What about Me…and You…and Us?
If you, dear reader, have clicked on this page, you probably are curious about who is it that is the creator of this site. But first, what about the title? How could a website be about the visitor, not the creator?
I created this site coming from a place of my own need and experience. Obviously, I am interested in dealing with knee pain and how to reduce it by whatever means available. However, to understand my methodology, I’d like to give you some background. I was born in 1948….for many of you that is a long time ago, for some, maybe not quite so long.
My family put a big emphasis on education. And to be honest, while my father was a dentist, my mother a school teacher, we weren’t so interested in Business. Certainly my parents wanted to live a good life but not to be rich, just comfortable. My parents loved learning and encouraged me to read a lot about great people. The two books that I most remember were the biography of Albert Schweitzer, a doctor who devoted himself to healing the poorest people in Africa.
Albert Schweitzer’s Contribution to Medicine
His training was as a Christian theologian and musician, but he found his calling in Africa. What is most interesting to me, is that he was able to see things through the eyes of others, and saw his own civilization more objectively. Rather than looking down on the miserably poor Africans he treated, he understood the background of the problem, of which he realized he was a part. Accepting responsibility for errors, as well as his core value, Reverence for Life, guided him.
Take a few minutes to read the article because the issues he raised are just as important now as they were then.
The keynote of Schweitzer’s personal philosophy (which he considered to be his greatest contribution to mankind) was the idea of Reverence for Life (“Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben”). He thought that Western civilization was decaying because it had abandoned affirmation of life as its ethical foundation.
Albert Einstein as Physicist and Humanitarian
The other person who still is my personal modern hero is Albert Einstein. His deep understanding of physics and the Universe, coincided with a deeply humanitarian vision, which didn’t shrink from speaking truth as he understood it. Reading his biography expanded my mind as a 13 year old to look at The Big Picture. And to see things from multiple perspectives.
Not only did his scientific mind inspire me, but also his overall philosophy and humanitarianism. Here is a key excerpt from a biographical memoir:
“..he had a unique sense of the world of man and nature as one harmonious and someday understandable whole, with all of us feeling our way forward through the darkness together.”
Both Einstein and Schweitzer were able to see outside of themselves and look at things from other people’s point of view. They also had an open mind, which meant that by ‘not knowing’ they could keep learning and questioning conventional wisdom. Here is a song that summarizes what I am talking about:
When my father died at the age of 35, leaving my mother and sister and me, his death raised big questions, as I tried to explain this extreme tragedy for me and my family. When I was 9 years old, I was watching a TV show, a dramatization of a party, and some guy was talking about Zen. “Zen….what’s Zen???”, I thought. While Zen is seen as trendy and cool now, hardly anyone had heard about it in the 1950’s.
A few years later, while browsing in a corner store, I saw a book, “Zen Flesh, Zen Bones”. Something inside me remembered, and I bought the small book, which is a collection of Zen stories.
One of the most famous ones goes like this:
A Cup of Tea
Nan-in, a Japanese [Zen] master during the Meiji era (1868-1912) received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. ‘
It is overfull. No more will go in!’‘Like this cup,’ Nan-in said. ‘You are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you
first empty your cup? ‘
The book delighted (maybe even enlightened) me. What it showed me was that in order to act in a useful, wholesome way, we have to face facts. Unfortunately, all to many people live in denial, don’t ask the right questions and so they reach the wrong conclusions. Or simply refuse to take necessary action or take the wrong action.
So my primary goal in life has been to first, set aside my own preconceptions, to understand what is Reality, and second, to reduce suffering, not just my own, but as Einstein and Schweitzer did, the suffering of others. To that end, after I finished the University in 1970, I went and lived in a Zen community and monastery and trained there for 13 years, 7 as a monk.
At one point though, I felt that I would become stifled, if I stayed, and decided to get work in the regular world. Plus, I wanted to find a way to help people in a practical way. Because of the financial stress caused by my father’s early death, and later on due to my first knee injury while I had no insurance to pay for care, I realized, “People need insurance”. So for the next 18 years, I had a life and health insurance practice, advising people what is best for their needs.
What I realized, though, was that many companies have products that are not good for the buyer. So that taught me another lesson, to dig deeper into what really works and what does not, not just for myself but for my clients.
The tragedy of September 11th, 2001, caused me to really rethink my priorities especially in light of the endless wars that started. I felt helpless, and needed answers. So I left for Asia in 2004, and spent the next 10 years traveling and especially, meditating in the many temples and monasteries primarily in Thailand but also, in the birthplace of Zen, China.
However, in 2014, I injured my knee again, the same one I had injured in 1984. So I decided to look for solutions to my knee problem, not just for myself but because I thought that a lot of people have knee problems. Sitting at lunch with 3 friends, who asked me what I was doing recently, I told them I had found a knee sleeve that I was selling on Amazon. The same knee sleeve I myself was using to support my knee, relieve knee pain, and protect my knee from future injury. Two of them said that they also have knee problems. So I realized that I wasn’t alone.
A couple of years later, while riding my bicycle, a motorbike hit me right on the same knee! Fortunately, no bones broken but the soft tissue injury had me on crutches for 3 weeks. The good thing about it was that I went to a physical therapist since surgery was not necessary, but she gave me several treatments for pain and exercises to improve circulation in the knee joint and reduce pain.
So I decided to create a website, where I could bring together all the information about how to take care of knees. That way, while helping myself, I could also help others.
How I Can Help You
I am not a medical professional, which some may say, and rightly so, that I am not qualified to give medical advice. So what is the For-Knees website? Think of it as an information clearing house for information all about knees. What I am doing through my own constant research, is finding what are the latest in knee care techniques. When I say that “I look at both sides now”, I am saying that I maintain an open mind, whether talking about self care methods you can do for yourself, rather than spending time and money going to a doctor or other medical professional.
Or, explaining the various clinical techniques as practiced through modern Western medicine, some experimental methods recently developed using modern methods, using modern technology. Or, by using more traditional methods, such as diet, exercise, acupuncture, massage therapy, ayurvedic medicine, and so on. By bringing this information to your attention, you can also think outside of what you have been told, and make better decisions. After all, they’re your knees!
Conclusion: Seeing the Big Picture about Your Knees and Their Place in Your Overall Health
The truth is, no one has a copyright on “The Best Way to Stop Your Knee Pain”. This often involves looking at multiple approaches, though, of course, medical advice by a competent physician or orthopedist is definitely recommended. So be sure to use this site as a resource. I also have a free downloadable ebook, which you can download here.
As a final disclaimer, please be aware that in some cases, this site may have links that take you to a page where you can buy some product, in which case I would be paid a fee by the company, such as Amazon or Clickbank. While it is of course totally voluntary on your part, you can help me support my work maintaining this site and providing information free with no obligation. If you wish to leave me a comment or question, please feel free to do so.
Thanks for visiting my website!