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Old 02-16-2010, 05:40 AM   #1
Daniel Johnson
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Overtraining won't heal?

So let me explain my situation. It's a long story, but I would REALLY appreciate your help. Thanks in advance.

I'm a quite dedicated meditator. I do simple meditation, usually sitting on the floor, and for the past year and a half I've been doing at least 2 hours of meditation per day (most of the time).

About a year ago, I found crossfit and thought it was awesome! I got so enthusiastic that I was training a little too hard. I wasn't resting enough, and sometimes doing a little extra workout here or there just because it was so much fun! And, on top of it all, I was still sitting on the floor with a straight back for 2 hours per day (which is a bit of a workout in itself).

After about 3 months on crossfit, I started noticing fatigue and soreness that would show up a day or two after the workout. It got worse - turned into heavy heavy fatigue, headaches, depression, soreness throughout the body, and pain in joints. I researched and discovered "overtraining"! Oh, damn!

To recover, I had to spend a couple days in bed not moving at all. I did my meditation lying down.

After a couple days, I was able to resume my meditation, but didn't do excercise again for about two weeks.

After two weeks, I tried to get back into the excercise, but the overtraining symptoms came on again very quickly and with very light workouts.

After that, I basically gave up on excercise, and continued to pursue the meditation.

For the most part, the pain went away, and I was able to continue my life peacefully and relatively painlessly.

However, when I went on meditation retreat, I started sitting for 8-10 hours per day (on the floor, with a straight back), and these same symptoms of fatigue and soreness came on again!

I figured it could possibly be from the intensive meditation, and one meditator friend suggested that it could be psychosomatic pain simply from the stress of meditation or something.

I have considered this possibility, but the thing is that it seems to be very much related to the tension held in my legs and back when I sit (or sometimes even when I do long hours of walking meditation).

When, I don't use these muscles, the symptoms go away. When I use these large muscle groups (legs and back) for any considerable amount of time, the symptoms return.

It's now been eight months since I stopped crossfit, and I'm still experiencing these issues.

I've decided to simply not do so much sitting and walking meditation, and do more lying down meditation (though this is sometimes more like "sleeping meditation", but whatever)

I'm concerned about my body and don't really know how to proceed. I've tried the suggested remedy (rest), and it seems only to give temporary relief.

Do I simply need more rest? Is it possibly just chronic pain or psychosomatic? Are there cases of overtraining that have such long lasting effects? Who would I see for treatment about this, or is there even any treatment available?

For now, I'm just going to lie around like a vegetable, which doesn't feel very good. But, I'm not sure what else to do.

Any thoughts or advice would be HUGELY appreciated.

Thanks,

Daniel
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:36 AM   #2
Renee Lee
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Re: Overtraining won't heal?

how many hours do you sleep a night on average?
how much do you eat on a regular basis? (and what are your stats, for reference?)
how is the quality of your food?

those are the "easy" answers. if any of those are out of whack, it could definitely be hindering your recovery. that's all i've got, though
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:58 AM   #3
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Overtraining won't heal?

Are you doing anything active at all?

Sitting in one position for two hours (much less 8-10!) will make just about anyone sore. At a minimum, I'd suggest some yoga or other stretching several times a week, and especially before and after meditation sessions.

If that helps, you might try *gradually* adding back *scaled* workouts, with lots of attention to warmup and cooldown. Being active should make you feel better, not worse. If it doesn't, there's a problem.

And finally, you might have your meditation teacher check your posture, breathing, etc. If you're going to hold a position for two hours at a time, you need to be as relaxed as possible in that position.

Katherine
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:01 PM   #4
Steven Low
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Re: Overtraining won't heal?

Not moving as pretty much the worst thing you could do with overtraining -- you want to move to get blood flowing + let the body know that movement is alright. If you're gonna sit around like a vegetable pretty much your body is gonna cramp up and get stiff as it heals which will exacerbate your problems.

+ what renee said:

sleep? nutrition? food?

Get out and do some jogging or swimming it will help. Increase your mobility
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:41 AM   #5
Jason Ashman
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Re: Overtraining won't heal?

Perhaps doing research on the approach to recovery called "Active Rest" will help you. You do light activity like swimming to keep the blood flowing and your body mobile, but the intensity is nowhere near what you'd be doing normally, so your body recovers without/with far lessened cramping and pain than what you'd experience normally.

Meditation is cool, but do understand that it takes conditioning to do meditation- putting the body in the same position unsupported for several hours is hard on the body, regardless of how deep you can go in your mind to ignore the discomfort. Those dudes you see that can spend hours in a single position and then get up and move without difficulty are incredibly flexible, and in much better shape than they appear to be.

Me, I prefer the 9 hours of "pillow meditation" I get per night in the winter, and the 7-8 hours per night in the summer. I do love me some meditation. :-P
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