Thanks to everyone for some great ideas!
Mkyl, Kodiac -- Tai Chi? What is Tai Chi? I've heard of it and may have seen a video on the subject; but I'd really appreciate some backgound information. Is Tai Chi a martial art or a meditation technique? I'm under the impression that Tai Chi is pretty passive. Does it help to strengthen, stretch, condition or is it mainly a relaxaton technique?
Morgan, you and the trainer I talked to must be exchanging notes! You both want to to put me back in the pool!
At one time my wife and I lived a mile from a brand new community pool. We swam, at least, three times a week for almost four years! I swim with a mask and snorkel and, like yourself, find it very peaceful as well as a good work-out! My wife has never needed or cared much for excercise, the fact that she stuck with it for so long is a commercial for how enjoyable swimming can be!
I seem to be particularly sensitive to the cold, after this last surgery. Hitting the water when it's 14 degrees out is definitely more of a mental challenge than it once was! We now live forty-five minutes from the closest pool; which makes it a little inconvenient.
While I have plenty of excuses not to -- you and Mykl are certainly right that swimming, water walking an other low impact work in the pool is the right thing to do. Now if I could just get a heated suit!
Dennis, congratulations! I know exactly how you felt. I am truly very happy you've been able to manage without going the surgery route. Muscles working to compensate for other muscles, an injury, or some structural weakness can go into severe spasm and create the worst imaginable "cascade of pain". Yes, I've been there -- too many times!
You might be interested to know that my orthopedic surgeon uses massage therapy as a diagnostic tool to confirm a need for surgery. In fact, I know plenty of ortho docs who are big fans of massage.
IMHO, therapeutic massage is a great benefit for anyone -- whether to help an injury or to relieve muscle tension from working out! Before a second injury made surgery inevitable for me; I kept my back under control with excercise, swimming, and massage therapy.
I've tried chiropractic, myo-therapies, acupuncture, and every other "non-traditional modality" you can think of -- for me, nothing relieves muscle spasm better than traditional massage techniques!
I'm sure your wife's profession will continue growing and become "more mainstream" as people realize the benefits and get more comfortable with it. Unfortunately, it is expensive and medical insurance plans don't cover it.
My resolution for '99 is to work out as much as possible. I'd like to learn about Tai Chi and find things I can do locally. If it warms up a few degrees I may be able to get myself into the pool!
Thanks again for all your good advice.
Happy New Year!