According to Dr. John Demartini, your health and well being tomorrow are a result of what you do, think and believe today. He uses the golden rule to remind us that we reap what we sow. In other words, you get out exactly what you put in. Therefore, your thoughts and actions are the seeds you plant and the harvest that you grow will reflect that. So when you respect and care for your body; your body produces energy and health in return.
Dr. Demartini also says, “That being grateful is the essence of healing.” In my bodywork practice, I find this to be one of the hardest things for people to overcome with illness, pain or injury. Somehow our sense of frustration, anger, fear, and/or resentment of our current state of health often overrides our more positive perceptions. It’s hard to hold strongly to the belief that you will heal, no matter what. In my experience, those that believe they will heal do and those that harbor thoughts that something is truly wrong beyond their control seem to linger in this place.
If you feel stuck; I recommend that you check in with yourself to see if you are holding on to any of these emotions or if you blame someone else for what you are going through. It is perfectly normal to have these feelings; the goal here is to balance them out with positive thoughts. I find it helpful to write a gratitude list. When you feel challenged by how you feel about your progress with a current injury or health issue, you can pull from your list to change your outlook. Like the affirmation above, you truly can choose to be happy, as well as healthy.
“One of the most immediate ways to change your health is to change your thoughts and words.” ~ John F. Demartini, author of ‘Count Your Blessings’
Choose your injury care team wisely
If you have an injury or a pain that isn’t going away, one of your most important decisions is choosing your ‘healthcare’ team. It is actually critical in your healing to pick people you trust and feel comfortable with. So before you choose, think carefully about what that means to you. Is it their treatment approach? Your out of pocket expense? Do you have something in common? Is it a recommendation from a trusted source?
Making that call
People don’t call me because they feel good, so I always do a phone interview. First, I want to make sure that bodywork is appropriate at this stage of your healing. Sometimes I feel you could be better served by a good medical work up first. But ultimately, I want you to be heard. It’s good to have a safe outlet to tell your story and share the natural feelings of frustration, fear, and anxiety that accompany an injury.
Remember that an injury is a very challenging experience!
Sports psychologists tell us that hurting from an injury may not be purely physical; it can leave you mentally depleted. One of my clients’ biggest concerns is when will they be well again. Unfortunately, I know no one out there who has a crystal ball to foretell your particular journey of recovery.
Specializing in harmony for your body
I feel strongly that I am part of my clients’ healthcare team. My main goal is to improve their quality of life. I want to help take the swelling out of their tissues, the pain out of their scars, and put balance back into their bodies, so they can do whatever means the most to them without pain. Finish an ironman, do a handstand, whatever they wish, it’s their life!
What can you expect from a session with me?
Each person and their injuries are unique, so in my practice everyone gets a session designed to meet their specific needs. What could that look like for you? Say you have knee pain, I will first look to pinpoint where the problem is coming from. I often find that knee pain can come from the hip or the foot, so it wouldn’t make sense to focus solely on your knee unless the symptoms were from there. Next I pull from over my 20+ years experience in manual therapy, and offer my best solution.
You are a part of the team, too!
I think being a well informed team member is one of the biggest assets of your own healing. I have seen it help fuel a positive approach to healing vs. an unknowing self-sabotage. Your recovery is really all about your choices. Is that knee really ready to run a marathon when it still hurts to run a 5K? So gather a good team and stay focused on your recovery plan. If you veer off, your team will get you back on track.
“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” – Old Chinese proverb
Recently I received a call from a potential client who didn’t even offer me his name. He opened the conversation with who had referred him to me, and that he preferred to get in ASAP because of his pain. Since it seemed very important to him, I proceeded by inquiring about the nature of his pain. His response was that he has persistent pain in his shoulders, which he feels comes from a guarding pattern he can’t seem to change following a cervical spine fusion surgery.
Since his issue seemed really straight forward and I didn’t have space to fit him in that day, I recommended some other bodywork practices that may have immediate availability. But now the real story came out. “Would they know what to do with a fusion?” he asked. I find I am taken a little aback, as rarely do I get a referral for someone still on restrictions without getting a phone call from their practitioner or doctor. To clarify my questions, he stated that his surgery was over a year ago and he has been given the all clear by his surgeon to resume all his normal activities.
