Working a white collar job might not seem particularly taxing, but stress and lack of exercise can wreak havoc on your body, just as much as if you blew out your knee. The older you get, the more you realize there’s a lot more to your health than making sure you eat three square meals a day and don’t get the flu.
Welcome to the wonderful world of traditional Chinese medicine. I’m not saying that you should chew some ginger if you have a serious bacterial infection, but stress, and its resulting cortical and inflammation, are real things that have very real effects on your body. If you don’t do something to alleviate all that, you’ll end up a hunchback popping painkillers to deal with all the random aches and pains you have.
When my shoulders felt like they were starting to fuse together, and my neck was just becoming a tree stump, I took a trip to Yueyang Hospital just next to my office.
I just said my neck was sore, and the next thing I knew, they had my head tied up in some sort of sling, followed up by a massage from a very chatty man with even stronger hands. Ordinarily I would have just taken ibuprofen, but I figure Chinese culture has thousands of years dealing with stressed out workers.
One session of massage isn’t going to cure everything that ails you, but it is an important part of taking care of yourself. A trip to the TCM doc once or twice a month keeps you from sounding like an old geezer every time you get out of a chair.
There’s a lot of ways to spend your time, money, and energy in Shanghai. Make sure some of that is going towards your health.