I had a patient tell me a while ago that she was told by a previous chiropractor that she just had a “bad back.” And a “bad knee.” And a “bad hip.” And that she would just have to come in for regular adjustments to maintain her level of dysfunction for virtually the rest of her life, so that it didn’t get any worse. Consistent chiropractic care would be necessary to manage her pain. Not correct or eliminate her pain. But “manage” her pain. Now, this can sometimes be the case, and frequent attention to structural alignment is of critical importance when working to support people living with chronic pain. Chiropractic is extremely effective at supporting the spinal biomechanics of your body so that pain and imbalances are reduced. However, since I’ve been working with her for over a year now, she is no longer in constant discomfort with her “bad back.” In fact, most of the time, her pain is non-existent. This happened early on in her care, and with monthly- not weekly visits.
Let me start by saying that we do not have “bad” body parts. In certain situations, post traumatic injuries or accidents, the structural integrity of your body can be permanently altered, and require this perspective of consistent care to prevent further degeneration or simply delay a necessary surgery. That said, in my experience, more often than not, chronic pain is not due to a trauma, but layers of compensations and imbalances that have accumulated and stacked over the years.
We addressed her WHOLE BODY and the ROOT CAUSE(S). Physical pain is not always simply physical. There are nutritional, chemical, emotional and energetic reasons for our physical manifestations of pain and discomfort. And if any of these areas are not addressed and neglected in the course of one’s treatment or care, relief will generally not be permanent. I have patients that feel better for a few days after an appointment, and then they are back in my office a week later because their discomfort came back. And sometimes the reason is truly that the muscles and tissues need more time to adapt and adjust to their new pattern and position. And yet I know that when I do deeper work, this is not the case.
So, here are my recommendations to getting to the root cause of your problem or pain. Essentially, healing is messy. And it truly involves your time and investment in your health in all areas.
1. REFLECT ON POTENTIAL DEEPER MEANING BEHIND YOUR BODY’S COMMUNICATION
There is a woman by the name of Louise Hay, who was a pioneer in her field, of making connections between the metaphysical/emotional causes that lead to physical manifestations of symptoms and disease. Some of these correlations are common sense…for instance:
-A chronic cough? = something you need to “get off your chest”
-Ear pain/congestion? = something in your life that you "don’t want to hear"
-Shoulder pain? = you may be “shouldering” a lot of burdens
Other conditions are more complicated. She wrote several books, a few of which called You Can Heal Your Life, and Heal Your Body. In these books, she describes what certain areas of the body represent and often what disease patterns are being driven from a deeper place. For example, chronic hip pain is frequently an inability to “move forward” in life. Hips are about moving forward, whereas feet are about “stepping” into the future. So little shifts in your awareness about the potential meaning of your issues can go a long way in ultimately achieving wellness. Louise Hay references affirmations you can state to shift the dis-empowering pattern in your body. I’ve had people tell me that after making that connection between their mind and body, and affirming a new belief, the original discomfort or issue can pass easily and quickly.
2. DO BLOODWORK AND EVALUATE IT FUNCTIONALLY
Bloodwork can often provide us insights into how your body is working on a deeper level. But how many times have you had blood drawn, and your doctor doesn’t give you a copy of your results, and just tells you everything is “normal.” What is normal? If your values are within their standard range, they consider you to be “normal.” But normal doesn’t equal optimal. You could be on the edge of that range, about to enter a “diseased” state, but they can’t diagnose it until it’s official. This is why I advocate for functionally assessing your bloodwork and acting BEFORE you have a disease. Often times our bodies show physical discomfort that doesn’t go away that is actually related to internal imbalances that can be determined, AND reversed with the right guidance. So, finding the right doctor who will read between the lines on bloodwork is important! Also, similarly to the above, in Applied Kinesiology, there are muscle-organ relationships. So, what someone thinks is a “simple shoulder complaint” can actually be due to less than optimal liver, or lung function. Correct that, and the musculoskeletal manifestation dissipates naturally.
3. TRUST YOURSELF
You know your body better than anyone. If someone tells you that there is nothing they can do. Or that your body just has a “bad” –fill in the part. You don’t have to choose to accept that. Dig deeper and trust yourself. There is a wealth of knowledge and practitioners out there that can help you. We just need to stand up for ourselves and be true advocates for our health. Sadly, no one else can do that for you.
I believe that the body is a self-healing system. When obstacles to healing are removed, and appropriate nervous system input provided, miracles are possible. I encourage you to believe in the power of your body!
I had a brief YouTube video on the concept of true healing where I share from my heart the commitment that true healing takes sometimes. Feel free to check it out here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bvzmc67OnkY and consider subscribing to my channel Dr. Christy Cares!
Let me know if you have any questions or need more individual guidance/support! I’m happy to help you uncover the layers of your symptoms to achieve balance and health!
Dr. Christy Matusiak