Personal Impressions

The "Personal Impressions" section is a collection of thoughts and personal experiences.

Wes' Shoulder & Neck Pain

Wes had a massage in Capri. The masseuse told him to buy a neck brace to fix his recurring shoulder and neck pain. Well, there's no way a firm plastic neck brace will fit in our backpacks. Instead, while hiking in the Dolomite Mountains one day, Wes thought about how his neck would be positioned had it been in a neck brace. For the first time (maybe in his life), he raised his spine with his rear neck muscles. Never having done so before, he felt stiffness and pulling of the rear neck muscles. It wasn't painful, just different than his accustomed head posture. Every day he concentrates on lifting his vertebrae with these rear neck muscles, keeping the front neck muscles relaxed. The original stiffness is gone and the correct head position feels more normal. The difference in his physical well-being is much improved.

In the past, Wes couldn't wear the left shoulder strap of a backpack because of left shoulder muscle pain. On long hikes, the pain would become severe in his neck vertebrae. However, when holding up his head in proper position, he can hike for hours shouldering both backpack straps and without pain. The debilitating severe pain that used to migrate up his shoulder into his neck no longer recurs. We hope this story is helpful to others who live with chronic shoulder and neck pain.

The Best Italian Food

Italians take pride in their food. When discussing ingredients in an endless babble, they emphasize the precise variety of fresh basil leaf, the exact make of extra virgin olive oil, and the absolute necessary type of cheese. "And make sure the Mozzarella cheese is Buffalo Mozzarella," we were reminded by friendly Italians across the country. The food in Italy is delicious. Don't be fooled by the sub-quality food at the plethora of Italian restaurants outside Italy. We were amazed by the difference.

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