But the gods are smiling, because a month ago my bosses said there's a position open for me if I were interested. Something completely different -- carrying out research analysis for my colleagues around the world. I would be based from home, working three days a week, with a four-month sabbatical so I can go to China. Yes please, I said, thank you very much. It sounds perfect!
The new role, I am happy to say, is working out well. My commute consists of a dozen steps from the kitchen to the spare room, I have no transport expenses, and coffee and tea are free. The only downside is I am by myself the entire day and completely tied to the computer. But even when I am talking to colleagues and clients, it's via Skype and I am still typing away on the keyboard. It didn't take long for my back to become unhappy.
Holy camole, I spend half my time in clinic sorting out patients' bad backs, shoulders and necks -- musculoskeletal pain is an acupuncturist's bread and butter -- and here I am, in danger of doing my back in because I am immobile for eight hours a day.
From a traditional Chinese medicine perspective, back pain is Qi and Blood Stagnation of the Bladder channel (if it runs down the back) or Gallbladder channel (if the pain extends down the side of the leg), or whatever channel or pathway is affected. Everything feels stuck , and needles placed in the right points help the body unblock those places of stagnation.
Fortunately no one can see me so when I take my hourly breaks, I can be found on the floor doing stretches. If you are desk-bound, set your alarm to go off every hour and go for a nice stretch, make a cup of tea, water the plants. Whatever you do, get up and do something different. Otherwise years of being hunched in front of a computer will send you to an acupuncturist because plenty of research shows that acupuncture is effective for chronic back pain.