Last week I went to physio, because my right hip has decided that despite my brain’s intentions, it has done enough work and is now settling in for an early retirement. Since I’m still spending a large amount of my free time contorting myself around and through objects of varying stability two storeys in the air, I’m trying to coax my hip back into working shape. Which brings me to IMS.
This feels a little bit like cutting off my nose to spite my face.
IMS, which stands for intramuscular stimulation, is kind of like acupuncture for white people. My physio, a little woman who looks a bit like Elaine from Seinfeld but is infinitely scarier (don’t get me wrong, she’s super nice, but as far as I know Elaine never came at anyone with 4-inch-long needles), in my first consultation just moved and pushed and pulled my leg in different directions, and gave me some stretches to do at home. She also said that she thought I would be a good candidate for IMS, but since I seemed a bit nervous, she told me to book a double slot for my next session, and we could do some more assisted stretching and then maybe toward the end of the session do some IMS if I felt comfortable. But when I showed up for round two, she immediately handed me a waiver to sign, with a “I”ll give you a few minutes to read that over while I go get the needles.”
She then proceeded to stick said needles into my back and butt and hip and thigh, and tap and poke and wiggle. I was getting muscle spasms all over the place. I couldn’t stop making noises. Most were reminiscent of dying animals. I was all over the whimpers, sad moans, giggles, and – mostly during the wiggles – ouch!es varying in degrees of hysteria. At one point I apologized for being so vocal (it’s just a coping mechanism; things didn’t even really hurt, but they felt really, really weird and I didn’t know how to react other than to say ouch while giggling hysterically), and she told me I was actually doing quite well compared to some of her other patients. But then she decided to stop, even though there were “quite a few more places” she’d like to poke, because she was sensing I was reaching my limit.
When it was over, she had to tell me there were no more needles in my leg, because even after they were gone I could still feel them. For the rest of the day I felt like someone had either massaged the muscles way too hard, or I needed a massage. It was a weird feeling.
Anyway, to recover from all of that, I ate muffins. After all, that’s what we signed up for with this blog, isn’t it?
Lemon Ricotta Muffins
one cup sugar
half cup butter
juice and zest from two lemons
one cup ricotta cheese
two cups pastry flour
half teaspoon baking powder
one teaspoon baking soda
half teaspoon salt
optional: top with a tablespoon of sugar and sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin pan with paper cups and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in lemon juice and zest and egg, and then stir in ricotta until reasonably well mixed.
Sift the remaining ingredients into the bowl and fold gently until just barely combined.
Spoon batter into muffin cups and top with a sprinkle of sugar and sliced almonds, if using. Bake until the top is a golden brown, about 22 to 24 minutes.