The Process of Healing

Generally, when we think about managing our health, images of exercise, eating right, taking vitamins and health check-ups come to mind. There is, however, another ingredient that should be considered in managing health. It determines how health is created, how it might have changed and what it will be like in the future. The ingredient is time. The degree to which you will be truly effective in managing your health is directly related to understanding the relationship of cellular change to time.

The present level of health that we have today, is the net effect of all the events from our past. We start from the time we were first conceived, with our optimal genetic potential. We then subtract all negative physical, chemical, and emotional stresses or traumas and then add the resulting degenerative or adaptive changes to create our present health condition. See diagram.

A current myth in our society is that these degenerative changes are the effects of just getting older. Most of what people experience, as aging is early stress or trauma-related changes. A form of adaptation to change.

An example of this is most disc degeneration or arthritis that occurs in the spine, hips, and knee joints are bone changes. As the joints adapt to an unbalanced spinal position, changes are required in the joints to adapt to the different imbalanced stresses placed on the joint. This helps to maintain a sense of balance and stability. The good news is that the negative stresses you have experienced have also been somewhat diminished by the positive actions you have taken to help your health up to this point.

Your current level of health is not a mystery. Most of the aches and pains that you experience now, started years before you even suspected that a health problem was developing. This is because pain, like a warning light in a car, only notifies you when a problem is becoming serious.

Understanding the influences of the past events that have resulted in your present level of health is interesting, but, what about your future health?

When we are in pain, we do not often think positively about the future. We are too concerned with the present, and want to be out of pain now. Although we might wish to be immediately free from our current condition, the truth is this can only happen in our future. This doesn’t necessarily mean the distant future, butpain relief and a return to normal function-“true health”-requires time. This is related to a process known as “healing”.

The process of healing is really a return to wholeness, or to put it another way, a return to balance and stability. Just how each of us gets there will depend on a number of factors.

It is important to remember there is a difference between “healing” and “feeling better” (symptomatic relief). “How you feel” is not always a true representation of your health.

The process of healing is important to understand, as there are some universal principles that apply to each and every one of us. Our understanding of these healing principles will help to dispel fear and frustration in our recovery process.

All healing is self-healing. We all have the potential and capacity to heal. We must, however, find a way to activate the self-healing mechanism within ourselves. Time is an important consideration when we are in the process of changing. As we talked about, time is an important ingredient to self-healing. Pain relief alone may be the first step of our regaining normal function, but it is generally not enough to maintain long term recovery. Too often, patients mistake the lack of pain or symptoms to indicate good health, but good health is not just the absence of pain. It’s also having proper function and stability.

We all have to begin our healing process somewhere. Ensuring our physical body is structurally balanced is an important place to start. A healthy physical body has a very positive influence on our overall health, well being and vitality. Proper spinal alignment, function, stability, and flexibility are key to ensuring optimal health. This is because the spine is key and has a close relationship to the nervous system that is responsible for controlling and coordinating all body functions.

In the process of recovery or healing, it will take time to restore balance and for the cellular changes to take place. This applies to all healing whether it is physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. In the initial phase of healing we can help by restoring the body balance that often helps to break the pain cycles and recurring patterns. Helping to ensure this optimal balance is well maintained helps to ensure the healing cycle continues to completion.

Stopping anywhere short of the complete healing cycle will minimize the chance of full recovery. To use a metaphor: Stopping short is worse than getting off a train before it reaches its destination. It’s actually like getting on the opposite track, back to where you began. In this case, back refers to the degenerative condition that started your suffering.

There is a need to become more aware of how we are currently living our lives and what we can do to choose healthier lifestyle practices. Healing involves more than just being adjusted or re-balanced. It requires your active participation to develop awareness and change unhealthy patters and habits.

The healing cycle occurs through a series of phases that occur over a period of time. It is during these phases that your relationship to time and your patience can directly affect the quality of your health and the continuation of the healing process. ©

Phases of Care
1. Re-balancing the Spine
The most stable position for the body is one of balance. Whenever we lose this balance in relationship to gravity, the body compensates and tries to create stability the best way it can. The first response is muscle tension to add stability to an unstable spine. Because of the close relationship to the nervous system, spinal balance and stability is important to maintaining good health and energy.

