"The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.”
- William Blake
Changing your mind means transforming your thoughts from “what’s wrong with me” to “what’s my body trying to tell me?” Diagnostic tools used by traditional medicine are looking for something that is broken that can be fixed. This approach is treating symptoms as if they were the source of the problem and they’re not – unless you were hit by a truck. If you were hit by a truck, the source of the pain and the cause of the pain are the same thing - you’ve got a compound fracture. In most cases you were not hit by a truck, so we need to look further to find the true source. We have forgotten that the site of the pain is rarely the true source of the pain.
Many treatment options are aimed at the symptom and will offer short-term relief, but for a long-term solution, you must address the underlying source. What’s broken (i.e. herniated disc; cartilage damage; torn muscle; tendonitis) is part of the symptom, not the source. The ability to live a pain free and active life comes when you stop treating the symptom, find the source and correct the underlying reason the pain is there.
Many clients say: “I can’t run downhill without pain; I can’t go to the gym and do military presses without pain; I can’t drive my car without pain. But I’m 65, so I’m supposed to have pain and limitations – it comes with aging.” Society and many experts will reinforce this thinking for you. By asking new questions, you open the door for new beliefs and new possibilities. “What other factors are involved?” “What else could this mean?” “What is my intuition telling me?” By changing your mindset, you will understand that: “Age is not the determining factor in my health.”
Our bodies are not fragile. They are not overly complicated. We have all the necessary abilities to get well. We are healthy when we’re free of pain and limitations. The first step to overcoming these limitations is to CHANGE YOUR MIND.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
- Albert Einstein
The first step to taking action is taking personal responsibility. Responsibility means having the ability to respond. Just as you have the ability to respond to change, so does your physical body. The human body is the most efficient stimulus response organism on the planet. This means that your body is responding to stimulus twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.
Your body is responding to what you eat, what you think, what you feel, and what you do physically, every day of your life, no matter your age. Your body responds instantly and without prejudice, meaning that your body doesn’t think about whether this stimulus is good or bad; it just responds.
When we go back to our question we asked earlier, “Why did the disc herniate?” (or meniscus tear? or rotator cuff impinge? or muscle spasm?), the answer is the body was not functioning or working efficiently, causing increased tension, stress and wear & tear on its structures. Inefficient movement comes from faulty posture and joint position. We all share a common blueprint – the anatomical design – and when our bodies deviate from this postural alignment, pain will eventually result. When our posture doesn’t match this blueprint we must figure out why. Then we can do what’s necessary to correct it. We all know bones don’t move bones; muscles move bones. This means the underlying problem behind our pain (and herniated disc, meniscus tear, etc.) is a muscle imbalance. Since your muscles respond to stimulus or movement, the way to become pain free is to teach your body how to move correctly by correcting your muscle imbalances. This can be done by using specific exercises tailored to your imbalances, which cause your body to change and return to its blueprint – the anatomical position.
First CHANGE YOUR MIND. Then, secondly, decide to take responsibility to CHANGE YOUR ACTIONS.
“First we make our habits, then our habits make us.”
- Charles C. Noble
When we make these THREE CHANGES, in this order, and constantly reevaluate if the change we are seeing occur is what we want and adjust our action plan accordingly, we are guaranteed progress. The result before too long is a pain free and active life without limitations.