Here is the catch, and ultimately what may be creating an underlying holding pattern in the muscles of his shoulders. On his last visit, the doctor explained that on one view of his x-rays the bone looked as if it hadn’t completely filled in, but even with this information he was released from all his previous restrictions. So despite the wonderful hall pass he received, he leaves the doctors office in conflict. As he has heard that he is not whole, in fact still quite broken and fragile, with the fusion not being completely perfect. He also heard the words he is free to get back to his life as before. But now, he just may write his story that he is getting back to his life, but despite giving a year of his life to surgery, rehab and recovery, he still isn’t well.
He needs to believe that it is okay to not have a perfect x-ray at the one-year mark, and that the doctor feels very good with the outcome of his surgery even with these findings. And most importantly, it is okay to move on with your healing by editing this part of your story to mean that imperfect doesn’t mean broken. I hope he realizes this sooner rather than later, and gets back to being himself, and not his injury. I will know this is true if he calls again, and begins by giving me his name.
“Not everything that can be counted counts, And not everything that counts can be counted.” ~ Einstein
One of my favorite teachings reminds us that we already have everything we need to heal within us. This is not to say that modern or alternative medicine isn’t necessary. However, just hold this thought, tangibly in your hands, for a moment and think about how powerful it really is.
As a body worker, I would be out of a job if we were always capable of figuring out exactly what it is we need. My observation, over the years, is that many people need a clearly definable and fixable injury or illness for them to move forward in their recovery.
But what about the thing that just hurts sometimes, or despite a diagnosis and sound treatment plan, it remains present and quite annoying in your life. What if that tension you hold is deeper than your annoying boss, your daily grind or a past physical trauma?
We start our patterning really early. Some believe from the day that we take our first breath. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember how easy it was or wasn’t to breathe, or to crawl, or to walk. But all of those skills initiate our internal wiring. It is completely subconscious, but still there never the less. Based on our life experiences, we learn to keep certain muscles chronically tight, and our joints compensate around this imbalance. Luckily, given the right attention to detail, this can be restored.
“Life is the sum of all your choices.” ~Albert Camus
Lately I feel a need to remind folks that hate is a very strong word, especially when used in reference toward your own body. Just like people, I think your body is sensitive to this dialogue and has a difficult time not taking it personally. This self judgment of ill will can only safeguard a very personal sense of deficiency. So rather than becoming quick to anger at your body’s communication style, try instead to have a little compassion for yourself, even in times when it feels like ‘not this again.’
Just remember when your body hurts, it is only trying to tell you something is amiss. Your body gives you information as an early warning signal, so that you won’t end up in a mountain of discomfort when a mole hill will do. It wants desperately to put the ball in your court so that you can be proactive and figure out an appropriate solution.
So seriously, the next time you feel a minor ache or pain, don’t just ignore it. Ask yourself what you could do to make a difference today. Does your body want ice, heat, rest, movement…? If you stop for a moment and really listen, your body will tell you what it needs. And if the interpretation isn’t loud and clear, pick up the phone and call someone for advice. Now, instead of hating the body part that hurts, you can start the healing process, and get back to doing all the things you love.
‘Don’t wait for your mood to change; take action despite it.’ ~ Terri Trespicio
Have you ever wondered why a huge injury can heal and a minor injury can hang on?
So after 20 years in the bodywork business, I am still inspired and amazed each and every day by the puzzle of the human body. I began my bodywork practice as a physical therapist, and got initiated very quickly helping folks with all kinds of injuries, surgeries, and pain that just seemed to creep up on them from no where and for no apparent reason. Some of these injuries were so extreme that I wondered how I would make a difference in their healing. But time after time the most complex cases showed me the power of the human spirit and healing. And some of the most benign injuries showed me how things can fester, take root and be made of the most resilient armor against healing that I have ever come up against.
Do you believe you can get well?
So what that means to me is that the key element isn’t what I can do for my client but instead what my client does for themselves. Though I know my work does make a difference in the healing process, I can’t make people believe they can heal. This comes from somewhere within and though it is always accessible, for some it is found as easily as a child finds a coin under their pillow after an anticipated visit from the tooth fairy and yet for others it seems buried under many heavy layers of concrete slab. If your injury isn’t healing, you may have to look at how you feel about your injury. The most important thing to healing is to be absolutely ‘without a doubt’ certain that you will heal.
‘They are able, because they think they are able.’ ~ Virgil