy pictures and feelings”. They’re just pictures of fears and situations anyone can be justifiably angry about.

In my opinion, Yoda’s philosophy – “fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering,” is not doing justice to those feelings.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with carrying healthy anger or fear, over this or that, even though these feelings still hurt us. It just has to be done right. So now, I try to accept the existence of healthy anger and fear in my mind, and see them for what they really are, rather than bury the awful (but healthy) sight of them. Sometimes, this psychological trick&treat is enough to release any stress they may cause. Unfortunately, this release can be just as emotionally painful as the physical pain I experience when I use my physical trick&treat described above.

I’ve been playfully calling my experiments “a healthy exorcise”. Tis the season, don’t you think? Check out this word history on EXORCISE…

Word History: An oath is to be found at the etymological heart of exorcise, a term going back to the Greek word exorkizein, meaning “to swear in,” “to take an oath by,” “to conjure,” and “to exorcise.” Exorkizein in turn is formed from the prefix ex-, “thoroughly,” and the verb horkizein, “to make one swear, administer an oath to,” derived from horkos, “oath.” Our word exorcise is first recorded in English in a work composed possibly before the beginning of the 15th century, and in this use exorcise means “to call up or conjure spirits” rather than “to drive out spirits,” a sense first recorded in 1546.


What should you be exorcising this Hallowe’en?


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