The hardest part of recovery from injury is having patience with the process, especially when it is long and painful. While I was recovering for over 5 years from a serious car accident, every setback seemed to take me right back to day one, the day my life changed forever.
What took me a long time to realize is that while I felt like I was never going to get my old life back, I was making huge strides in my recovery. These triumphs just came in the form of two steps forward, one step back, like a cha cha. If only it was that much fun!
As health and wellness Practitioners, it is also important to learn patience, and keep that strongly rooted in a sense of empathy. Every client recovers at their own pace, and imposing expectations is not productive for either the practitioner or the client. Celebrating each small victory is motivating for both to keep working towards the goal of full recovery.
One aspect of patience is also acceptance, especially in recovery. Accepting where we are today, not where we were or where we think we should be in our rehabilitation. Add to that an element of trust. We need to learn to trust that our bodies know what to do, and that we have the tools to be in control of our own bodies and our recovery.
In movement, we’ve all had occasions where we expect our bodies to perform, and it doesn’t quite go as expected. Remember a time when you’ve been at the gym or in a class and you’ve said “I can’t do it!” with great frustration. Now, imagine feeling that every day.
Having patience at these times helps us wait until we are strong enough to try again, and to accept that there is another way to get the same result, just with a little modification. Breaking a difficult movement down into manageable pieces can result in less frustration and a greater chance of success. Here are some other tips to help you become more patient with your recovery:
1) When you have a setback in your recovery, try to put into perspective where you started from. Think of your steady incline in improvement, although the road may be bumpy. Acknowledge that you are always getting better than you were the first day.
2) Sometimes after injury, your life takes a drastic turn, and may not resume the same course. This can be a great opportunity to reinvent yourself. Plot a new course that is just as fulfilling, or maybe even more so.
3) Take the time to count your blessings. You may find that you have a lot more to be thankful for than you previously thought.
4) Ask for help! You have a number of people that are ready and eager to help you get back into your groove, let them.
A highly-trained Pilates and Therapeutic Exercise specialist can help.
Holly Wallis, Certified Movement & Rehabilitation Specialist, PMA®-CPT
Director of US Operations, Body Harmonics Pilates & Movement Institute
Studio Director, ReActive Movement, 6200 LaSalle Ave, Oakland, CA 94611
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