This blog was written a few months ago and I've come to appreciate it even more....
I have been in quite some pain for the past 2 days. I had been fighting a cough and 2 nights ago, I was lying in bed and I coughed and felt a pop in one of my ribs and then intense stabbing pain. My first instinct was to scream and wake up my husband to take me to the hospital. For those that know me, I don't take going to the hospital lightly. It was 3am. I then gave myself a few minutes of lying there to assess the damage before I decided to do anything else. Talk about life deciding to stop me in my tracks.
Once the initial pain started to subside, and now that I was awake, I got to thinking how this could happen. I am 8 months pregnant which means my body is releasing lots of relaxin to get my body ready for childbirth. This causes loose muscle and ligaments, making you more susceptible to injury. That was on the scientific level. On the emotional and mental side, I knew it was my body’s way of slowing me down and getting me to take a break.
Lying down was the worst position for me so I walked around which helped, meditated propped up on pillows and even had time to journal. By then, I had already decided to clear my day and focus on rest and healing.
The next day, I was able to call a friend and doctor to further assess my ribs for a home visit. I am so grateful that they were able to come. I felt better after her visit but was still in intense pain each time I coughed.
I managed to get a nap in, not cook or do the other million things I would normally do but just rest. I talked to friends on the phone and enjoyed a visit from my friend and rested the entire day.
When I went into work the next day, I was able to get taped up by the physiotherapist and use other modalities available for healing at the office. Once again, so much gratitude to have the tools I need to speed up the recovery process.
Even in the midst of pain, there are opportunities for gratitude.
My foot started hurting one day and I went through the process of trying to figure out why. Perhaps I had injured it while at the gym the previous day? It’s possible but I didn’t remember it even being sore.
When I took the time to connect and breathe into my ankle, I was able to localize the pain to my heel. I started to ask my heel what it wanted to tell me. Was it in pain from overuse or something else?
What came back were the words, “achilles heel”. Which lead me to ask, what is my achilles heel?
Side note: An Achilles' heel is a weakness in spite of overall strength, which can lead to downfall. While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, idiomatic references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common.
My Achilles Heel is my ability to procrastinate doing something that I don’t want to do i.e. my taxes and then needing to rush to get it done.
I examined my life and observed areas that I was procrastinating in the moment….my taxes, writing a letter for a patient, working on my next presentation, booking an oil change, getting my summer tires on, and the list went on from there….
I laughed at myself and thanked my heel for the message. I gave my heel a couple days rest from the gym, took Arnica for the pain, started on all the projects I’d been procrastinating and the pain is gone.
Need help figuring out what your body is trying to tell you about your life? 613-761-1600
Your pain in your shoulder, back, neck, relationships, finances, etc, is not the problem. Pain is only the manifestation of the problem.
Imagine you had low back pain for 6 months and you came into my office. You’ve had pain for 6 months, why did you decide at that moment to make the call to come in? You were already dealing with the discomfort for so long. The answer isn’t because of the pain.
Perhaps your low back pain prevented you from going to work and making a living. Maybe you couldn’t play with your grandchild anymore. For others, the pain keeps them from being intimate with their partners. The majority of the time, it is a quality of life issue that forces us to make the call to do something about the pain.
Ask yourself, what is this pain keeping me from doing?
To take it a step further, not only do we want to know the quality of life issue that brought you into our office, we also want to know, what emotions are behind the pain.
Are you frustrated that you got hurt? Are you sad that you are still sick? Are you fed-up with work and need a change in your life? Do you keep attracting the same type of people in your relationships? Are you behind on filing your taxes?
Once we know what you are really searching for and the emotions that you are experiencing, we can better help you in taking the action steps required to help you achieve your goals.
Need help figuring yourself out? 613-761-1600
People often ask what happens when I get sick or when I’m in pain. Well, let me start by saying that doctor’s are not any more special than everyone else. I get sick and am in pain too and it’s an opportunity to practice what I preach.
