Connection, Integration and Perspective
Some treatments themselves can be painful. It is important to be comfortable with being a little uncomfortable. It is often helpful to try some things that cause you to relive the trauma. If this is tolerable, try to continue, as this may be what you need to work through it. It is imperative to release any negative or upsetting emotions associated with the traumatic incident. Healing must occur throughout your body. Emotional release often occurs in conjunction with reconnecting to our bodies through manual therapy, sound or music therapy, movement or exercise. Be patient with yourself and your body. Injuries can happen in an instant, but healing may take months or years. Nurture yourself during the process. Tend to yourself. Eat well to give your body the building blocks it needs to heal. Be sure to rest. The body needs rest and time to heal. This doesn’t mean spending the day in bed, but instead should punctuate periods of activity with periods of rest, pacing the day and advancing activity. Restorative rest is essential. Sleep may be difficult either constitutionally or from the pain or both. Explore as many non-medication approaches to enhance restorative sleep, as possible. These can include relaxation exercises, muscle tension and relaxation, soothing thoughts and images, soothing sounds, white noise and meditation.
All of these approaches allow you to have a different relationship with your persistent pain. Our bodies hold pain, emotions and memory. Working on this with the idea of releasing or freeing your body is an excellent way to stimulate the emotionally locked in parts of your brain. Once you stop fearing the pain and stop looking at it as if it is an acute warning of an immediate danger, the pain can actually help you understand what you have to change in your life to be done with it. Just the very act of thinking of your pain in this way decreases your suffering and starts you on the road to recovery. When you stop dealing with the persistent pain in the fight/flight, survival regions of your brain and start integrating it into your personal narrative, the pain becomes another problem to be solved and its place in your life fades from the central experience through which everything is filtered to a peripheral issue to be dealt with like all others.