Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Me and my Back

Lately, as I am sure most of you are aware, I have been working at Ideal Bodyworks as Judy's apprentice. It has been about 2 years since I first met Judy as a client and she began working her magic on my back.
The reason I first visited Judy was that I had severely injured my spine. For weeks after hurting myself walking was a challenge, after a few months I had learned to live with the pain. I would get cramps and spasms in my back after every physical activity, and a half hour in the car was about all I could handle. It was like this for almost 18 months.
To make my very long story into a short one I will just say that after only 4 visits with Judy I was completely out of pain and back to life as I knew it before my injury. Needless to say I was grateful.
There is a side story in this whole affair that sometimes I forget about, but am reminded of every time I see a picture of myself in the past. From a very young age I have had problems with my posture. My back was rounded, and it was impossible for me to pull my shoulders back or stand up straight like everyone else. I was ridiculed and teased in school, receiving insults regularly in reference to my poor "hunch back" posture. I was also very skinny, this didn't help my problems.

See what I mean?

Because of the way my back was shaped there were muscles (mainly in my chest area) that would not develop no matter what I tried. I had been to Doctors, and Chiropractors, and specialists many many times, but was always given silly excuses why they couldn't help me, and no solutions (unless I wanted a metal rod in my back...yeah right). Oh well, I would think, it could be worse.
Spinal Touch is effective because it balances the body in a way that significantly improves posture. When posture is correct, it allows circulation to get to weakened or damaged areas so they may heal. As I work with people who have back injuries I have noticed that every single time there is an ongoing injury in someones spine, there is an imbalance in posture, and it seems that every time there is an imbalance in posture to begin with, injuries are easy to come by. The body is meant to stand with correct posture, and handles activities and forces better when it does. In situations of injury, the body compensates for the damaged areas by tightening muscles so as to "baby" the injured spot (sort of like limping when a person hurts their foot or ankle).
When I went to Judy I went because I was in pain, but I noticed as she worked with me that my shoulders were migrating towards the place they were supposed to be. As I said, after my fourth session I was completely out of pain, but after my sixth session I got off "the line" (the laser line or plumb line that spinal touch practitioners have their clients stand in front of before and after every session for analysis)and asked Judy if I was standing with correct posture. She laughed and told me to look for myself. Wow, I thought to myself...finally. It was like a dream come true.
Here are some pictures of me. The first one was when I was a kid of about 13. The second picture is me at almost 25, a couple of months before meeting Judy. Notice that my posture is exactly the same as when I was young. The third picture is me almost 2 years to the day after receiving Spinal Touch for the first time. My posture is still good, and my body has finally grown in the areas it was unable to in the past. Most people see these pictures and accuse me of working out. The truth is that I was getting far more exercise and workout time during the time frame of the second picture than in that of the third. My body just responds differently now.
Judy always gives people the opportunity to receive before and after pictures for their first session, because in a single session there is a noticeable difference. I thought it would be fun to show the world what happens after a couple years. I hope you enjoy the pics.

-Chris Gainer

Here are some from the back.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The world is in a time in history when men are rewarded for being weak. We are told by governments and other organizations that we need no strength of our own, and that by giving them all we have, they will protect us. The only problem with this philosophy is that people are not happy when they are not progressing.
Albert Einstein once said that "Light can only exist so long as it is actively moving forward". As soon as the light stops progressing it is no longer light.
I can imagine an entity telling a beam of light to slow down and give away its energy and the entity will glow for the light so it doesn't have to work anymore. But what becomes of the light?
The reality is that we, as people, have a light that shines within us from our hearts. When we give up our quest to move forward we lose that light and it effects every aspect of our lives.
Ask the weight lifter what happens to his muscles if someone else bears his burden. Ask the runner what happens to his time if he rides in a car.
It is progression that makes us happy. It is strength that brings joy to our hearts. The way to gain strength is to fight our own battles, and walk our own path.
I long for the day that the people of the world are strong, and prepared for the things of the future.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Well, we just returned from San Diego and from teaching spinal touch therapy to our largest group yet. It was an exciting trip that everyone enjoyed.
It is always fun to see the ocean, and play in the salty waves. One evening, after teaching, I was out in the water and watched the sun begin to disappear over the horizon. I knew it would be dark soon and I knew the fun was almost over for the night, but I wanted to watch the sun until it was gone. It was a clear evening, and the clouds were high, but the sun seemed far enough away that I could look at it without it burning my eyes. As well as watching the sun I was also watching the water, and viewing the reflection the sun was making directly below it. When the burning globe was exactly half gone, the reflection made it seem like I could see the whole sun again. In water, the sky was reflected.
There are many moments every day that I am able to reflect on things I have seen and learned, and at the time I was at the beach I learned a valuable lesson. In order to show light you do not necessarily have to be it yourself. You can show light by simply being polished, or smooth enough to reflect it. I made a decision that evening that I would do my best to make sure that the waters of my life are smooth, so I too, like the ocean on a calm evening, can reflect light for all to see.
The next evening, after our goodbyes, we drove home and away from our new fond memories and friends that we made at the workshop. Every person that attended added something unique to the group.

