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Healing Is Not Linear

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

Most of us have heard the phrase, "Healing is not linear.", often in regards to mental health. If you've ever struggled with mental illness you know more often than not it never fully goes away; you learn tools to manage it better, but you know there will still be days that are worse that others.
We are conditioned to see most things in black and white, pink and blue, good and bad or healed and unhealed. That is seldom the case. As humans we push ourselves to the max. On the daily we will extend all of our energy stores, push through the pain, suck it up, do what we have to do, etc. Now yes sometimes we have to do, but we can definitely do it better. When we regularly deplete ourselves, there then becomes a need for more frequent and consistent care.

When we talk about healing and the musculoskeletal system, we have to understand that it is also is not linear. What we do in our headspace as well as in our physical bodies will have an effect. Posture can affect mental health, stress can increase muscle tension, mental health conditions elicit physical responses and so on. This is not to cause worry with every posture or body mechanic, only to bring notice to the ever varying stimuli affecting our physical health.

Chronic pain is often a result from years and years of stuff (trauma, depression, grief, repetitive use, overdoing in the gym, pushing through the pain of injury, poor posture, stress, etc). It has arisen from muscle imbalances and nervous system disregulation that often has gone on for years.

Unfortunately there is no treatment in existence which can magically correct the issue(s) which took a lot of time to create. It is a process of good days and not so good days and neutral days and bad days. The ultimate goal being that not so good and bad days become significantly less frequent. But doesn't mean they disappear completely in regards to chronic pain.

Healing often looks something like this-

If someone, let's call them "Human A", has experienced a trauma in adolescence, that has created a physiological reaction from the initial onset. Human A then carries this trauma forward (in some unique capacity) in both the body and mind. As time passes this leads to chronic pain from sustained muscular imbalances causing joint restriction and the associated nervous and vascular system disruption.