Tuesday 9 April 2013

Do you strain?

'Do you strain?' asked Dr Schaffler as I sat in his consulting room at Schloss Pichlarn in Austria.

I frowned a little.  We had already debated my bowels and their various movements in huge detail and at great length and had established everything was fine and dandy.  But hey, this was a German doctor practising Ayurveda (the ancient Indian school of medicine) in Austria - and so I just figured I was getting a triple dose of stool searching.
'No, I'm very rarely constipated,' I said.
He laughed.  'No. I mean...do you...are you...always straining in your life.'
'Am I stressed?'  I thought about it.
'Yes, of course, sometimes.  I'm a freelance writer so either I have too much work and I worry about getting it all done, or I have too little and I worry about that instead.'

He gave me one of those looks that says 'you've just dodged the question' but he let it lie.  In fact, he made me lie on the couch and prodded and pulled and poked my abdomen.

Dr Schaffler is not happy with my abdomen.  Which is fine, because neither am I.
'It's weird,' he said.
There you go - official confirmation.

He explains how it's going this way when it should be going that way, and is fat here and thin there (which isn't good) and he tells me I need more yoga (well, yes, if only my yoga teacher hadn't upped and offed to India) and more breathing (proper breathing) and...  he gives me two sets of herbal preparations and advises I steer clear of bread for the time being.

Then he looks at me again and says.  'Grief.  Your pulses talk about grief.'
'They do?'
'They do.  And strain.  Not stress.'

And so I smiled vaguely and muttered about language barriers.  But then, a little later, as I was leaning against the edge of the outdoor pool looking up at a bright clear sky above snow-capped mountains, I realised I was clenching my jaw so tightly that my teeth were creaking.

Damnit, he's right.  I do strain.  I always strain.  Too darn hard.  At everything.  All the time.  I mean, for heaven's sake, I'm here in this gorgeous spa and I'm even straining to relax.  Ye gods.

And you?  Do you strain?  :-)


Liz said...

Yes - right now teeth cleanched and straining!!

Anonymous said...

I don't think I do strain. I cry, I give in, I fear, and most of all I believe that I am not worthy. But I don't strain. In order to strain you have to have a belief in yourself that justifies the strain. Perhaps that's why I don't

Exmoorjane said...

@Liz...prunes? :)

@SBP - Oh. Do you really feel so? I hadn't thought of it like that. But...you must believe in yourself...hey, even if you don't, I do...in you, I mean. :)

Anonymous said...

I have a terrible sense of self worth. I know it's stupid but it's who I am. Thank you for the vote of confidence though :)

Ivy said...

Oh yes I do it's my middle name and now that I have reached middle age I not only strain I worry too! I thought with grown up children it would be only myself I would have to worry about but nooo! parent, children job... in no specific order

Ashen said...

Was he good looking?

Ashen said...

Re: Blogger - leaving comments there is very frustrating.

The 'Please prove you're not a robot, has unintelligible letterings. Sometimes I give up.
Ever thought of moving your blog to wordpress?

Exmoorjane said...

@Ivy - I really didn't think I did...but I do wonder if I put WAY too much effort into everything.. Not sure if that's the same as worrying. :)

@Ashen - Absolutely. :) I'll post a pic when I get back.

And yeah, I hear you about Word Verif...I turn if off and then I'm deluged with spam...but I know it's a pain. I do have a WordPress blog but, y'know, I still rather like Blogger. :)

Exmoorjane said...

@SBP - Hmm... why do we continue doing things we know are stupid? :)

Frances said...

Jane, I received an email yesterday that may or may not have been from you.

Did you send a link to me and some of our mutual friends?

Re straining...i think that advanced age is finally giving me a more relaxed approach. I appreciate calm moments more and more.


Exmoorjane said...

@Frances - my (rarely used) JTJ account was hacked. Huge apologies. Didn't realise how many names I had on it. :(

Frances said...

Thanks for your reply Jane. I thought it looked odd!


Fennie said...

Yes in a word I strain. So I am going to lie on my back for a while over a yoga block and if I am lucky go to sleep!