Writing a blog has been on my to-do list for about 15 years—not even kidding! I actually started one a few years after I began working as a PT, posted a few entries, and left it behind in my work-life balancing act. The theme of that blog was about mind-body relaxation.
Those who know me well, know that I have always been on the path of mind-body healing, from my first yoga class in the 90’s (before it was cool!) to my excursion to Thailand in college. Always pursuing integrative healing methods as a key purpose in my life...my way of helping myself and others.
My professional and academic path was rigorous and Western-based. Stress hit hard when it was time for exams and fellowship work, all while maintaining a family and social life. I was learning how to use my own set of mind-body tools to cope with a busy lifestyle.
I appreciate the science and research background we are trained in as doctors of physical therapy. But I have treated enough patients over enough years to recognize that science does not fully explain healing. In fact, I believe sometimes it may stand in the way of it. Relying on external means to identify and dissect problems leaves a lot of uncovered territory in the person as a whole being. There are aspects of healing that can not be quantified or broken down into parts. The compassion we give with our words, our eye contact, our touch. The listening, while providing a safe space for a person to bring all of their whole experience into the room (in-person or virtual) to be seen and acknowledged. The connection that is made when one person helps another.
This is the light in the dark.
I’ve had many patients leave our first visit together, telling me I was the only person to give them hope that their issue could get better. I have never offered a patient a sense of false hope--I’ve simply provided them with the assessment skills acquired by my knowledge and experience.
I start by holding out my hand and saying
Yes, I see your problem
I am here to help you.
Even at a time of great distance and separation, we continue to provide our patients with the care they deserve. Choosing to be the light in the dark by helping them navigate these uncertain times. Helping them maintain healthy routines and habits that improve their lives, and therefore, improve the lives of those around them. I know that we all have our own unique skills, within our families, friends, and communities, to offer help. To be of service. Even if it is with an encouraging word.
Be the light in the dark.
We all need it right now.