The other day I loaded and listened to some old pod casts of Pete Egoscue's radio show, Pain Free Radio.
For eight years (2001-2009), Pete hosted a live syndicated Q & A talk show program where callers could dial in and get free advice on how to achieve a pain free life and living using Posture Alignment Therapy.
One of my favorite themes and conversations were the ones where Pete asks callers a familiar question.
Now keep in mind that the majority of callers were dialing in to ask the best selling author and "pain relief guy" for his expert advice on how to get out of pain without medication, manipulation or surgery.
If you've ever been caught in the chronic pain cycle then you know how absurd the question might sound. It was always amusing to hear people's reactions to the question, or should I say, the pregnant pause of stunned silence.
What? Fun? You've got to be kidding. I'm in pain Pete, how can I possibly go out and have fun? Don't you know (insert)
It never failed. Those reactions pretty much always cracked me up! Pete would start a conversation off by challenge a person's beliefs about their body, and it's ability to heal and recover from chronic pain. Wowza! Sometime's those interactions were very awkward, but ultimately, always productive.
Pete would let the person briefly share why they couldn't do "fun" anymore, and often abruptly stop them before the pity party kicked into full gear.
He'd challenge with rebuttles like:
In part one of an awesome article series by Psychology Today called The Value of Play I: The Definition of Play Provides Clues to its Purpose, play at its core is defined as:
what one wants to do as opposed to what one is obliged to do.
The joy of play is the ecstatic feeling of liberty. Play is not always accompanied by smiles and laughter, nor are smiles and laughter always signs of play; but play is always accompanied by a feeling of “Yes, this is what I want to do right now.” Players are free agents, not pawns in someone else’s game.
They then go on to list five characteristics of play (source Psychology Today).
Pete Egoscue truly understands the value of fun, and play by definition sure sounds like fun to me. Perhaps the best commentary on play can be found from on my good friend Cathy Johnston's blog (The Awakening of Her Body Mind and Soul)
Cathy equates play with FREEDOM. She writes:
At its simplest, Certified Posture Alignment Specialists understand, teach and implement The 8 Laws of Physical Health as they relate to "blue-print" design of the human body.
We posture folks are all about helping people restore joint function and mobility through the power of properly applied corrective exercise so they can go enjoy a pain free life and living once again. The prime benefit of a regular postural therapy practice is to enable a person to live life with freedom. And freedom means having FUN!
As pain is eliminated and mobility is restored, we, like Pete Egoscue, encourage our clients to go and play!
That's right, once you're pain free, we encourage our clients to PLAY. Do what you love to do for just for the freedom and fun of it. Personally, I love to do Zumba and CrossFit among other things for fun, but that's me. Perhaps the bigger question is:
We'd love to hear what you do for fun, and more importantly, what fun means to you!
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