For every problem there must be some degree of tissue damage within that person’s body and that has to heal. The only thing that has the capacity to heal that damage, is that person’s own body, thus the expression ‘no-one heals dead people’.
The fundamental reason why the body doesn’t heal itself is because the body also has a protective system that is very reactive. When it gets a sense that something is damaged, it reacts and it’s not very good at determining the extent of the injury, so it has a huge tendency to overreact. It tightens the muscles up as part of a whole host of responses and it’s trying to protect the body and improve the chances of its surviving in times of a severe life threatening injury – which is actually not happening.
This is the stress response and that’s what the stress response if there for – to protect us in times of life threatening situations, either we’re really badly injured or we potentially could be, and so this survival system will kick in and basically take over the body. The tension that it creates will make any straining of the tissues worse and it will also overload or usurp the healing system so it won’t be able to work as well, because it’s trying to use all its resources to help it survive this supposed life threatening situation which is not actually happening.
To get improvement, what we have to do, is help manage that survival system so that it calms down, as its very reactive and we can’t switch it off. We have to find out what its reacting to and help stabilise that so it doesn’t trigger the body to react and as such will allow the body to then relax and the healing processes to work much more efficiently.
In the whole scheme of things, anything we can do to help ourselves be relaxed will actually help the brain come out of that protective state and into the relaxed state, or out of the sympathetic state into the parasympathetic state. That certainly does augment the healing process, it stimulates it. It really does not matter what you do, whatever rings your bell so to speak, whether its walking in the garden, park or walking along the beach or playing with the family. Anything like that will help to stimulate the body to go into more of that healing state and that’s vital. That’s what we have to do, is help to maintain that state for quite a while because the healing process itself does take some time to be effective and its similar to a broken leg – while the pain of the broken leg may be there initially for a week or so, it takes the body some time longer than that, usually 6 weeks, for the body to repair itself. That’s why these things need ongoing work when it feels ok, the healing process still needs to happen.
Pain itself is an overload state and only comes on when the body goes into overload, the pressures underneath have to build up long before we generally feel pain and so even if the pain settles it comes out of overload - the pressure is too excessive and it takes its toll on the body’s tissues and it means those tissues will suffer significantly more wear over a period of time. The body wears out and people get to experience old age before they really should.