Friday, April 16, 2021

Dragons and guard dogs, by J.C. Kavanagh


The Twisted Climb  

Book 1 of the award-winning Twisted Climb series

I love kickboxing. I've been a student at the local dojo, TNT School of Martial Arts, since 2013. About five years ago, I joined the advanced class so I could pass an annual exam and earn a 'belt' for each level. I'm working on my Purple belt (just Brown and Black belt remain) and though the Dojo has been closed throughout each Covid lockdown, I've tried to attend via Zoom classes. That is, until last summer when my shoulder turned into a crybaby.

That's when I met the dragons and the guard dogs.

I didn't know I had them in my body, these dragons and guard dogs. They were in my right shoulder, to be precise. At the time, I only knew that this shoulder was the location of the crybaby: muscles that cried like a baby. You see, it's been months since I've been able to fully raise my right arm above my head and even longer since I've been able to hook on a brassiere with hands behind my back. Oh no. Bra has to be hooked in advance, then stepped into from the ankles like I'm pulling up a girdle type of boob-gitch. 

What to do? 

I have to do something. Spring is here and that heralds sailing season, which hails spring-fitting, which entails plenty of cleaning, waxing, polishing, etc. on our 36' Catalina sailboat. Which means lots and lots of elbow grease. And we all know the elbow is part of the arm which is connected to the shoulder. And in my case, connected to the crybaby shoulder.

So what do I do? I can't ignore the crybaby anymore... well, I contacted my local chiropractor, Dr. Beverly, and put my shoulder in her hands. She is the one who told me I have dragons breathing pain in my shoulder, and guard dogs protecting the muscles. (Don't you just love a chiropractor who speaks in metaphors?) But the dragons stay fired up inside the wall of muscle and ligaments that the guard dogs are protecting, all while the crybaby rotator cuff whines and whimpers.

Acupuncture needles minus the jumper cables

We started with acupuncture therapy. This includes attaching tiny jumper cables to the wee acupuncture needles. Well, I call them jumper cables since they're just like the jumpers you use for your car battery, only much smaller. Dr. Beverly laughs but explains they're 'stimulators,' or 'stims' for short. They're attached to a battery which pulses energy every second. Imagine sticking your tongue in an electric socket every second. Yes, that's a good charge. But these jumper cables stimulate the muscle which encourages blood flow, which encourages healing.

And the healing has begun. I can now raise my arm above my head and stretch it out to the side. And - huge improvement - I can hook up my own brassiere from behind my back. Woo hoo!

However, there are painful moments when the good doctor is manipulating my shoulder, or pressing into the supraspinatus (see diagram below) or pushing up into the teres minor, and oh dear, that's when my super-power-kickboxing-footkick wants to literally kick-in. Oh, if the good doctor only knew how close she was to a wee kick to the head... breathe J.C. Control. 

Who let the dragons and guard dogs out?

Breathe... control... no kick

I stay in control trusting the good doctor because I know I'm in excellent hands. But there is one character who is out of control. That would be Patty, Jayden's alcoholic mother from The Twisted Climb award-winning series. How does Patty impact the horrific dream world that the main characters keep getting drawn into? Check it out for yourself...

For a limited time, my e-books are 50% off at Smashwords. Yah baby!

Stay safe everyone! 

J.C. Kavanagh, author of 
The Twisted Climb - Darkness Descends (Book 2)
voted BEST Young Adult Book 2018, Critters Readers Poll and Best YA Book FINALIST at The Word Guild, Canada
The Twisted Climb,
voted BEST Young Adult Book 2016, P&E Readers Poll
Novels for teens, young adults and adults young at heart
Twitter @JCKavanagh1 (Author J.C. Kavanagh)
Instagram @AuthorJCKavanagh


  1. Acupuncture is great. Some 30 plus years ago, I had a course for back pain and couldn't straighten. No problem like that since. Keep writing

  2. I agree: acupuncture is great! Ancient practices remain true to this day.

  3. Thanks for sharing, JC. As a Martial Artist, I can relate. I once busted my knee in Aikido practice and felt the fire breathing dragons for years. Nowadays I practice Tai-Chi and yoga. Low impact and gentler on the body, but it still keeps me in shape.

  4. Hmmm, yes, I think Tai-Chi and yoga are going to replace kickboxing. My mind says no, but my body says YES.


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