A Poor Diagnosis is Not a License to Blame

who-is-to-blame-1a1I was reading an article titled “It’s Not Your Fault: Dealing With Guilt After a Lung Cancer Diagnosis” by Nathan Pennell, MD, a medical oncologist at the renowned Cleveland Clinic. His article was about how people feel guilt and get blamed for their lung cancer diagnosis.

While reading, I had thoughts of many of my clients’ similar stories of how they felt guilty or were shamed by their family members or friends for their ‘illness’ or diagnosis. Surprisingly, I’m not talking about those with cancer, but conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraine headaches and low back pain which are some of the most common conditions I treat with myofascial release therapy.

It seems our society is obsessed with asking ‘why’ and postulating endlessly on who’s fault something is. Those questions serve no good purpose, and in fact, they hinder the healing process when someone is already hurting with physical or emotional pain.

Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself how you can be a positive influence for them. Those with pain are already asking themselves what they did wrong or what they should have done differently or why did God allow this to happen. Don’t add to their pain, especially when there’s no medical reason for it. The condition simply ‘is’.

Be supportive and helpful when needed without enabling their pain behavior. For example, a person may grab their neck as they get up from the couch and the spouse responds by telling them to sit still and they will get what they needed. This only enables the pain person to stay in that role. Instead, add encouragement that they can do it themselves and positive reassurance that you understand.

Offer love, compassion and humility when interacting with a person in pain and remember, it’s not their fault!


Letting Go – part 2

How do we change the way we react someone or to something?

I asked the question last week “what is letting go and is it really possible”.

The complexities of letting go are like a 3-dimensional web of energy reaching in and out of our own individual being.  In other words, our interaction with others and our inner self is affected when we hold on to something.

That “something” could be a personality conflict with another, a lost job opportunity, a ‘wrong’ decision of years past, an ongoing disagreement, bereavement, making a mistake, beating yourself up, yelling, fear of failure and the list goes on…

Have you ever felt tightness in your chest, had a swirling stomach, headaches, and shortness of breath?  These symptoms are not coincidences; they are your body talking to you.  If we have the ability to let go, these reactions will not develop into holding patterns and will not lead to dis-ease and illness.

When we feel our body and really listen to what our body is telling us, we can make different decisions.  If we have expectations of the way something will be, then if it isn’t, we feel bad.  So, it becomes necessary to stay in the moment, not to judge or expect things to be a certain way.  Sometimes a judgment is healthy, so listen to your intuition, your inner voice…it is NEVER wrong!

Many of us have stopped listening to our intuition.  Not to rely on our subconscious for guidance in our daily lives.  We’ve been taught, for example, not to cry in front of others.  So, when we want, or need to show our grief by crying, the process is stopped and is not completed.  We now have this conflict within us, under the surface, always needing to let go.

These unresolved, under the surface conflicts are triggered by everyday occurrences and then we don’t know what or why we are feeling the way we do.  All we know is that we don’t feel good.

As a John F. Barnes, P.T. trained myofascial release specialist, I help in a safe manner to access the subconscious holding patterns that keep us from healing the physical and emotional pain we are having.

The John F. Barnes, P.T. approach to myofascial release is hands-on bodywork and is the most comprehensive mind/body therapy ever developed.  It allows for authentic healing using gentle sustained pressure allowing the body to let go of restrictions when it’s ready, without force or protocol.

Letting go is very much a process and life goes on with new challenges to be addressed, so, be easy on your self as you learn how to let go.  It is difficult, but definitely worth it.

Next week I will talk about how faith plays a big part in letting go.

Why Suffer?

It is an interesting question?  A colleague of mine gave an example of her picking up groceries into both arms, struggling to get to the door and when arriving at her door, had no free hand to open it.  She wondered “why struggle? What can I do to lighten the load and complete this same task with less struggle.”

Indeed, why do we struggle in our daily lives to accomplish the simplest tasks?  Of course, this space doesn’t allow for an in-depth answer or discussion, but the list really is almost endless and is as unique as each of our own life experiences.  Full of false realities, full of walls that hold us back from our own healing.

What would happen if we actually noticed these things as we did them, noticed how we felt. You know… that feeling of anger, frustration that we all feel at doing the same thing over and over, usually accompanied by some self-deprecating phrase.

Over time we start to take in these negative thoughts and feelings resulting in dis-ease in our bodies.  Symptoms of discomfort such as headaches, muscle and nerve pain, etc.  Again, even the simplest of things, seemingly unimportant or insignificant can make a huge difference of how you feel in the long-term.

Ask yourself what you would feel like if you changed.  My friend asked “What can I do to ease the pattern of struggle?”  In other words, “how’s that workin’ for ya”?  A word of caution, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t change as fast as you want.  These patterns probably have taken many years to evolve.

So why suffer and struggle when you can have the pain-free, stress free life you want and deserve.  You don’t know how good you can really feel.  If we start becoming more aware, suddenly we have so many more choices in our own healthcare and wellbeing.

If you are feeling stuck in the same old patterns and feeling unable to change, the John F. Barnes approach to myofascial release (JFB-MFR) may be just what you need.  I can safely help you feel better and allow for change using this most comprehensive and effective mind/body therapy ever developed.

If you are not in the Sacramento area and need a referral to a therapist in your area, I can help with that as well.

Be good to you.