Two Sides of Healing

I recently decided to talk to my doctor about trying a series of Physical Therapy (PT) treatments to decrease the discomfort I felt walking. She was well aware of my having a childhood event that left me with random weakness in both legs and hips, so she whole-heartedly supported my request. I had a clear goal of learning new ways to stand, sit, and move through space more efficiently and with more alignment.

As a kid, I had lots of PT, so I knew that returning to it could trigger some old feelings, fears, and wounds that had not completely healed. Indeed! Those first few sessions proved to be a formidable test of my mettle. I found myself unreasonably tearful over a few simple questions asked by my PT that were intended to gain more understanding of what I could do and what I wanted to gain. I was treated gently, openly, and with acceptance every step of the way, and still each time I left a session, I had a bundle of emotions left over that needed sorting and soothing.

It’s this “bundle of emotions” that rises up with almost every physical injury or ailment that needs more development. Our healthcare system isn’t structured—i.e. given enough time per visit—to address the “other side of healing” which is the mental/emotional side.

When we learn the mechanics to efficiently stand up from a seated position, it’s tangible progress. We can all see it. When we’re frustrated while practicing how to stand up and we don’t feel strong enough to accomplish the task, we can get stuck in feelings of upset or defeat. These feelings make it even harder to complete the physical task—leading to more vexation—leading to more difficulty standing up, and so the cycle goes…

Imagine a scenario in which our healthcare system recognizes the need to treat the whole person—we certainly hear these words touted in several of our hospital and clinic settings. We’ve got some great systems of care, mostly in specialty groups like PT, Oncology, Ortho, etc, in which seasoned professionals excel at their specialty and teach cutting edge tools and practices. This assists in bringing the person to greater strength, which in turn, makes them more autonomous. But what’s often missing is the mental and emotional support along the way that directly addresses the frustration and discouragement that so many of us feel along the road to recovery. It would not require much to insert an element of care that specifically tends to the mental and emotional agony of how slow and painful physical healing can be.

It is crucially important to keep the client whole every step of the healing trajectory—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, too, if that’s an open door. In your life long journey of healing, I urge you to tenaciously commit to getting everything you need to be well—and settle for nothing less!

Coming in May: Healthy Leaders = Productive Leaders

It is with admiration that I work with capable women who come face to face with injury, surgery or a difficult diagnosis. I guide them holistically to navigate the medical trauma and maneuver through the emotional mayhem so they can return to a vibrant, independent life. If you or someone you know has such a challenge, I would deeply appreciate you sending them to to contact me to see if we are a good fit to work together.