Intro to my book

People keep asking what the book I am writing is about. I decided to post the introduction here. I hope you enjoy it.

Barefoot Smiles and Rattlesnakes

By Chris Gainer


When I was in my later teenage years, my Father and I were hiking to a cliff to go rock climbing. Mid-hike I randomly stopped on top of a rock on the edge of a talus slope to remove my shirt where, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted danger. Right on the other side of the rock and directly below me was a rather large rattlesnake. I called to my Dad, who was slightly further down the trail, to inform him of my find and was greeted back with doubt. I don’t remember his exact words, but it was something like “I have been coming up here for years and have never seen a rattlesnake, are you sure it doesn’t just look like one?”

Soon he was standing next to me confirming that it was indeed a rattlesnake. “Shouldn’t we leave it alone?” I asked.

At this point in the story I need to make a confession. I don’t particularly like dangerous and/or poisonous creatures. In fact, they downright scare me. This list includes, but is not limited to certain spiders, sharks, zombies, and, of course, rattlesnakes. My Father, on the other hand, had different fears. When he was young he and his brother found a tire full of poisonous snakes and one by one he reached in, pulled them out, and put them on the ground where my uncle would shoot them with his BB gun. They took the dead snakes home and posed for the camera. That picture makes me laugh every time I see it.

Back to the story. “Shouldn’t we leave it alone?” I asked. He didn’t respond with words, but by tossing small rocks and getting a stick to prod and poke the serpent. I guess if I could turn his actions into words, they would say “You’re a rattlesnake, so rattle,” and rattle it did. “You have fangs, so bite this stick,” and bite the stick it did. And last but not least “I am bigger than you so go away,” and go away it did.

I don’t really remember the next couple of moments, but I am sure he smiled in triumph. What I do remember is my reaction. We were headed towards a climb that would require us to finish crossing the talus slope and using the logic that where there was one, there were many, I was able to talk my Dad into going to a different climb in a slightly different part of the canyon. We hiked for another 15 minutes or so before we reached our new destination. There was only one more obstacle. The rock wall with our goal was vertically just a few feet above us; but to reach the base of it where we would set up the belay, we would have to climb about ten feet up a crack to reach a ledge that marked the spot. The climbing to the ledge was easy and we decided that I would go first. A few moments later one of my hands was on top of the ledge, then my other hand. I pulled my head above my line of sight and right in front of me, all coiled up, was another rattlesnake. Not thinking about gravity, I pushed back from the wall and let go of the rock. My Father, fortunately, was spotting me and directed my fall rather well.

“What happened?” he asked. I told him my story and of my desire to leave the canyon at once. He just chuckled and said we could go…after I climbed back up to the ledge and took a picture of the snake, which I grudgingly did.

The rest of the story entails us saying a prayer together, asking for the almighty to protect us from harm as we descended down the mountain. This may or may not have been my idea, as my dad wasn’t nearly as scared as me, but in any case, we prayed. The interesting thing that I generally point out as purpose for this story is that to hike from our car to where we were took us about half an hour and hiking down should only have taken us fifteen minutes, but it took an hour. It took so long because we poked under every rock with sticks before we stepped off of it and threw rocks in front of us all the way down the trail in hopes that if danger was present we would hear the too familiar buzzing sound as a warning not to proceed.

One might say, “If you asked God for protection, and you believed in his power, why were you so careful?”

To this I say that before invoking the protection that I believe Heaven can provide, it is only right that I do everything in my ability to avoid the danger in the first place.

This story happened quite a few years ago and unfortunately my Father has since passed on. I only tell it in attempt to point out that if, for some reason, the first snake we encountered wasn’t there and we continued on our way with our originally intended plans. And if the day turned out exactly like we had hoped it would when we left our house that morning., we would have had fun, got some exercise, and left with a smile. But truth be told, I would not remember anything about that day. Most of my favorite memories of someone that I consider to be the greatest man I ever knew, come from the times that things didn’t go according to plan, times when I was scared, hurt, or in danger but turned out fine. Some of my favorite memories of life are from the things that made me realize how fragile I am. These are the moments that make our lives memorable, and the things we look back on and smile.

If you are reading this, and you feel like your life is in one of those times right now, when nothing is turning out the way you expected it to, don’t sweat it. Take off your shoes and socks and go walk around barefoot in the grass or snow and smile. Someday you just may look back and be grateful that things didn’t turn out the way that you planned.

What follows in this book are some of my stories and the lessons I learned through them. May you enjoy them as much as I have learned to.