About the Healing Process
Healing Process Two Healing Process One

Dear Patients:

Healing is more than just freedom from your symptoms. True healing happens on multiple levels - physical, emotional, nutritional - and it takes time. In fact, if “healing” (freedom from your symptoms) happens too quickly, don’t be fooled. There’s usually more work to do to keep symptoms from coming back.

One of the best ways to help yourself heal is to recognize the incredible power within you. No matter what’s happened to you, you played some role in your current situation. Now that doesn’t mean you should blame yourself for your situation. It means reacting the same way to stress will produce the same outcome, so why not learn new stress response patterns?

Here is a stress pattern I see frequently: Sally was in a car accident where her car was hit hard from the side. Since the accident, her neck has hurt for the last 2 years even though she has tried several different treatments. She is coping by stretching her neck a lot every day and drinking more coffee. This coping strategy gives her temporary relief, but now she is having difficulty sleeping at night and suffering from increased hormonal imbalances.

How would I approach this situation? First of all, when someone’s neck has been overstretched it doesn’t usually get back to balance by stretching the neck more. The neck is made of complicated joints and small muscles. If the ligaments and muscles have been disrupted, then they may not be as sturdy as they were before being injured. If the muscles are injured, then stretching puts more force on the ligament causing them to be hyper-mobile. Hyper-mobile joints can cause pain. Stretching can temporarily create space and endorphins, but not always stability.

What I do is push the hyper-mobile joints back together and suggest home care to create space by reducing swelling (using ice, gentle breathing, etc.). Then I teach exercises which help the neck re-learn how to balance. These could be eye exercises, breathing exercises or strengthening exercises. A sturdy neck that can balance usually feels better than an overstretched, unbalanced neck.

Back to Sally again: During the course of treatment, when Sally started breathing with more ease, she suddenly had some intense memories of her car accident. Feelings can happen in healing.  So why not allow for some extra time in the park, a soak in the tub or a trip to the counselor to get on with the healing and get out of pain.

When you embrace your own healing process, your role in your own recovery emerges. There is always a way to heal if you’re willing to be open to possibility, take seemingly small steps and keep at it. Your body wants to be well. When you can walk the line between listening to the messages your body sends you and sending messages back to your body, you begin to heal your nervous system. Learning to create balance in the face of difficulty makes change possible.

Your Part In The Process       

“Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself.”
– Chinese Proverb

You’ll find your experience here to be interactive. I will ask you to play an active role in the process! Plan to be a student of your own healing process where you will learn about your nervous system and musculo-skeletal structure. Bring a sense of adventure, openness and a willingness to take kind, gentle care of your body. Your commitment to the process will allow us to develop a deep, healing working relationship.

Third Way Chiropractic | 1620 SE Ankeny | Portland, OR 97214 | (503) 233-0943