Pain or Pleasure for Better Health?

Today I had a massage… yesterday I had acupuncture.

Both are great for health, but the treatment itself can involve some pain alongside the pleasure.

Funny thing, the massage actually contains more pain — like when Sheri Morris, my massage therapist, went deep into the knots and tender areas, working out the tension.

When she worked the less painful areas, it was quite enjoyable (and I was able to concentrate on feeling happy and grateful for the experience), but when she worked the more painful ones it was ironically enjoyable too, because I could feel the treatment working. The pain and tension seemed to melt right away.

She also does foot reflexology, and gave me a treatment to start out. But since I’m pregnant, there are certain areas around the ankle and heel that she can’t work on because they could trigger contractions. Good to keep in mind if you ever get a massage while pregnant!

Now here’s the really interesting part…

People tend to think, “Massage… ooh, feels good!” and “Acupuncture… sounds painful!”

But in fact, the acupuncture was less painful than the massage. There weren’t those feel-good moments either, unless you count lying peacefully on the table (but I wasn’t peaceful this time because my mind was racing around the upcoming simulcast we had with Terri Levine, and hoping the session wouldn’t be delayed any more than it was) but there weren’t any painful moments either.

Well, I actually still have some residual pain from that one needle he gave me the first time, in my shin. It’s lasted two weeks, and he’s never had that happen before… but he gave me a heat stick treatment to take home and do every couple of days to try to get rid of it.

I was cleared for the calcium mix allergies, and yesterday we did B vitamins. The worst part about these treatments is the limited food you can eat for six hours afterwards, and last night it was a choice of cauliflower (no butter or cheese, just cauliflower), plain white rice, or french fries.

Well, guess what… I chose the fries. And I have not eaten fast food for a long time — years, even — except for one time when Barry and I were looking at houses recently and we both were starving after six hours on the road with the realtor, so we had to stop at McDonald’s… but I chose the yogurt and fruit combo and the apple slices to go with my small fries.

Last night I was hungry, and fries were all that appealed to me on that list (pregnant women don’t just have cravings for some foods, they have aversions to others… and the cauliflower and rice were averting me at that moment!) so after the call with Terri we went out and got burgers for Barry and fries for me.

Yes, the doc had tried to steer me towards the other choices instead of the “nutritional value of cardboard” that he says fries have… but hey, I would have rather had some nice fruit, cheese, yogurt or some healthy cereal instead, if it wasn’t off my list of what I could consume.

So the point is, all around, better health is going to involve some concessions. There’s going to be some inconvenience, maybe even some temporary pain, but the long-lasting pleasurable effects far outweigh any of that.

If you go for immediate pleasure (for instance, junk food or lying on the couch instead of exercising) you’ll end up with the long-term pain or discomfort instead.

So I’m quite happy to take some short-term pain or inconvenience in favor of long-term wellness. Life is too short to do it the other way around.

Keep Unwrapping the Mysteries of Life,

Heather Vale

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