Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Indeed there are signs for those who reflect"

Shoulder forward, back, up, down. Good.

Physical therapy is a part of many people's lives - especially in older age. My 64-year-old mother-in-law tore a muscle in her upper right arm while trying to save my baby from falling.

Today was our first trip to see a physical therapist.

The therapist said my mother-in-law's muscle tear was, "the last straw on a camel's back. In other words, it was bound to happen.

A couple reasons she mentioned it could have happened: poor posture when sitting in a chair, straining the arm that's already hurt, and older age.

She now has three daily, hourly and twice an hour "procedures."

Exercise techniques

A combined 4-muscle unit called rotator muscles help your shoulder and arms move. The shoulder bone needs the muscle cushion to help it rotate comfortably in order to give good motor movement.

By excercising there can be an increase of blood flow to the sore area. This will allow the torn muscle to heal and her shoulder bones to go back into the normal position.

On top of sitting up straight without hunching or sitting cross-legged in a chair, my mother-in-law has to pinch back her shoulders, while holding her elbows back, 10 times every hour.

She then has to push her shoulders up, down, forward, and back 10 times, two times every hour.
Lastly she has to swing her body twice a day, by letting her right sore arm fall free style while she props her body on a counter top, leaning on her left hand.

Everyone needs motivation

As a woman of dignity who does practically everything on her own, including taking care of her elderly husband, my mother-in-law shudders at the thought of therapy and exercise. She now has to avoid her daily tasks.

Although my family has been telling her not to pick up the babies, pull large objects, fold miscellaneous things, or vacuum, you can catch her in one of her moments doing all of the above.

Today my sister-in-law and I did the exercises with her to encourage her to progressively move her arm rather than strain it.

I then explained the benefits of moving her arm around: a blood rush to the sore spot that will help heal the muscle.

Exercise and prayer

After returning to my room to pray the last prayer of the day, isha, I realized I was exercising during prayer.

For example, one of the postures requires you to bow down with your head on the floor, with both arms flat on the floor and your bottom has to be in the air while you recite a short prayer, "subhana rabbi wal awwal" or "Oh Lord of the Heavens, I worship you" according to one translation.

This same posture is recommended during pregnancies for round ligament pain recommended by the American Pregnancy Association, which promotes pregnancy wellness.

The association says, "If you are having consistent round ligament pain your health care provider may recommend daily stretching exercises. The most common exercise is done by placing your hands and knees on the floor, lowering your head to the floor, and keeping your bottom in the air,"on its website,

Other exercises in prayer include bending over by placing your hands on your knees, without bending your arms, which is similar to the free fall gravity exercise my mother-in-law has to do.

Since prayers are five times a day, prayers get your heart pumping through the movements.

Not only are you spiritually required to pray, but also you're required to get up and move to complete your worship!

The beautiful thing is Islam makes things that are good for you, obligatory. Islamic prayer combines both physical and mental exercise for a complete "work out."

Things that are bad for you, like drinking, are prohibited.

"Indeed there are signs for those who reflect (30:21)"


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On a side note, here's a blog called "For Those who Reflect"
Symphonic Discord does not necessarily agree with the views of the above mentioned site.


The Demigoddess said...

I was hunched over my computer when I read this and I immediately straigtened up and sat properly. I am guilty of bad posture when sitting and walking. Not only does it look bad, it is also bad for your spine. Note to self.

NeverEver said...

mashaAllah nice post and reminder!

subhanAllah our religion really is complete ;-)

Secretly Identified said...

Subhanallah, If we just followed Islam correctly our lives would be so much better..

Constructive Attitude said...


totally agree. :)

Good post yo.

PI said...

i love this post so much

Amira said...

Mashallah great post. Imagine how great praying the 20 Rak'ats of taraweeh in Ramadan is for us spiritually and physically.

BubbliMuslima said...

subhanAllah, AllahuAkbar!!!!!!
AlhamduLilah for Islam :)

Heckety said...

This is a very thought- provoking post, mothers in law, independance, exercise, babies and little people, and best of all your last observation that praying is good for you!
Yup! I enjoyed this!

AL said...

you are amazing i loved this post and insight

Shavaiz said...

in sajdah u say "Subhana rabbi yal a'la" not "subhana rabbi wal awwal". rest is really good :)