A few weeks ago, I started having a pulling sensation behind my ear. This happens a few times a year and usually lasts a few days. Whenever it does, I try to figure out what my body is trying to tell me.
My first question is, what patterns could have caused this? Physically, I wear glasses all day long, when there’s an especially long day and tiring day or a few in a row, my glasses hurt the back of my ears. Also, if my hair is tied back in a ponytail too long, this can occur. So, did this occur? Yes. So that’s a physical explanation.
Next, I ask myself what emotional and mental patterns are there. I came up with 1. working extra hours to help out a friend 2. overstretching myself with bookings outside of work. Perhaps, my body is trying to tell me to slow down and rest.
Once, I have some possible explanations, I move on to breathing exercises for that part of my body. I put my hands over the area in pain and breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. I then start talking to that area by acknowledging that it’s in pain and seeing if there are any emotions or thoughts associated with it. For more on this breathing exercise, please come to our monthly workshops where we go through several breathing techniques.
After talking to the area, I work on reducing and changing my patterns and observe my body to see if it makes a difference.
In this instance, I choose to sleep in and rest longer even though I scheduled myself time to be doing paper work. I took off my glasses for longer periods and kept my hair down. I noticed that within a couple days, what worked best was the extra rest. So, I went to bed earlier than usual and made sure to feed my body the nutrients it needed.
When the pain disappeared, I thanked my body for the message.
Need help figuring out what your body’s trying to tell you? Come in for a free 15 minute consultation where a consultation is simply a conversation.
What do symptoms tell us? Symptoms tell us that something in our body or our life isn’t functioning the way it’s supposed to. Certain patterns in our life, physical, emotional or mental are causing our bodies to be unable to correct themselves.
When we cut our finger or bruise our knee, our body heals over time. So why is it not healing right now? We’re stuck in a pattern.
Physically, patterns that lead to symptoms could be sitting at your desk too long, lack of exercise and movement, poor food choices,etc.
Emotional and mental patterns can include not speaking up when you wanted to, staying in a relationship longer than you wanted to, feeling trapped at work, not doing something that you are passionate about, finances, etc.
Whatever the case, a symptom is a sign that something isn’t working properly. What do we usually do when we have a symptom? Some of us take medication to make it go away. This may work for a period of time, however, if you continue to do the same patterns, then pain will continue to persist or come back again. Other people, may seek a health professional to massage the pain, do acupuncture on it, etc. This is helpful as well. However, if you continue to do the same patterns physically, emotionally or mentally, the symptoms can come back.
So, what is the solution? Instead of looking for someone to fix the symptom, focus on finding someone to help you to figure out the problem. Do you want to work on the symptom or do you want to work on WHY you have the symptom?
If you had a garden full of weeds and you mowed your lawn to get rid of the weeds, what would happen in a few weeks? The weeds would come back. How do you get rid of the weeds? Pull them out by the root. If you don’t get to the root pattern or cause of your symptom, working on the symptom alone can cause it to come back again.
“If you step on a dog’s tail, the bark comes out of it’s mouth. Working on the bark never takes the foot off the tail.”- Dr. Donny Epstein
For a complimentary consultation 613-761-1600
There's an old addage that says, where your attention goes, your energy flows.
When my car battery was slowing down, I observed how my focus shifted. I went from not worrying about something to focusing only on that. This happens often in my practice as well. Once sometime hurts a part of themselves, it becomes their entire focus.
I began to worry about the possibility of my car not starting. I would leave the house earlier in case it wouldn’t start. I would park in different places so I didn’t block anyone and to make it easier for others to help. I would worry about where I was going in case the car wouldn’t start. This went on until I changed my battery.
Once I changed the batter, all these worries disappeared and I returned to my normal behaviours. I also noticed how much extra energy it took to do all this worrying….and this was only over 2 days!
The same thing happens when we’re in pain. Let’s take chronic, long-term low back pain for example.
