Join us in a conversation with James Lake MD. Dr. Lake has served as a clinical assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at Stanford, and is currently a visiting assistant professor...
Magical Medical Tour: Heal
After 30 years in Emergency Medicine and many years as a Medical Guide, it has become apparent that, as a species, we’re much better at getting injured than at healing. Every day, fascination and frustration enter my consciousness while observing people in various stages of dissatisfactory recovery. For example, I treated a young healthy adult who jogged 15 miles each day as part of his training regimen for the police force. He came to me because of severe headaches. After an extensive diagnostic work-up eliminating the very serious causes of headaches, I determined that it might be the running. Of course, anyone who jogs knows and loves that “endorphin high.” He didn’t want to stop jogging but agreed to do so for a month. His headaches disappeared. He was so happy – and yet he started jogging again. The headaches returned.
Here are some of the basic principles I have followed on my own healing journey and offer to my patients and clients for their healing journeys:
In general, I would always include my six categories for vibrant health: proper exercise, nutrition, stress management, sleep management, Spirituality, and patterns of behavior. By addressing these categories, one begins to practice Preparatory Medicine. This ensures that you will be in the best condition before anything detrimental to your health occurs.
The first and most important aspect of healing is KNOWLEDGE. This includes a basic understanding of anatomy. When you hurt yourself, you can figure out what you actually hurt (ligament, tendon, muscle, bone) and what it will take to prevent more hurting and begin healing. It is important to understand the body’s programmed responses to injury and inflammation. This brings up an important point. Although colleagues have varying opinions, I would suggest NOT taking nsaids (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen) at the very beginning of an injury. The inflammatory response is natural and necessary and should be allowed for a certain amount of time. Other treatments and medications can be used to address pain.
The second aspect is to HONOR the injury and the healing. Assume that when you get hurt, that is “time zero.” This is the best moment to start the healing and, even more importantly, stop the injury process. The longer the interval between time zero and the point where you accept the process, the less likely your chances are for optimal healing**. Another aspect needing to be honored is your age and how quickly you recover from anything. As aging progresses, it takes longer to heal.
The Third is CLARITY. Be very clear as to what you really want as a goal after you get hurt. Don’t fool yourself. Your decisions will affect your future and your present. While looking for clarity, consider the possibility that a life lesson was part of the process. If recognized and learned, that is good. If not, there is reason to believe the lessons might become harder and more painful.
Finally, VISUALIZING. Begin the process of visualizing a connection between your mind and your cells (body). A connection between your mind and your Spirit and a connection between your Spirit and your cells (body).
Then, visualize healing.
- Optimal healing: Return to the state you were in one second before time zero (pain, range of motion, strength, and no medication).
Stay tuned for future blogs on the six categories and other aspects of my Magical Medical Tour:
[tags]glenn wollman, living suite, Medical Guide, Medical Guide, spirit, Optimal healing[/tags]