04 June 2018
7 Tips on the Road to Healing (Physical) Pain
I never thought that one day I’d be writing this. Not only had I taken my body’s health and stability for granted, I never expected I’d have such an interesting journey towards healing.
I’m sharing these tips because I was recently asked how I am managing the knee pain I’ve been experiencing for a while. I definitely don’t have all the answers, I still have mild knee pain, but I am happy that it’s very minimal at the moment and not as excruciating and as crippling as it once used to be.
Here are seven tips on the road to healing physical pain:
1. Follow your gut feeling
Listen to your body wisely and see what it tells you. Move from a place of love and compassion towards yourself. This may require creating a space of quiet to listen better.
2. Modify your practice
If you wish to continue your yoga (or any physical) practice then simply modify! And keep modifying and changing as you need to. Use props, they can give you so much support! There might also be some poses to avoid completely at certain times.
In the case of my knees, in general, grounding, steady poses worked for me more than vinyasas/sun salutation and rapid movements. I also avoid deep knee bends and extensions and I’m careful with hip openers. When sitting on the floor is painful, I sit on a chair! For me the key change was to slow down and listen. On the mat as well as off the mat.
3. Ask your body what it’s trying to tell you
Be inquisitive and ask questions. The answers will arrive when the time is right. And the answers might change and have updates with time. All is good. With me, my knees were telling me to slow down. To have faith in where I was heading (marriage!). They also helped me heal some key relationships.
4. Explore different healing programs
Create your personal team of healers. From my end, besides checking by bone and joint health with an orthopedic, I took private yoga therapy classes, saw personal trainers, did ayurvedic treatment, physiotherapy and even energy healing and therapy to deal with my thoughts and feelings. Speaking to my friends and fellow yoga teachers to reflect on findings helped so much as well, made me feel heard and even provided key insights. Everything helped.
5. Make lifestyle amendments
How do you sit? How do you drive? How do you walk? How do you sleep? When do you sleep? How’s your posture when you’re out shopping, dining or even when chilling on the couch? If any of those movements or positions hurt, modify! It’s still asana.
6. Look into your diet
Eat intuitively and observe the effect of food on you. Does the pain flare up after eating certain foods? Maybe you need to drink more water? Or eat warmer foods? What’s your digestion like and what’s your elimination like?
7. Take it easy
Healing is all about attitude. Believe that you are well and that you can even get better. If you’re judging yourself, see if you can instead handle the discomfort with love, compassion and kindness. Keep enjoying life, live, explore, laugh, play.
Hope these tips aid you on your healing journey. If you have more tips, please leave a comment below.
May all beings be well, happy and healthy.
Amal - Jun 2018