Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Everyone has one...

The double edged sword of technology.  Take a moment and think about all the advances that have been made in the last 20 years, cell phones became smart phones, computer labs gave way to home computers then the internet allowed an explosion of information and networking.  It seems that the common theme of this technology race is making our lives ‘easier’ and in some ways I guess that is true.  It is much easier to just call someone from our smart phones then having to stop and use a pay phone or waiting until we get home to make a call (for those of you under 20, yes we actually used to have to do this).  And now you can use an ‘app’ to order your fast food before you arrive, so I guess this makes things a little easier.  But in other ways, technology has led to a significant shift in complexity, take for example our vehicles.  I still remember the auto shop at our high school where guys (and a few gals) would learn how to rebuild engines and tune up cars.  The good mechanics back then could listen to a car running and figure out the origin of the strange noise or problem.  It used to be you could learn from a mentor and then with time and experience become a good mechanic.  But, have you taken a car in lately?  The first thing they do now is to hook it up to a computer and start working through all the various sensors and computer systems.  It seems that the actual mechanical functioning of the engine or transmission are way down the ladder of complexity.  Our vehicles have become so complex that if the computer can’t figure out what’s wrong then there is confusion and a need to run more tests.  The days of a friend or relative fixing your car is quickly becoming a thing of the past due to this increased complexity.

It seems that the same is true for almost every other machine or device we work with TVs, Computers, DVR’s, even copy machines.  We’ve gotten to the age of relying on technology but then when something goes wrong we are stuck, you have to find someone to try and fix it, but it won’t be a friend or relative and even if you do find someone it seems the standard answer now is… “It’s not worth repairing, just throw it away and get a new one.”  So, what started out to make our lives easier, actually has the exact opposite effect by making it so complex that we have lost the ability to ‘fix’ anything and the answer becomes just to discard it and start over?  It seems we have accepted this reality for a majority of the machines we work with.  But, what if it’s a machine that we simply can’t throw away?  And, to make matters worse this machine is so complex that even after thousands of years and millions of articles and theories from some of the top thinkers we are still learning about the functioning of the machine and the interaction of all its parts?  What then?  Who do we turn to?  The one thing we’ve learned about these complex machines is that they are expensive to fix so the more careful we are with them the better the chance of extending their lives.  Just break the glass on the iPhone and this will become painfully obvious.  If you want to destroy your new car quickly just put in the wrong fuel, don’t replace the oil or do any maintenance just drive it hard until it breaks down. 
Unfortunately, this is exactly how we treat the most precious machine any of us have, our bodies.  We know that there is a way to improve the longevity of the machine through some simple rules but too many people choose to ignore them.  We wait until the machine starts to break down and then we are willing to listen to all kinds of advice on how to get it working again.  “You need a new paint job!  I know this guy.”  “What you need is a new set of custom tires and rims.  I know this gal.”  “Just run some jet fuel through it for the next 7 days and it will clean it right up.”  It amazes me that we are willing to experiment with the most precious, one of a kind and irreplaceable machine we have.  If any of the advice you receive sounds too good to be true, guess what, it is.  We might not have the whole human body figured out yet but we have learned a lot.  The funny part is that even though the human body is incredibly complex there are some simply things that can really help.  It needs fuel to operate, the better the fuel you put in the better it works.  The fuel our bodies prefer is fruits and vegetables, lean meats and grains, the more natural the better.  Our bodies are made to move but like all machines if you push them to hard they will break down.  They need a rest period so they can recharge (this is called sleep and you need 6.5 to 8 hours/day).  It is also important to rest the main computer (our brain) to allow it time free of all the distractions of modern technology.  A little routine maintenance can go a long way.  Before you get the new paint job, supercharged fuel, or chase the latest fad, start with the basics.  If you need a tune up, then make sure you check into the ‘expert’ before turning over the keys.  There are a lot of ‘certifications’ out there for personal trainers and coaches everything from a weekend course to college degrees and advanced degrees.  Be careful out there…

If you need help setting up your plan start by reading Life Pioneers and then call us at TERRIO Therapy to get going.  We are here to help you Get Informed.  Get Moving. and most importantly to GET BETTER! 

Life Pioneers: The Edge of Possibility! by Tim Terrio (Oct 18, 2013)    
Available on Amazon and at All TERRIO Physical Therapy-Fitness locations.  www.myTERRIO.com
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