As a Physical Therapist that works with chronic pain patients I frequently hear “How much longer must I do my self-care homework?” “It’s not fair that I have to do these exercises everyday?” “Why can’t I be like other people who don’t have to do as much work on their bodies”. “I just want to be normal”.
When one embarks on a healing journey there will be moments on the mountain tops and there will be moments in the valleys of deep despair. I know, I have been in both places during my own journey and what I have figured out is this; how you deal with these moments of ups and downs determines whether you find yourself healed or not. If a car is broken we take the car to the auto mechanic and he evaluates the car for areas that are not working well. He makes his recommendations and it is up to you to decide whether to make changes to the car so that it works better or to buy a new car. We humans don’t have that luxury of turning in our non-working parts for new ones. We have to Work with that we’ve got and improve our “non-working” parts to the best of our abilities. This takes WORK, TIME, TENACITY and FIGHTING SPIRIT. When I say work I mean work that is relentless and unyielding. The desire to continue doing the healing work even though the odds are against you. Healing also requires changing or eliminating things that are contributing to your dis-ease. Albert Einstein said that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
If we want better healing, less pain and a better life we need to change and change is difficult for many individuals. Change requires effort and a fighting attitude and vigilance to stay present and not go off into negativity land and the land of what could be. To heal you have to move forward with a new possibility of hopefulness and positivity, trust and faith. You must dedicate yourself to making positive changes and take note where in your life are these changes needed. You must take personal inventory and from this inventory you will wake up to what needs to be changed and a blueprint of what you need to do to . These changes can be on the physical, emotional or spiritual level. The main thing is to decide. When it comes to healing we can say today I will do my healing exercises but tomorrow I am going to take off because I am too busy. You must never put yourself last on your own list and don’t put off doing the things you know are in your best interest. We call this subconscious-self-sabotage, or SSS. I see it all the time. Healing is a process and sometimes we are in the process and sometimes we step out of it. The secret to healing is to step back into it as soon as you realize you have stepped out of it. Time is short and time is running out for all of us. Find help if you cannot do it alone work with individuals who want to partner with you and listen deeply to your needs.
I consider myself a coach in the lives of my patients. I coach individuals either in person or via my self help healing books Ending Female Pain, Ending Male Pelvic Pain or Ending Pain In Pregnancy. Whether I do healings or someone reads my books I can only lead my patients to the drinking well of health and vitality. It is up to my readers or patients to either drink or not drink from the well of health. Of course this is a metaphor. Your therapist, healer or doctor cannot can take the credit for your healing. You are the only one who is solely responsible for your own healing. It is your choice.
I know this can be difficult to swallow as many of us pass the buck but the sooner you understand that you alone are solely responsible for your successes the easier your healing journey will become because you will understand that although you may work with a therapist you have to do the necessary work. Healing does not only occur when you are at appointments healing is an everyday occurrence. For many healing occurs minute by minute. It is up to us every day to decide the course of our lives and health. Everyday is an opportunity to take the bull by the balls and to steer the course of our healing journey. For the past ten years as a pelvic floor physical therapist I have discovered a common thread among patients that heal. I have turned those into requirements for today’s healing and I want to share them with you. Below you will find what I consider to be the golden rules of healing. These golden rules are traits that I find are common among patients that heal and overcome their pain. Read them carefully and become the hero or heroine of your own story.
These golden rules are so important that I have included them in my books, Ending Female Pain, 2nd Edition, and Ending Male Pelvic Pain. I have included it in this blog post so you are able to honestly look in the mirror and create a healing contract with yourself. This is the best way to make that first step. Print it, read it and sign the bottom and keep this on your dresser to remind yourself during your times in the valleys while on your healing journey.
Today’s Healing Requirements
1. Open-mindedness and a strong intent to get the work done that is required.
2. Renunciation of negative thinking and catastrophic thinking.
3. Sacrifice of your time. You will need to work one hour or per day to get your body back to its optimal health. This can be a long journey but you must stay on the course even when you are on the mountain top. But when you are in the valley of deep despair you must crawl out of it and start over. You must fight for your health.
4. You must have an internal desire to be better. The healing process takes time.
5. A commitment to staying in the present moment without projecting into the future.
6. An understanding on your part that there is no cookie-cutter approach to healing. You must experiment with tools and discover what exercises or techniques work best for you. Work with excellent therapist who is not afraid to show you how to heal yourself.
7. Patience with yourself and your ability to learn the tools in my books or with your own physical therapist. You will need to practice many times in order to master the techniques and exercises in this book.
8. You must have focused attention when working on yourself. if you don’t, you risk hurting or injuring yourself. Don’t let your mind wander when you are working on your body. Listen to your body talk and you will be surprise at what you discover.
9. You must listen to your body and listen to what it is telling you. Never override a pain signal or the voice in your head that tells you when something is wrong. Listen because it could save you from a flare-up or more pain. Tune in to your inner voice and trust it.
10. You must be fearless and understand that you are not alone. I once had a patient tell me that fear of pain kept him from living a more-fulfilled life. Always remind yourself that you are a fearless warrior. Don’t let fear stop you from achieving your goals and getting your life back.
11. Get second and third medical opinions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your doctors. Work in partnership with them and don’t be afraid to say I will think this over and get back to you.
12. Everyday is a new day and hope springs eternal. You alone can decide the state of your mind. Our minds lie to us all the time and many of the times we make up crazy scenarios in our heads that are just not true. Question your own thoughts.
13. Faith in yourself, faith in the process and faith that your healing will happen.
Now that you understand what is required of you, make yourself the hero or heroine of your own story.
I have read the above requirements and I understand what it will takes to heal.
This signature serves as a contract between my inner healer and me. I understand that I alone hold the key to my healing.
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