Readers’ Voice

  Shelter in place, but keep moving by Debra Farris, LMT

With the onset of the COVID-19 quarantine, we are required to Shelter in Place.  Maybe this has allowed us to get a few projects done, clean out a closet, read more, get creative, do some cooking or baking new things, or learn something new on a computer like Zoom, Facetime or an online education course.  
   For many, it also means long periods of sitting.  This can be sitting watching TV, working at a computer desk, sitting at the kitchen table playing cards and more.
   As a massage therapist and body worker, I know that sitting can wreak havoc on the physical body.  It’s even been said that “sitting is the new smoking”. Sitting too long can cause a myriad of undesirable symptoms, including stiffness, loss of balance, sciatica, low back pain, hip issues, groin pain, neck problems, headaches and postural deterioration.
   It’s important to alternate your sitting with other activities at least once every hour by getting up, walking around, stretching, clenching your muscles, then releasing them, shrugging your shoulders then releasing them, flex and point your toes, or attending to whichever area feels stiff or sore as necessary. 
   Our fascia, which is a protective netting just under our skin, gets stuck from non-movement.  Did you ever peel the skin off a piece of raw chicken and see that filmy stuff right underneath?  That’s fascia. Humans have it too. It gets tight and stuck when we don’t move around.  It also clusters around injuries and scar tissue, which creates more stiffness and immobility, and even pain.
   Pain is an indicator that something is out of balance.  Pain wants attention; so if you are experiencing pain, please attend to it.  This could mean giving the area a rub or stretch, soaking feet/body in an Epsom salt bath, applying topical analgesics, and/or drinking more water. 
   When it’s hot outside, it’s a good idea to drink a beverage with Electrolytes in it.  Smart Water, Vitamin Water, Emergen-C packets, Propel and Gatorade are just a few of the electrolyte choices available. Electrolytes help replenish the essential cell salts, nourish the kidneys, and transport lactic acid and toxins from the muscles.
   Now is such an important time to take care of ourselves; to stay in balance, and stay healthy.  Diet is another major factor. If you are moving less, eat less. Try eating “cleaner”.  The virus is said to lodge in the mucous membranes of the body, and is especially hard on people who are congested.  Wheat, Dairy and Sugar are usual suspects for creating congestion and inflammation in the body.  
   There are multitudes of healthy natural alternatives now that are easier on the body, and still taste great. Eat more food from the Earth, and less food from boxes and cans. 
   Be well, and thank you for doing your part!  

   Debra Farris, of Mattawan, is a massage/bodywork therapist, corrective exercise specialist, and holistic practitioner.



To the Editor:
   Over the years, our rule of order has significantly changed. For society, 'majority rules' has been replaced by ‘I am offended by....' or 'it is not politically correct'. As a result, a change is demanded to remove the offensive matter. No area of our lives can escape this. Examples of this are Christmas scenes, prayer or moment of silence at a local sport event, and even a cross or statue.  And now it has involved a mascot and logo.
   There have been several articles in The Courier-Leader addressing this issue. No matter what is done on any matter in the world, you cannot please every person. What we do not know about the issue is, how big was the division? From the March 6th issue, apparently there was more to the problem than reported (ie, FOIA lawsuits). As it was reported, the matter has been finalized. But in reviewing the articles of this year, there are concerns.
   Tom Baney stated that “the pain will not go away”. How true.
   The final decision was a personalized emotional one, not easily forgotten. There was a statement made by Brent McNitt that is bothersome. “We cannot operate a school where we're letting kids walk through feeling unsafe.” What did this mean? Is it an internal or external matter? Hopefully, bullying was not the problem. A potential consequence of giving into the change is it could give support to actions to continue intimidation, as may be inferred by Mr. Baney’s comment.
   Whether the matter was internal or external to the school, it seems that some sort of investigation should have been made as to why student did not feel safe.
   Students learn from observations of life, and from adult behavior. Prejudice is a prime example. It is disheartening that the behavior (more violent) of youth of the last 10 years is so different than those of 20-30 years ago. Of course, there was not the large amount of potential sources of influence that we have today.
Wayne Wilhelmi
Paw Paw


The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes
32280 E. Red Arrow Hwy. • P.O. Box 129
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-5080

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