The Body’s Healing Process
The body has incredible self-healing capabilities, many of which are aided by acupuncture and massage therapy. These techniques tap into the body’s natural healing systems to focus on whole-body healing.
However, there are many misconceptions about healing, pain, and trauma in the body. These misconceptions often lead to actions that interfere with the healing process or can even cause additional issues.
Seven Common Misunderstandings About the Healing Process
For this post, we’ve outlined some of the top misconceptions that clients have about the healing process, as well as evidence-based information about the body and its healing processes. Learning more about the body will help you understand the treatment plan outlined by your acupuncturist or massage therapist. It will also help you make positive steps at home to aid the healing process and feel healthier overall.
1. The Issue is at the Site of Your Pain
It’s common to associate pain with injury. In some cases, this can be true. If you fall off a bike and break your arm, that’s where you’ll feel the pain.
However, this logic doesn’t always translate exactly when it comes to more complex conditions or traumas. For example, in appendicitis, pain is often not localized to the appendix. Pain can be spread over the entire abdomen, despite that the issue is directly within the appendix.
Pain from other injuries, sources of inflammation, and chronic conditions may also radiate into different areas of the body. Your acupuncturist or therapist will often examine the body as a whole system to look for root causes of issues, treating those causes instead of just the pain to resolve the issue fully.
2. When the Pain Dissipates, the Issue is Resolved
Although unpleasant, pain is how the body tells us that something is wrong. There are plenty of ways to get rid of pain without resolving the root cause of the pain. Painkillers are an excellent example. If you injure your shoulder at work and take painkillers, the source of your pain (the injury or trauma to the shoulder) remains; the resulting pain has simply been temporarily removed.
A full treatment plan is still necessary to heal the area of trauma. This will remove short-term pain from the initial trauma while also helping to prevent further trauma in the future (or long-term pain associated with improper healing).
3. I’ve Been Doing This for Years, So It’s Fine
In many cases, clients mistake a lack of pain or symptoms for an activity or habit being okay. Cigarette smoking is an example; you can smoke cigarettes for years and be seemingly fine, or even have quit smoking decades ago, and still develop COPD years later.
It’s important to remember that health is a long-term pursuit, and that every activity that impacts one area of the body can also impact many others. The one thing we can do to impact our long-term health is to develop healthy habits now.
4. The Healing Progression Occurs in a Constant Forward & Upward Motion
Healing is a process that can take weeks, months, years, or even decades. In many cases, healing is not straightforward. It can come with setbacks and challenges. For example, a tear in a muscle might be mostly resolved, but that area is still susceptible to further damage, so an additional injury could result in a setback in the overall healing process. It’s important to have patience and continue on the path of treatment. Even when it feels like you aren’t making forward progress, the end goal is still in sight.
5. The Healing Process Happens without Distraction
Distractions are a natural part of life. Other priorities or goals may come up in the course of your healing, which could interrupt the processes and therapy needed to achieve full healing. Or, other injuries, issues, or conditions could change the course of your treatment.
The best thing anyone can do is continue on the course of treatment as recommended by a qualified acupuncturist or massage therapist and focus on maintaining healthy habits. Your team of specialized therapists in St. Albert will help you adjust your plan for therapy as needed, including referring you to other specialized team members when necessary.
6. The Healing Process is Always on Time and on Schedule
The body heals on its own time. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always align with our own goals. Whether you want to be able to play with your grandkids again, compete in the next season of your sport, or get back to work within a certain timeframe, it’s important to be realistic about your expectations. Setbacks and challenges, interruptions to treatment schedules, or numerous other factors can impact the healing schedule.
7. I Can Stop Treatment When I Start Feeling Better
Getting “back to normal” is always a main priority for clients, whatever it is that normal looks like for them. However, ending treatment once the pain resolves is often counterintuitive. After all, the improvement happened because of the treatment.
Continuing with treatment can help continue to bring forth positive results. It can also ensure that you are maintaining the healing process, which isn’t always finished the instant the pain resolves, motion is restored, or you can return to your usual functions. Instead, put yourself on a self-monitored return program, and prioritize preventative maintenance with your health professionals.
8. Make Your Health and Healing a Priority
At Urban Massage & Wellness, our therapists truly believe that every person deserves a fulfilling life lived without pain. Our massage and acupuncture services in St. Albert can offer long-term solutions for trauma, inflammation, medical conditions, and chronic pain. Book a consultation with our team of health experts today to receive a comprehensive treatment plan designed around your health needs.
Learn more about our acupuncture services in St. Albert (including which conditions and injuries acupuncture can treat).
Learn more about our massage therapy services in St. Albert, including specialized massage therapy services pages.