The Pain Free Athlete: Self-Healing is Within You

Jessica Kisiel

The Pain Free Athlete
Column by JESSICA KISIEL
 
Self-Healing is Within You

Do you believe you can heal yourself? We hear this phrase often, there are numerous books written on the subject, but is it true? How do you feel when you hear someone say you can heal yourself? Is your first reaction denial – no I can’t – or do you feel empowered to take care of yourself – yes, I can make myself better? Knowing where you stand is an important awareness that may be impacting your ability to recover. If you don’t believe you can heal yourself naturally you probably won’t improve without external procedures or medications.

I can appreciate people’s hesitancy in accepting these words – you can heal yourself. There are certainly circumstances in which we cannot heal ourselves. In cases of severe, acute musculoskeletal injuries – a broken bone, ruptured ligament or dislocated joint – a medical expert is absolutely needed. However, I work with chronic, soft tissue pain. Long time injuries that linger and have not responded to other treatments. In these instances I do believe we can heal ourselves. The human body has an incredible capacity to rejuvenate when given the right stimulus.

Yet, when we hurt we become scared and look outside ourselves for healing. Going to one medical person or alternative provider to the next hoping for the magic cure. We want instant gratification. We hope that someone else has the answer to end our pain. We don’t have confidence that we have the knowledge or tools to help ourselves. We put our trust and faith in someone else. We yield our power to this other person which puts us in a place of being a victim and reduces our self-efficacy. We give up control.

Healing does not happen through someone else, it is an inside job. Recovery is dependent on our willingness to take responsibility for our wellness. Just like I used to teach when I worked in corporate health promotion, we are our own best health advocates. No one else is privy to the whole story of our life, pain, emotions and mental state. Outsiders only know what we allow them to see and hear. They don’t live in our body, can’t feel our pain, or know our thoughts and actions.

To heal yourself you must be educated about your condition. Build a team of trusted health professionals around you, challenge them, and gather as much information and as many tools as you can. Remember though, everything you are acquiring comes with their opinions and biases. We are all human trying to help each other by sharing our experiences and insights. Ultimately, however, you need to assimilate all the information and choose what works and what doesn’t, carving your own path to recovery. Learn to trust yourself, your ability to heal, listen to your body and realize the power within you.

You can heal yourself!

Jessica Kisiel is an Advanced Exercise Therapist certified by Egoscue University®. She also holds certifications from The American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association, American Council on Exercise, National Posture Institute and Wellcoaches. Stay connected and receive free posture exercises for your favorite sport by signing up for her newsletter, http://www.thepfathlete.com/subscribe

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