Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Two years in review

I've never done one of these year-in-review things before, and because the last two years have blurred into each other I'm going to do 2009 and 2010 as conjoined.

So, two years ago I was in Hawaii rethinking my existence on the planet while soaking up rays into my sunstarved self. I decided the sun felt so good that I needed more. I knew I didn't need it on my skin as much as I needed it in my head, so I resolved to get it together enough to move to a different life/place.

The first half of 2009 was about getting ready to move and moving and dealing with the life that was ending so I could move on to the one that was still unknown. To help me stay focused and slide through the transition, I started a Facebook page which just rolled over 4000 members a few days ago, and has close to 2000 links.

The second half of 2009, after I moved, was about recovering from the previous 25 years of light deprivation and the toll it had taken on me cognitively. I couldn't do much but I did whatever I could while I let my brain fluff back up.

The first half of 2010 was about enjoying the spring and delving into new projects, like traveling, teaching, presenting, signing up for a uni program, and trying to figure out how to get back into the working world.

The second half of 2010 has been about immersing myself into study with a bit of webinaring on the side, and starting a bit of a practice seeing people in their homes.

I have to say, I still miss the life I had in Vancouver, which was tailor-made for me/by me, but in the wrong place for me micro-neuro-physiologically/biologically. My mistake. Oops. We move on.

Dealing with depression every winter had started to feel more like "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" than I could bear.
Recently I found this, Depressive Illness - Curse of the Strong, a fresh package for an old problem, one that sits better with me; I liked this part:  
"This illness nearly always happens to a certain type of person. He or she is strong, reliable, diligent, with a strong conscience and sense of responsibility, but is also sensitive, easily hurt by criticism and has a self esteem which while robust on the outside, is in fact quite vulnerable and easily dented. This is the person to whom you would turn to in times of need, and they would never let you down."
That is a great description of the ideal human primate social groomer, right there. Not saying it's how I am, but rather that I think it's what human primates ordinarily aspire to be before we have to admit we fail at it and have resign ourselves to said failure. Serial failure. Waxing and waning of hope while trying to become some ideal version of a human.

I have to say, while my outer life still feels shrunk compared to how it played out in Vancouver, on the inside of me I feel SO much better, more "normal", more energetic, motivated, etc. I guess a year and a half with no saddle on, grazing about in sunshine will do that for ya.

Looking forward
I just got back from Saskatoon last night, Solstice eve, from a preliminary review committee meeting. A young woman is setting up a project in conjunction with a Master's degree in PT. She wants to study dermoneuromodulation. I'm a member of said review committee, and would be providing the physical treatment. I provided a demonstration for them, pre-organized by them, on the husband of one of the members. We hope to find a way to measure effects of manual treatment on the peripheral, spinal and brain nervous system, using some sort of molecular trace - without my having to learn to touch and treat actual lab rats of the rodent kind, I mean - so we have a molecular pain scientist on the committee.
Very interesting meeting. Very unusual solstice in my experience - lots of questions, no answer, but feels like lots of movement happening. 
My birthday is in another week. Happy birthday to me. If we can come up with some sort of study that can show that manual therapy has a physical effect on the nervous system, and we can measure it (in some non-invasive way), and not just imply said effect based on outcome measures that are ridiculously hard to validate/be completely objective about, it might be a step forward for manual therapy.

Happy solstice and new year - I mean that sincerely. Happily.

1 comment:

Ginger Campbell, MD said...


Thanks again for all your support over the last 3 years. I hope that 2011 brings you many new (sun-fillled) adventures.

Ginger Campbell, MD

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