Stuck in my Craw

STICK IN ONE’S CRAW – "When you can’t swallow something, when it won’t go down, or you are loath to accept it, it sticks in your craw. The craw is the crop or preliminary stomach of a fowl, where food is predigested. Hunters centuries ago noticed that some birds swallowed bits of stone that were too large to pass through the craw and into the digestive tract. These stones, unlike the sand and pebbles needed by birds to help grind food in the pouch, literally stuck in the craw, couldn’t go down any farther. This oddity became part of the language of hunters and the phrase was soon used figuratively." From the "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).

I know, you’re probably thinking "lighten up, Francis" (from the movie Stripes).

1. Rolling Your IT Band. You might as well go and take a rolling pin to your car tire. Its almost the same durability. Your IT band isn’t the problem. There isn’t an IT band syndrome. Its the muscles that connect to the IT band that may create satellite pain that refers to your outer leg or outer knee. When you feel a strain from overwork, its your TFL (tensor fascia latae) and your Glutes (primarily gluteus medius) that are opposing forces that are tugging on your IT band. But your IT band isn’t feeling pain. The pain you feel can easily refer into your vastus lateralis (VL), your outer quad. And as its stated in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the mid-point of your VL is called the Hornet’s Nest. On nearly everyone, this area is very sensitive. So when you "roll out your IT band", the intense sensitivity you feel is your VL. I’ve even seen on YouTube, professionals like massage and physical therapists, talking about a painful IT band. Its just not the source of the problem. It does no good at all to roll out your IT band. Instead, focus on gluteus medius and TFL.

2. Core. What the heck is your core? In yoga, we call it uddiyana bandha and even mula bandha. But even that is somewhat ephemeral as a description. Primarily, when powerlifters and weightlifters, in particular, talk about locking in before a lift, they are engaging the transverse abdominus (TA). They call it Nature’s Weightbelt. Yes, the other muscles play a tangential role in stability, but the TA is by far the most important in locking in your viscera and stabilizing the spine. The others don’t connect to the spine like the TA.

3. Wheel pose. This is not as big of a deal for me. There are names from other practices that are there for a reason. And I’m OK with it. But an Ashtangi would never call Upward Bow (Urdhva Dhanurasana) a Wheel Pose. Wheel in Sanskrit is Chakra. So in Ashtanga, we have a pose called Chakrasana. It is when you start from seated and roll backward into chaturanga dandasana. You are rolling like a wheel. We have other idiosyncrasies with naming, such as savasana, tadasana, and others. I’d prefer if we not universalize a misnomer with wheel pose.

4. Ice. I was going to stop at #3, but I couldn’t resist this one. I could probably add on a few more, but I’d probably lose my audience if I haven’t already. Yes, when you are injured, Ice feels good. It acts to numb pain by desensitizing nerve endings. It may also reduce the feeling of swelling. But for healing, ice only slows the process. The false hypothesis that was developed was the idea that meat is stored in ice to preserve it, so Ice must be good for what ails us. This has never been proven in scientific literature. Instead, ice slows down circulation, it impedes the movement of lymph that carries T-cells and helper cells for healing, it allows scar tissue to form before it is needed, and decreases the body’s natural fever and splinting system that is "swelling". We actually use inflatable casts to splint a fracture or isolate an injury. That’s what swelling does. And the heat in swelling is the natural fever that increases blood circulation and rushes healing agents to the site of injury. Our body does this for a reason. So why do we choose to stop it with ice? It makes no sense. Yes, if you feel lots of unbearable pain, then ice it if you must. If you study pain, pain isn’t real. Our brain reacts to a stimulus and we translate it into pain. But with mind control, we can change the narrative from what our brain is telling us. That’s a whole other topic for conversation. Resist icing. RICE is wrong. Just don’t do it.

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