Re-balancing the spine is the first step to reduce the structural stress that exists in the body. This is achieved by using the NUCCA chiropractic spinal correction techniques and procedures to relieve any structural stress that places mechanical pressure on the nervous system.

2. Stabilization of the Spine
Once the spine is re-balanced, the initial six to eight weeks of healing is needed to allow the body to stabilize and get used to the new balanced position. This time period enables the initial recovery and improved function of the soft tissue (which includes muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage) as well as structural remodeling to take place. The body gets used to the new balance and begins to re-pattern itself in this new alignment with improved stability.

This recovery process can be enhanced with the use of therapeutic massage and craniosacral therapy. This works to enhance soft tissue function by reducing tissue tension and restriction that has developed as the body had to compensate for being out of balance with gravity. These procedures help to reduce pain and stress, increase circulation, reduce tension and improve muscle function. These all helps to prepare the body for the next phase of healing.

3. Flexibility
Once the spine is balanced and has better stability, the next task is to improve range of motion and movement of the spine. This improved flexibility also assists in providing greater stability and function of the spine. To assist in this process, recommendations for stretching or yoga like exercises will be recommended along with additional therapeutic massage or craniosacral therapy. This helps to support the tissue changes with the improved balance and stability.

Daily stretching may be one of the most important prevention and health maintenance tools available for us. Each day we do a number of things that add stress and tension to our body and often we do very few things to release that tension. That is where physically stretching and releasing the tension through breathing and relaxation has consistently shown to benefit our health and overall well being.

4. Strengthening
This phase of care will vary for each person. With improved balance, and flexibility there is greater muscle function, which adds to the stability, and function of the spine. To further assist in the strengthening of the spinal column, a cross training approach will improve core stability and reduce repetitive strain types of stress on the body. Once again, a balance is needed in the approach to improve strength. A private trainer or specific rehabilitative program may be helpful as this helps to ensure proper technique and a balanced program is implemented.

5. Maintenance
Many people consider a program of preventive health care service to be in their best interest. This may consist of periodic examinations for the purpose of determining whether they would require a chiropractic adjustment for the elimination of spinal imbalance, regardless of whether there has been any complaints or symptoms. In this sense, maintenance care is preventive care. The examination or analysis may or may not reveal the need for chiropractic adjustments. If body imbalance exists, an adjustment given under such circumstances would be preventive in nature and is often present without the patient’s awareness of any adverse symptoms or functional problems.

6. Self Study
Throughout our lives, challenges and stresses arise that cause us to evaluate and re-evaluate our current health. It becomes helpful to develop greater awareness of our health habits, as our health is ultimately our individual responsibility. It is always helpful to keep an open mind to learning new approaches. Sometimes it is simply being reminded of what we know, but may not be actively doing.

In reality, no one can teach us anything unless we are willing to learn. We offer a number of self-study programs that help to develop awareness of how we are living our lives and help provide some tools to assist in healthy change. As we stated previously, all healing is self-healing. At our clinic, we are committed to helping in this process by providing excellent spinal correction, maintenance care, soft tissue therapy and rehabilitation. Along with this care and in partnership with C-1 Film® Productions Corp. we offer scientifically proven educational support through live workshops, audio, video, and television programs.

We invite you to further improve the quality of your health and your life. We understand and respect your need to go at your own pace. We will make the recommendations that we feel will provide you with the most benefit. You must have the commitment and courage to stay the course through the process of healing. We fully appreciate the significant challenge this can present and will do what we can to help support you in this process. We have an extensive network of other health practitioners that can also assist you and when necessary will recommend those people we feel can best help you at the appropriate time.

As we mentioned before, to improve on your health, you need a place to start. The structural, spinal, nervous system balance and improved function is an extremely effective place to start. This approach has been extremely successful and thousands of people have benefited from it. “Rome was not built in a day” and although the period of time required achieving relief from pain may be short; a longer period is required to reach optimal health. The actions that you take in the time ahead can be more important in determining your health than your past or present. In regard to regaining and maintaining your full health and vitality, being patient is the key. ©

“I do not know what I may appear to the world:
but to myself I seem to have been only like
a boy playing on the seashore,
and diverting myself in now and then
finding a smoother pebble
or a prettier shell then ordinary, whilst the great
ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me”
-Sir Isaac Newton