A wise man once said that although people are saturated with information, they’re starving for wisdom.
I can see how this applies to most aspects of life, and how it is such an undeniable truth in the therapy world. Most of the information flooding the internet makes it appear as though healing is a linear process, dependent only on a specific modality, magical exercise, or magical combination of micronutrients.
This is not to say that those approaches have no validity. All the aforementioned boast success stories—and that’s where the issue is. In our eagerness to find a solution to our ailments, we’ll embrace the success stories and ignore the letdowns, thereby detaching ourselves from the healing process and yielding our power.
Maybe it’s because of unfamiliarity, or maybe it’s because of fear, or maybe plain complacency, but the second we shift the responsibility of the healing process to the therapist or the modality, we’ve set ourselves for failure.
That’s because healing is not linear, and healing is not linear because it’s highly dependent on individual circumstances. That means that what we do—or don’t do—ultimately dictates the outcome of the healing process. I already wrote about this in more detail, but I bring it up again because it’s a good time to remind us that when it comes to healing, we’re responsible for the bulk of it.
Time and time again I get the same barrage of questions: Why is it taking so long? Why is it not staying? Why do I keep relapsing? And so forth. The type of questions that make it clear the patient is expecting me to do all the healing for them, or as they say: “fix them.”
Well, I can’t heal you, nor can I fix you. I already told you why. I can only optimize your body for the healing process to finally take place, but the rest is up to you. Showing up for your sessions is only the beginning of the process. How you live your life dictates the rest. It will be quite difficult to help you with long-term healing if you are:
A smoker – I’m not telling you to quit. Only you can tell yourself that. All I’m telling you is your habit has a detrimental systemic effect that flares up much more than the lungs and will interfere with your healing.
Sedentary – Movement is life, stillness is death; the old adage says. Prolonged periods of inactivity affect your physiology beyond the obvious weight gain and postural distortions or aches.
Physically Weak – A little bit of activity is great to offset the nasty effects of sedentarism, but strength is crucial for long-term healing. Don’t let the term fool you, strength doesn’t mean lifting heavy weights, it means having the capacity to overcome inertial demands without compromising our integrity. A stronger body is healthier and more resilient.
A Poor Sleeper – There’s not a single valid reason to sacrifice a vital bodily function such as sleep, either in quality or quantity. Unless of course, you don’t want to heal.
A Chronic Social Drinker – Surely those 1 or 2 servings of alcohol per day could not be detrimental but, have you considered what they amount to in a month?
Nothing wrong with having an occasional drink, but if you insist on having drinks more than three times per week, you should not be shocked that you’re having a hard time healing.
A Poor Eater – A diet soda and baked tortilla chips combo, is that a healthy meal?
Not by a long shot, but someone actually claimed it to be so. Yikes!
Stick to real food that won’t give you reactions. Poor food choices tend to produce systemic inflammatory conditions. Good luck trying to heal under such circumstances.
A Chicken Little – If you think your pain or condition is the end of the world and the sky is falling, well … it is! The same applies if you think that your condition is only a temporary setback that challenges you to get creative. And no, this has nothing to do with the pseudo-positivism New Age babble, but rather, with how our brains perceive the world. The same mechanisms that allow us to live the emotions of a great movie or book are in action when we put an emotional label to our condition. Perception is reality!
There are of course other circumstances such as illnesses or medications, but they wouldn’t apply to this article since all the above factors share one thing in common: They’re all in your control!
I dedicate my life to mastering what will make a difference in your life, but unless you’re ready to embrace your part in the healing process, there’s very little that I—or anyone else—can do for you. It is when you reclaim your power over your healing that you and I can do our best work and beautiful things happen.
Thank you and I look forward to doing my part in your healing journey.
Until next time, may you enjoy a fit and pain-free life!