Behavioural changes could include:
Eventually, you stop doing the activities that bring you joy. There are times when our bodies do need a break and we do need to stop everything but this is usually for short term.
If the pain lasts long enough, we soon develop behaviours that aren’t like us. People close to us may start to notice that we are the way we used to be. This could lead to depression.
SO, what do we do instead? It’s time to seek help. Change your battery! Get your low back checked out by a non-traditional chiropractor. 613-761-1600
No one enjoys struggling or being in a challenging situation. Yet, it happens to all of us at some time or another. So, why not make the most out of your struggles.
Not everyone chooses to evolve through the struggle, in fact, most don’t. They would rather quit. The problem with quitting is, you never learn the lesson, you don’t become stronger and if the same situation comes back up again, you still won’t know what to do.
So, how do you evolve through your struggle?
Every painful experience is an opportunity to evolve. Make your choice today for a better version of you tomorrow.
I've heard from many patients about different types of injuries and accidents that they have sustained. Some are accidental while others, seem to be giving them a message.
Take Mrs. Smith for example. She came into my office with a twisted ankle after falling down 2 stairs. When I asked her to describe what was going on in her life at that time, we found out that life was quite stressful for her. She was carrying things in both arms and rushing to get the phone that was ringing. She was also taking care of 2 children at the time. When I asked her what her body was trying to tell her with her ankle...her response was to S-L-O-W down.
She admitted that she had noticed that life was going by too fast and wanted to slow down and because she didn't listen to her body, her body decided to make her. For the next two weeks, she was forced to rest and recover.
So, other than injuring yourself...because that's not quite fun...what are some ways your body is sending you a message to tell you to slow down?
Listen to your body! Don't wait until it's too late to pay attention to it.
You have habits, lots of them. Some you are aware of and others that you aren’t. You have habits for how or what you eat, those surrounding exercise and others about the way you work, live and love. Being in states of illness or wellness also have habits or behaviours that surround those states.
When you are feeling sick with the flu, you may take naps during the day or stay in bed longer. You may not feel like eating and you may not do as many activities as you normally would until you recover.
Here are some habits often associated with an illness behaviour:
Wellness is about experiencing a connection.
Habits often associated with a wellness behaviour:
Do you exhibit more illness patterns of behaviour or wellness? If you are not sure, why not schedule a complimentary 15 minute consultation with Dr. Amanda to find out? 6132-7561-1600
When someone comes into the office, it’s often because they are feeling some sort of pain. Pain can be physical in nature such as neck pain and back pain or it can be emotional/mental such as getting over a breakup, dealing with stress or anxiety.
Whatever the case, when people come in, they think that pain is what they want to get rid of. This is not the case! People don’t mind pain.
Have you ever gone to the gym knowing that you would be sore the next day? How about the experience of giving birth? There’s usually physical pain associated with that. We also know that at some point in our relationships, there will be an argument that leads to someone feeling emotional pain. It’s not PAIN that people mind, it’s SUFFERING.
Suffering because you don’t know when it will end or suffering that the pain is keeping you from doing something that brings you joy in life. I had a patient who was “dealing” with her pain...until she couldn’t pick up her child anymore.
If you broke your arm, you would be in a cast for 6-8 weeks. Pain would be involved, however, you would deal with it because you knew it was only for a short time. On the other hand, not knowing if something will ever go away or if your body can heal? That, leads to suffering. People mind having pain and being fearful of it!
It is not how you feel that’s important, it’s how you feel about the way you feel. How does your observer feel about how you feel?
A symptom alone does not indicate if you are ill or well and it’s not the reason that motivates you to go into a doctor’s office. Next time you are in pain, take the opportunity to learn about your pain and how you feel about it.
Need help learning about your pain? Dr. Amanda offers free 15 minute consultations in office or over the phone. 613-761-1600
Dr. Amanda is a non-traditional chiropractor who focuses on Neuro-Optimization in Ottawa, Canada.