By Guest Writer Diana Bailey
“Appearance is absolute, but reality is not that way.
Everything is interdependent, not absolute.” Dalai Lama
The Overview and Approach
Personal and practical experience with a multitude of soft tissue injuries indicates that the attitude regarding rehab challenges does more to determine the outcome than even the available level of care. It is clear that over the course of a lifetime injury is likely to occur. The usual mental approach arrives as a scale that ranges from inconvenient to completely devastating. Injuries do feel absolute and recovering from an injury can make one feel defeated. It takes a split second to happen, and a relatively long time to “get your body back”.
In simple terms, recovery from damage tends to unfold in a couple of ways depending upon personal outlook:
Believe first. Do second. Understand later
Do first. Believe second. Understand later
In between, regardless of choosing to be an optimist or a skeptic, there will be some aching, some ouches, and several wows!
The pivotal issue in recovery for either personality is curiosity; that means to become more interested in what will happen next than afraid of it. While expert guidance is useful and important, direction that inspires genuine interest in the process expands the realm of probability. Focused curiosity is a powerful tool for progress. Healing is easier when a question of wonder helps to engage the necessary work.
The greatest lesson an injury has to teach is not patience.
It is to pay attention!
It’s called paying attention because it is an investment.
Understanding is at the end of recovery for the same reason that rear view mirrors are smaller than windshields. Perspective comes from experience, not just hindsight. It saves a lot of potential problems to get assistance formulating a plan, but that does not mean mistakes won’t occur. Setbacks can and do happen even with the best of plans because knowing what is just enough is for one individual on any given day is an experiment.
If you decide to seek professional advice, look for experience over opinion and results over credentials. Everybody has opinions, and there are lots of credentials. These are a great starting place as long as they are not equated with experience. People who have paid their dues on the front lines look at issues very differently. Their wisdom is priceless in helping to set a constructive frame for a return to full range of movement.
Keep in mind that incremental goals deliver excellent cumulative results. Historically, giant leaps in capacity are often injurious. Re-injury halfway through the process tends to expand the problem, and interfere with happy endings. It works well to get reliable information and go slowly. Sometimes that’s a lot longer than expected. Injuries take the time they take. To be invited and inspired to learn how your body moves and works best for you is the goal of recovery.