Healing Isn't Linear
We like to pretend that we live in a perfect world where you get injured, you seek treatment, practice home self care, and ultimately make steady progress toward wellness. Unfortunately, as we all know, we don't live in that perfect world. To expect our healing to follow that linear path is unfair and unkind to ourselves.
I recently had a client who suffered a significant traumatic loss. In the middle of our session, unprompted, they said something like, "I know I've been moping about for too long, it's time to get back to living life." And while I think it was great that the client felt motivated to make a change for their healing, I also felt heartbroken that this client seemed to give themselves a deadline for their healing.
I come across this more often than not in massage therapy. We live in a world that is moving so fast, we want things to be immediate because we fear getting lost behind. But healing is a process. And processes take time. Why should my aforementioned client (or any of us) feel the urge to fit their healing in a neat box and set a timeframe for it?
Healing doesn't always follow a straight path. There are slopes, plateaus, climbs, and falls. The mental health realm knows this and has no shyness about acknowledging it. But physical health professions aren't as comfortable with this truth. Clients (or patients) come in with physical ailments and expect rapid or at least progressive results. But healing takes time and it doesn't happen how we'd like it to.
You have to trust the process of healing. And know that massage therapy is just one tool in that process. While your physical body is in states of dis-ease and dys-function, thoughts can fill you with fear that lead you to set unrealistic goals and expectations for yourself. But your spirit must remain resilient. Remember, YOU have the power within yourself to get through it! You must know and believe that you WILL get better.
Your mind must accepting of the possibility of positive change. Instead of focusing on WHEN you'll improve, set your mind on HOW and prepare the path. Set an Intention. Visualize the Healing. Do the Work. And know there is always a miracle behind every obstacle. Belief is a major part of the healing process. All you have to be is willing.
Peace and Healing,
Kirby Clark Ellis, MMT, BCTMB