Weekly musings, 1/14/17: Simplicity
Recently, I was visiting the esthetician I see once every couple of months for skincare stuff. She was peering at my face under a magnifying glass, like estheticians do, when she peeled her eyes away from my skin to look at me. “Your skin looks amazing. What are you doing?”
“I am using olive oil, in the morning and evening,” I replied.
“Olive oil? Wow. Well, it’s working.”
What’s fascinating about this isn’t the fact that olive oil is making my skin look great (though that is a nice little by-product). I have spent thousands of dollars on expensive skin care creams over the course of my life, looking for the perfect one to hydrate and replenish (because women care about these sorts of things), and the thing that has been most effective is the one I read about in a fashion magazine twenty years ago and a bottle will probably last me a year.
For some reason, when it comes to health and wellness, there is this idea that expensive and complicated must be better than simple and minimal. Clients are frequently amazed at my ability to design a challenging workout using a washcloth, 2x4, and their own body weight. Though I utilize external load almost every workout, once in a while it’s nice just to return to the most basic patterns.
Additionally, the basic patterns can be cued using muscular tension to provide support. A movement such as hands and knees can be done in a way that feels like nothing is really happening, or it can feel extremely challenging. “How can this simple little movement work so well?” clients often ask.
The answer, maybe, is that like the olive oil, simple is better. It doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective, so if you are struggling with something, take several steps back and work on the most basic patterns. You may be pleasantly surprised.