It’s a question that I ask of patients in a less direct way. To help me understand whether or not beliefs, patterns and behaviours are a contributing factor to my patients’ woes.
Let me give you two examples from my patient list today. A snap shot of what is actually remarkable common. Things that can be modified f they are understood. For a lot of folks, because we are so well conditioned in our thinking, to go straight to blame of a body structure being deficient, or a chair or bed being the cause of our pain, people rarely recognise the vase array f other factors.
This way of thinking leads to frustration, despair and a significant amount of expense paid out to whomever can give someone the next “cure all” magic pill. So, as you may have noticed, I lie to work with patients to help them to understand their bodies and selves better, so they don’t need to necessarily rely on other people to help them.
So patient 1. A 30 something fit and healthy fella. He gets back pain when he doesn’t exercise for 2-3 days. In my mind, that is not sufficient time to really have a big change on physiology. But he is sure that’s the only thing he can think of. With a little deeper delving, it turns out that body image issues for this guy mean that when he doesn’t get his exercise done, he feels guilt and vulnerability and therefore holds his stomach tight to “suck his gut in”. This is the cause of his back pain. Excessive muscle contraction.
Patient 2. A 70 year old woman with 10 years of back pain. Worse n the past 2 years. She is certain it is “old age” and she is “wearing out”. In fact, this message has been reinforced by other health practitioners. She also has right knee pain, because it is “stuffed and full of arthritis”. In fact, 10 years ago she had significant heart surgery and was unable to exercise for many months – this was a part of the onset of her low back pain, nothing nasty at all. Then 2 years ago, massive abdominal surgery which changed her walking posture and worsened her back pain. Now she leans to the right and this makes her right knee sore. So there is nothing at all worn out o deteriorating. It has just been loaded unusually for a long time. Without her being aware.
People live in the belief that there body is deteriorating within itself. Which leads to behaviours which ultimately maintain or exacerbate the problem. Or even create new ones.
So what’s going on with your self-perception?