Pinook. From China.

Over the weekend I bought a mini-massager manufactured in China. The difference between this mini-massager and all the other mini-massagers from China is that it’s electrical stimulation with pads that adhere to your skin. The effect is full-on electricity going from the MP3-sized device right into your muscles. The sensation is, of course, mild electrocution, but man does it feel great! Instant relaxation. In fact at the demo booth, where I decided to procure this magic little device, the sales rep went over features and benefits while I had the sample kit on my trouble spots but I didn’t hear a thing; I was going ga-ga for the electricity I’ve only been able to get via my chiropractor’s e-stim machine—the one he hooks me up to after I’m off the rollers that stretch my back out and before the adjustment where he twists and cracks my neck and back and hips. It’s that in between portion of my chiropractic appointments that I cherish. With the little pads stuck to my back and shoulders and with a hot pack over them, I can drift off and have the most relaxing sleep—my head clear, for once—and wake up truly refreshed. At the demo booth, I realized I could have this same experience in my home with this little machine called Pinook and bought it without question.

I’ve been thinking how nice it would be to put the little Pinook on while I’m at my desk writing. That’s where most of the pains start, at the desk. No one sits up straight all the time. Writers definitely don’t do that. Everyone slouches. Everyone’s shoulders pull forward or up tick-by-tick until you get off your chair and it hurts like hell. This is the occupational hazard of writing. It’s not a brutally manual job, but over time, after all the small movements, bad sitting habits, over and over, it adds up to chronic pain. That’s the price writers have to pay for choosing a profession where you sit at a desk and make shit up. It has to hurt in some way.

Or does it? Why not hook up the Pinook and let the electricity soothe while you go into Fantasyland? Because writing does have to hurt. It has to tear you down in order to be really good, and by tearing you down, I don’t mean carpal tunnel syndrome or shoulder and neck pain or sciatica from parking your ass for too long, I’m taking about emotional pain, duress. Misery. You have to go there when you write in order to get to something remotely tense and conflicting. The writing mind has to drift into the darkest recesses to dredge up the gold nuggets. The writing mind has to feel pain all the way so that pain can be brought to the page and so the reader will actually believe it.

So I ask you, could a writer possibly have his muscles mildly electrocuted in the name of comfort while he writes?

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