"The head bone is connected to the neck bone." Each system in your body is interconnected. Your physical body is intimately related to your mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
The more you know, the less you have to fear. It is easy to become fearful, especially when in pain. A sharp chest pain, and we may become immediately concerned about a heart attack, when in actuality, it may be a pinched rib. A headache and we fear a brain tumor when it may be sinus congestion.
The good news is the body does its best to mend, especially with injuries involving bones, joints, and muscles. Give your body time to heal: broken bones usually take six weeks; muscles begin to heal within 24 hours, but can take two or more weeks to heal; tendons, which connect muscles to bones, can take six weeks to begin to heal; ligaments, connecting bone to bone, can take a year; nerves can take a year or more to heal. Even when just down with a cold or flu; for every "down" day, it may take two to three days to recover.
The more you know, the more tools you can use well. Tools to decrease physical pain include: ice packs, heat — including hot showers and baths — pools, pillows for support and positioning, gentle exercise, and sleep. Drink water. Give your body and brain good nutrition.
Mental and/or emotional stress can lead to physical problems. Stress can cause muscles to tighten and increase pain. Stress can also decrease sleep, which slows healing and increases pain. Worry, especially about things out of our control, can be overwhelming.
Break tasks and issues into small, do-able steps. To decrease stress: exercise, walk, breathe deeply, pray, meditate, perform relaxation techniques, and write thoughts and concerns in a journal. Accept help from others. Do for others; helping others takes our attention off our own pain/worries. As our brain can focus on only one thing at a time, we have the power to choose where our attention lies.
The more you know, the better care you can give your body. You can help your body, and mind, heal by giving it time, managing pain, improving blood flow, eating right, getting adequate sleep and minimizing fear, worry, anxiety and stress. Focus on what you can do to help your body/mind/soul to heal. We can choose to successfully manage our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Then our body can better attend to our inner peace.
In my own life, I have experienced physical and mental health issues. My health has improved with: time, dietary changes and improved sleep, actively managing my hormones, exercising more, spending more time in nature and quieting my life. As a physical therapist with 32 years of experience, I remain committed to assisting others to improve not only their physical, but mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Doranne Long, PT, MS, is a physical therapist and author of "Your Body Book Guide to Better Body Motion with Less Pain." This self-help health care book is available on Amazon. She is passionate about empowering others, through education, to successfully manage their health and life. Doranne is available for speaking and teaching opportunities and to assist with physical therapy health care questions at email@example.com. www.yourbodybook.com.
The Ashland Daily Tidings invites residents of the Rogue Valley to submit articles on all aspects of inner peace including, intuition; inner guidance; mind training; courage; forgiveness; honesty; gentleness, patience; open mindedness; giving; receiving; joy; tolerance; trust; faithfulness; kindness; gratitude; overcoming and or accepting life's challenges of addictions; loss; grief; pain; self-realization and awareness of Presence and more. All walks, faiths, paths, insights, lessons learned, revelations and experiences are welcome.
Send 600- to 700-word articles to Sally McKirgan, firstname.lastname@example.org.