In hindsight, beginning to do all these things at once makes it difficult to break down exactly what’s helping and how much, but with only a few weeks to conduct the experiment and with the hope of relieving pain, I was willing to forego some of the scientific approach for the trade-off of feeling better.
For the first week of the experiment, I completed the above routine five out of seven days, and I have to say, on days when I consistently followed the routine, the combination of treatments did provide noticeable improvements – including better sleep, less discomfort sitting through the day, and the ability to stretch deeper into poses and feel more opening in my back.
Despite the relief, I have been inconsistent in maintaining the routine day after day since the first week. It’s been the first thing to go when I’m tired, sick, or busy. I’m very disappointed that I haven’t been disciplined enough to maintain it, but I do find comfort in the fact that I’ve learned some new techniques for managing my pain. I have no doubt that I’ll continue to use the techniques in the future, and I’m hopeful that I might even re-establish it as a daily routine once that’s something that is more possible for me to follow in the new year.