Emotional Security and Pain

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If you have been dealing with pain for years, there’s a very good chance that you have seen several health care professionals and been given several diagnoses (e.g., spinal stenosis, arthritis, herniated discs, pinched nerves, scoliosis, SI dysfunctions, spondylolosis, etc).  And, perhaps, after years,  those “labels” (diagnoses) may be so ingrained that they became a part of your identity and they may even provide some sort of security for them.  If someone you never met tell you that you don’t have those labels/diagnoses, you may somehow feel offended and uncomfortable and may even argue with him/her that you have all those diagnoses because maybe you feel very insecure by the thought of detaching your diagnoses (which became your identity and emotionally attached) from you?  If you lost your identity, who would you be and how would you identify yourself?  A scary thought, isn’t it?  This may sound strange, but I think this happens more often than you realize.  Despite the fact pain is an unpleasant feeling and experience that no one wants in general, our nervous system always tries to stabilize and secure itself in this case by associating pain with you and your life.

 

Just remember you are not your diagnoses, you are not what someone else said.  You don’t have be the person others describe you as, but you can also be the person who you want to become.  Who do you want to become?

 

Enjoy the sunshine!

The Nervous System Optimizes Itself

If you’re a PT/OT/ATC/personal trainer, my guess is that you’ve come across a moment at least once where you put a blame on your clients for a lack of progress because they haven’t been doing their “homework” consistently and it’s their fault.

As a Feldenkrais practitioner, we practice on the premise that the nervous system is always doing its best to optimize our functions, thus our job is only to create a condition for learning to take place.  Once we create such a condition and provide what’s possible, we simply let their nervous system take care of itself.  

I’ve come from athletic training background and outpatient PT clinic, and most clients had high level of functions and were cognitively intact.  Then I moved to a home health PT setting where most clients were elderly and many have cognitive deficits.  I could not rely on them to remember what I taught.  No matter how many times I give them the same verbal cues/visual cues, they are very unlikely to show a carryover to a next session.  Some of them cannot even comprehend verbal instructions.  Yet, sometimes I noticed changes in their gait and other movement patterns.  Those changes were spontaneous and subconscious as apparently they didn’t remember anything from previous sessions.  After I have observed these changes in many people, I’ve come to understand the meaning of the premise that the nervous system is always doing its best to optimize our functions.  It really is.  

When you see your clients making the same “mistake” again or not making a progress, you may ask yourself what if their nervous system is optimizing their functions by doing what it’s doing because it’s serving them well, or maybe it’s not ready to accept what you present??  I’ve come to realize that our nervous system is truly smarter than we are.  I find this very fascinating.  What do you think??