Health Care Paradigms

A Winter Post to Cool Your Mind

“Whoops,” I thought as I caught an edge on Uncle Tim.  Storm and I named the trail Uncle Tim after my brother “discovered” it a couple weeks before.  Uncle Tim (the trail, not the guy) is a beautiful wooded ski trail at Bolton, not too steep, not too thickly treed, just right.  Until you catch an edge.  As a new telemark skier, I am still getting accustomed to not having my rear bindings to catch me when I fall forward.  On tele skis, you just”¦keep”¦falling.  I reached out my hands to brace my impact, but they just sank into the deep snow.  That left my head to do absorb the impact.  BAM.

 Whoops.

 I laid there for a few minutes, just sort of taking in what had just happened.  I did not really want to get up.  Storm appeared immediately, asking if I was okay.

 “Yeah.  I’m fine,”  I said.

I think I’m fine.  But I still don’t feel like getting up. 

In the end I rolled over, got myself up and skied down the rest of Uncle Tim, albeit somewhat shakily.  We took a few more runs and headed home.  It had been a great day of skiing, a snow day after the biggest March storm in Vermont history.

But I eventually realized that I had suffered a concussion and sprained my neck.  I was nauseous, foggy, and had a mild headache.  My neck did not want to turn.  I am fortunate to have a great chiropractor for a wife and she adjusted me that night and the next morning.  Interestingly, after the second adjustment, my neck hurt more than it had before.

As I went through my day of teaching and adjusting, I contemplated my aching head and neck, rubbing the tight muscles absentmindedly with my hand.  It was a good reminder of what I teach our patients about tightness in the body.  Sometimes, tightness is normal.  I have damaged tissue in my neck.  My body, in its wisdom, engaged the muscle fibers around the damaged area to protect it.  It kept me from moving my head too much and exacerbating the problem.  Brilliant, really.  And as my chiropractic adjustments cleared my nervous system and opened my awareness to my body, I was able to feel the true extent of the damage and my body’s innate response to it.

This is why, when we are assessing our patients for restriction of movement and tension, we don’t have to distinguish between normal tension and abnormal tension.  Network Chiropractic merely facilitates the optimal connection between the brain and the body so that the body can conduct its own healing in its own perfect time.  This means sometimes tight muscles stay tight, or even get tighter, before they loosen.  Other areas will release and feel great.

Now, just a couple days later, I feel like new.  What would have happened if I had tried to suppress my body’s symptoms and block out the uncomfortable sensations? I probably would have delayed the healing process, prolonged my recovery, and potentially caused more problems down the road.  We see a lot of folks in the office who have experienced just that.  So trust your body’s wisdom and give it a chance to heal, on its own, unhindered.  Support that healing through a sensible diet, rest, and chiropractic care.  The return on your investment of patience will be worth it.  Once you’re out of the woods, you can go”¦back into the woods.   But try not to catch an edge.

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