Monday, June 20, 2016

Is Your Busy Schedule Keeping You in Pain?

I have worked with many people over the years.  If your schedule is so busy, that you never have days off, time for yourself, etc., you will want to pay attention to what I say.  I had someone call me years ago when I was a new therapist, who was referred to me by a friend.  He wanted to see me on a holiday Monday.  I take 3 day holiday weekends off of work.  Not being able to see him on that day meant he wasn't able to get in to see me at all.  The friend who referred him to me told me that he is the type of person who is always incredibly busy.  The thought occurred to me, that it isn't going to matter who the therapist is who works on him or how good they are.  The problem will always come back.  Sorry, folks, but we're not energizer bunnies.  I don't care how much coffee you drink.  If you are struggling with chronic pain and that is the kind of lifestyle you are living, stress is one of the number one reasons for chronic pain in the first place.  It doesn't have to be past emotional trauma.  Present everyday stress alone can do this.  If you are always on the move, then you are always in the state of fight and flight.  I have worked with those who always travel for work, those who care for elderly parents, etc.  Their symptoms don't get any better.  They pick me because my unique approach to chronic pain generally gives more long term results than traditional therapies.  Lifestyle plays a much larger role than any therapy ever can, no matter how fancy the therapy is or who the therapist is.  I have worked with traveling consultants who are on top of it when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.  They do the types of workouts, styles of yoga, etc., that even I can't do.  They can perform amazing feats.  But does it show in their treatments and level of pain that they report?  Nope!  Not at all.  It doesn't have to be bad stress, either.  You can absolutely love everything that you do and still have this happen if you never so much as have a moment to sit and breathe.  This is not a blaming game, nor is it a lecture about changing your lifestyle and habits.  Life happens.  There are things out of our control.  I get it.  I am only pointing out that it is costing you your health.  Only you can decide whether or not it is worth that.  I have seen what people see me for mysteriously vanish when they lose their job.  Even if they had the money to keep seeing me, they didn't need me.  This doesn't mean go out and quit your job tomorrow without a plan.  But you do need to think about what you are doing and why you are doing it, instead of just going through the motions.

When we do things from a place of mindfulness, instead of ego, we are much less likely to hurt ourselves.  Most of the injuries that people see me for are not traumatic injuries that can be easily explained.  It is stuff that just started hurting out of the blue, without an explanation as to where it came from.

We seem to live in a culture that values hard work over sanity and health.  I have done energy work on many people who stated that they were raised to believe that if they are ever idle and relaxing, then they don't have any self worth.  They feel they have to work themselves to death in order to prove themselves worthy.  When did our culture ever become so ignorant?  I always feel the most efficient and get the most work done when I have had plenty of time to relax.  If I don't pencil myself in, I do not get that "me time".

What is it that brings you joy?  When most people are asked this, they don't know.  Music and dancing bring me joy.  I play in a community concert band and belly dance.  I wake up early enough before my first client of the day to do yoga.  I need that quiet solitude when I first get up.  It gets my blood moving so that I have the energy that I need to get through my day.  I have never had a drop of coffee in my entire life.  Find what brings you joy and balance!